“My husband and I are planning our family, so I’m going to have to delay the tour,” Jackson said in a video posted to Twitter on April 6. “Please, if you can try and understand that it’s important that I do this now. I have to rest up — doctor’s orders.”
It will be the first child for Jackson and her husband, Wissam Al Mana, 41, who secretly wed in 2012 but didn’t confirm the news until early 2013. The singer was previously married to René Elizondo, Jr. from 1991 to 2000 and James DeBarge from 1984 to 1985.
No doubt much will be made of Jackson’s age, but many women are choosing to have a baby in later life. Some may have delayed starting a family to focus on their career, while others have married in later life (or remarried) and want to have a child with their partner.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, births by women age 50 to 54 rose by over 165 percent from the year 2000 (255 births) to 2013 (677 births.). This increase is largely related to IVF — the majority of women over 50 who became pregnant used donor eggs fertilized by sperm and implanted into the womb.
Other celebrities who have given birth near age 50 include Halle Berry, 47; Laura Linney, 49; and Kelly Preston, 48. Berry opened up about her “geriatric pregnancy” to Ellen DeGeneres following the birth of her son Maceo in 2013, revealing that she “didn’t think it was possible” to fall pregnant at her age, adding, “This is probably way TMI, but I was kinda premenopausal, so to have this happen was huge.”
The term “geriatric pregnancy” was originally used to describe the pregnancy of a woman who was 35 years or older. In recent years (possibly due to a backlash from moms-to-be who certainly don’t consider themselves to be fossils just yet, the medical community decided to change that term to “advanced maternal age.” Which is a slight improvement.
We’ll have to wait and see what details Jackson reveals about her pregnancy. Hopefully, she’ll talk openly about the experience, because the growing number of women who are of “advanced maternal age” just keeps on growing.
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