SOUND OFF: 53 And Pregnant! How Old Is Too Old?
NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Whether it’s a demanding career or the struggle to find Mr. Right, more women are postponing motherhood. Advancements in medicine have made it easier than ever to have children at 40 — even 50.
But pregnancy later in life is not without controversy.
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At 56-years-old, Sara Jean Grainson is busy raising three boys all under the age of five.
“I think I’m a natural mom. I just love being a mom,” Grainson told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson.
Grainson also has three adult children from her first marriage, but she wanted a family with her second husband, David, who is only 42.
“The more I saw him with the older kids, the more my heart ached for him to be a dad and for me to be a mom with him,” Grainson said.
Using in vitro fertilization and an egg donor, she got pregnant twice, giving birth to her son, Luke, when she was 51 and then twins two years ago.
“There’s a double standard. How come men start sometimes at 70? But if a woman does it it’s ‘ew, what are you thinking? How you going to raise them?'” she said.
Grainson is part of a growing trend — women over 40 having children. Incredible advances in medicine are allowing motherhood to happen later and later, even after menopause.
Tara Sammartino didn’t start that late but at 41 just had her first child, Nicholas. She and her husband were both married before.
“He’s our little prince. He’s our angel and I’m just ecstatic to be a mom,” Sammartino said.
Michelle Mongey waited until she was 46 to have her daughter, Grace.
“She is just perfect — in every way. She has spunk, she’s smart, she’s healthy and a joy,” Mongey said.
Both Sammartino and Mongey needed fertility treatments to get pregnant. Fertility expert Dr. Thomas Molinaro said that’s not unusual for women over 40.
“It’s a difficult process to conceive at an older age. While we can do it, but it does require a lot more work,” Molinaro said.
Older pregnant women face more potential complications like diabetes, high blood pressure and premature delivery.
High-risk pregnancy specialist Dr. Victor Klein requires his patients to undergo extensive physical and psychological testing before infertility treatment.
“I didn’t know anything at 23. At 50, I knew exactly what the baby needed. I’m thrilled where we are in our lives right now,” Grainson said.
“I know that I’m old-er, but I’m so glad I waited because we did it the right way for us,” Mongey said.