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Sorry, but 54 is far too old to have a baby

Let me start by saying I don’t agree with condemning other women for the choices they make, whether it’s to do with how we feed, educate or look after our children – as long as they’re happy and nurtured, that’s all that matters.

I’m also a firm believer that you’re as young as you feel, and age is definitely not a barrier to achievement or being fabulous.

But there are some things that I find difficult to understand – and that’s why any woman would want to become a mum to a baby in her 50s.

According to reports today Denise Welch is hoping to have fertility treatment so she can have a baby with her new partner. She is 54, and he is 39. They both have children from previous relationships.

Denise is bright and funny and she’s incredibly resilient. She doesn’t strike me as someone lacking in energy – but as all mums know, having a baby can be tough physically, particularly when you factor in sleep deprivation, no matter how old you are.

There is also, of course, the argument that if we were supposed to have babies at 54, it would happen naturally. But all of the ‘oldest mothers’ we know about – including Elizabeth Adeney, who had a baby at the age of 66 – have had IVF. And the risk of miscarriage shoots up the older you are.

Of course I can understand that if you’re in a relationship with someone you want to give them a child. And I can also understand that longing to nurture a baby. But just because we want something, it doesn’t mean it’s right. There are lots of children crying out to be adopted, or fostered. And at some point, surely, common sense has to prevail.

*What do you think – is having a baby at the age of 54 a good idea? I’d love to know your thoughts.

7 Comments

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  1. Ali December 3, 2012

    What worries me is not when the kid is a baby, although all those concerns are valid, but what about when it grows up? She’ll be in her late 60s with a teenager. Will she be alive to see her grandchildren? You don’t stop needing your parents as an adult and she’s pretty much guaranteeing she’ll miss most of this child’s adulthood.

  2. I had my two boys at 41 and 45, not through design, with a husband and without IVF. I frequently feel too old and can understand people persevering when they have no children, but when they already have them – it’s a totally selfish thing. It doesn’t suit anybody, ‘coz getting up early in the mornings doesn’t get easier as you get older!

  3. Mrs Teepot December 2, 2012

    I completely agree. The needs of the child have to be taken into account and how hard it is to care for a child even when much younger than that with the sleepless nights and the running around after them, and of course keeping in mind that by the time that child is 20 it may well be having to look after you, which seems unfair to me.

  4. Joel December 2, 2012

    It’s definitely alright. The Fostering and adoption processes are enough to stop anybody from wanting to do it. And it always comes down to the individuals choice, if she wants to, she can, she may possibly be a better mother than she was as a younger woman, probably better than the 17 year olds who already have 2 children!!

  5. Rachelradiostar December 2, 2012

    I think it’s wrong. 54 is too old, unless it happens naturally. Not through scientific intervention. I bet her relationship doesn’t last anyway.

  6. Rachel December 2, 2012

    I agree with you. 54 is too old. Not only is the mother putting her own health at risk but also that of the baby. The older you are, the increased risk you have of having a child with a disability, as well as premature birth or stillborn. Add to that IVF and the potential to conceive twins (or more). It’s not fair on the children!
    Like you said, there are plenty of children wanting a living home and need adopting, why not look down that route….or surrogacy if he wants a biological child of his own.

  7. Galina December 2, 2012

    That is one tricky question,and there is probably no universal answer. When I had our second child at the “venerable” age of 42, I did feel judged by all the young girls in the waiting room when we had the 2nd scan. I could see them looking at me askance, like what is she doing there. But it was the best thing that could have happened to us. If I had easy going pregnancies and a different situation at home (my older son has special needs), then I would have opted to have a third child if we were lucky. sadly in our case that is not possible, and it is with regret that we decided not to have any more. But if someone is fit and healthy, I don’t see why she cannot have a baby in her 50s. It is a very personal choice.

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