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Is Kelly Preston Too Old to Have a Baby?

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Dr. Wendy Walsh: When I heard Kelly Preston and John Travolta's pregnancy announcement, my heart leapt with joy for this family that has endured so much tragedy. Almost two years ago, their 16-year-old son, Jett, died of a seizure -- and this week, both family dogs were killed in an airport accident.

Kelly Preston

Add to that empathy my personal pleasure at seeing a "chronological peer" of mine carrying a baby. Yippee! There might be hope for me, should I ever entertain such a goal. So, when I saw the 47-year-old expectant mom beaming on the cover of Star Magazine with her pregnancy news, I was -- and still am -- thrilled for them.

Then I had dinner last night with two families. The parents were also in their forties, and we started to do the math: By the time this baby graduates from college, Kelly will be 70 years old. The opinion camps at my dinner party were divided. Some people thought she was too old to have a baby, and that it's not fair to make someone in their twenties plan a funeral or deal with aging parents. I argued that in my twenties, I'd dealt with long-term parental illness and death -- not because of my parents' ages, but because of bad luck. While it would be great to have my parents alive today, I sure don't regret being born, or feel that I missed out on anything because I dealt with family health obligations in my twenties.

A friend brought up Carmela Bousada -- the Spanish woman who, at 66, was the oldest woman ever to give birth. Sadly, Carmela died of cancer two years later. Since she was single, the twins are reportedly being raised by their godfather, who is also their first cousin. That's a sad case, but Kelly is almost twenty years younger than Carmela was. Let's not forget that.

Bottom line: New life is a joyous thing. It takes a village to raise a child anyway, so this kid will undoubtedly have many attachments in the form of family and friends. He/she surely won't feel alone in the world with a sister 10 years older. Who cares if this child has parents who are older than his/her friend's parents? No one knows how long they have. The average life expectancy in America is 78.4 right now. That's the average, which means that much of the population lives longer than that. Who knows? Kelly and John might live to be 100!

Do YOU think Kelly is too old to have a baby?

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26 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous May 19, 2010, 1:28 PM

no she isn’t too old! i am extemely happy for them and their family!!!

Black Iris May 19, 2010, 2:03 PM

I think arguments like this should apply to men as well!! I don’t think parents should plan on having kids if they can’t reasonably expect to raise them. So if you expect to live to the average age of 74, you shouldn’t try to have kids after about age 52.
Kelly Preston is rich enough that this may not be relevant. She can buy the village.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to put my body through pregnancy that late in life. And I don’t think it works to have a baby to fill the hole left my another child’s death. If that’s what they’re doing anyway.

Tara May 19, 2010, 9:34 PM

It’s her call, not ours. Every woman has the right to motherhood regardless of what others think. Just bc you don’t think its right or smart doesn’t mean you can impose that on others. Mothers die at all ages.

anonymous May 20, 2010, 5:20 AM

be real people! don’t mean to sound harsh, but Kelly is to old to be having babies! The risks are to high for her and the baby

Pat May 20, 2010, 9:27 AM


Ann May 20, 2010, 7:03 PM

There are no “shoulds” involved. This is only the business of Kelly and John.

If they are delighted at the news (as they seem to be), then blessings upon them; we should be happy for them as well.

The life this child will lead and things he will be able to accomplish far outweigh any challenges he will face later in life because of his “aging” parents.

Kelly R. May 24, 2010, 4:06 PM

As others have stated, it is their call.

Would I have a baby at 47? Absolutely not. I feel I’m too old to do so at 36.

Amber  May 25, 2010, 4:37 AM

Who am I to say. For me I wouldn’t want to go through it at that age. I am 29 and pregnant with my last baby. Kelly looks like she could handle it and is in great health. I am sure it is hard to lose a child. I have had 2 miscarriages so I have felt a little of what it is like.

sheila ponde May 25, 2010, 7:32 AM

Yes! I feel bad for that child, not to mention the complications that may surface because of her age. But hey if she feels good and if her body is strong have at it! But I venture to say it just might take a toll on both of them

sheila ponde May 25, 2010, 7:39 AM

Yes! She waaaayyy tooo old to have a child, I feel so sorry for that child. I know she’s a movie star and all, they have nanny’s but it’s kinda selfish. Hey who knows maybe she’ll do o.k. but i’d venture to say that it will take a toll on everone involved!

JC May 25, 2010, 9:23 AM

I’m so happy for them!

Joe May 25, 2010, 8:19 PM

It’s their business, not mine.

If you think she’s too old, you should ask yourself just how many years on earth any of us is guaranteed.

Also, older parents may not be as active, but they often have wisdom and emotional maturity that younger parents lack.

Dee Smith May 29, 2010, 2:02 PM

Yes kelly Preston is way too old, everyone is thinking about her. How great it is for her, but no one is thinking about how the health of the child. She could bring two more retards into our society!!, I think that is irresponsible.

Sharman  June 5, 2010, 10:05 PM

Commen sence will tell anyone that Kelly is too old to have a baby. Come on she will be a senior citizen by the time the child gradutate from school. Oh and I think its crazy how celebrities act as if they are the ones really taking care of their families when they have 4 nannies(lol).
JOE take the cotten out of your ears, if a person has a child later in life than they do have a higher chance of not seeing their children become adults. And beside Joe worry about your own death before you concern yourself with another person death, who knows how much time YOU have left.

PrimaDiva July 7, 2010, 2:20 PM

God created our bodies. He knows if we are too old to conceive. And when we are he won’t let it happen. In the olden days (1800s) before toxic waste dumps and pollution, women would have babies up to 55 years of age. I respect younger mothers for making child birthing and child rearing a priority most of them out of wedlock but I also respect women who defy falling into the baby trap at a young age. I wish all women would respect each others choices and show some support.

JLM July 24, 2010, 3:25 PM

So let me get this straight, to have a baby in your 20’s is a “trap” but to put yourself through treatments post menopause to get pregnant with a borrowed egg is liberation? As a working class person who would never have the hope of being able to afford such ART, I see this as a form of class warfare. This is the trap of regular women who get convinced they have control of when they have kids.
How long before movie stars go get IVF as a fad like Botox or breast implants just to prove they can still do it? I mean if a person is going to be selfish why should they have to live with the results of there choices, such as a disabled child? You know they will just send the baby to some LRon school to be brought up by there cult so this is just a stunt.
For the women like myself who are over 35 you need to ask yourself some hard questions. Why are you getting pregnant when the wold is overcrowded as it is? how trapped will your 14 year old be when she has to go into foster care because you had a stroke? Please do not say it could also happen to a young person too because only 10% of strokes happen in people under age 40. most of those are in disabled people BTW.
It’s one thing if you get pregnant as a fluke in Peri but I doubt that this is what happens with most stars. Some 20 year old likely sold her egg to get the money for school. She took drugs to make her overproduce risking future cancer so some 48 year old could have her face on the cover of a rag at the market.
I predict an upsurge in scrips for ART drugs followed by millions for Prozac when women my age and older discover they are not so lucky. All this hope because a celeb has a baby bump will turn into hard feelings and poor self image for natural women. It’s only in the movies for those of us who are not wealthy and married to dreamboats like Travolta.

Julianna July 26, 2010, 1:15 PM

Why shouldn’t we discuss it? Women’s reproductive rights need to be discussed! Nobody has the right to tell her what to do with her body,
Period. It’s her body, her choice if she wants to be an older mother and jeopardize her health to do so. To me, it seems extremely selfish. She has been married for many years, why didn’t they have more kids before now? My husband’s parents were 40 & 45 when he was born, his sister was 10. They were tired, couldn’t keep up, and by the time he was a teenager were clueless to his shenanigans! There was also an attitude of treating him like a saint because he was such a “miracle”. ALL babies are miracles! We forget as adults that a ten year difference in age among kids is huge. My husband barely knew his sister growing up because she was off dating, at college and married when he was young..if, god
forbid, something happened to either of the Travolta’s, it would be unfair to expect their oldest child to stop her life to care for the younger one. Not that the mega-rich do that, ever.
Less than two years ago a woman in India gave birth to twins while she was in her 70s. One of the babies didn’t make it. The M.D. who did her IVF said noone was too old. Apparently there are no ethics review boards there.
At this point, I wish for Kelly Preston and her family a healthy baby and lots of help.

kim July 31, 2010, 10:23 PM

I am very happy for Kelly and John. Yeah, she’s 47, but just look at her! She’s in fantastic shape and looks better than most 20-somethings and obviously takes care of herself. This is truly inspiring to all women who are having a baby or are trying to get pregnant at an older age. For those that are using the argument of “who wants to be a fifty year old with a teenager”, I say, as long as the person is in good shape, then why not? Have you looked around at all of the overweight and out of shape twenty-somethings out there. This age argument is getting really tired. So many women out there have proved that successful pregnancies can happen at older ages and I say go for it! I for one, and very happy for Kelly and John and wish them every blessing. What a great blessing this must be after all of the tragedy they have seen in the past couple of years.

Kristi August 7, 2010, 4:54 AM

Personally I think, yes, 47 is too old to have a baby, but I think that more in relation to myself. I’m 38 and have been unable to have one of my own, 40 is my cut off.

But Kelly may feel and certainly be different. The more advanced the maternal age the higher the risks of complications or tragedy, for both mom and baby.

I really feel that this is an egg donor pregnancy, so the risks for the baby are minimal, in as far as defects.

While I disagree with them having a baby at this rather late stage, I have to say good on ‘em. It’s not as if they won’t have a whole team of nannies and the best of everything that money can buy……

Katie October 4, 2010, 10:18 AM

My husband is 56 I am 43 and almost 2 years ago I had a misc. at 11 weeks it was very difficult. We have a large blended family of nine four mine and five his. WE love all our children, my husband has no biological children his children were adopted in a previous marriage. This is not about loving a bio or adopted child diffently it is about my husband always wanting to exspreience the joy of pregnancy and two peoples love making a child. I have been avoiding trying agian for two years. I am not looking for a lecutre here just wonder if I am being selfish in not trying again or using “too old” as my excuse! I am a stay at home mom and our kids are ages 8-22 and both my husband and I are healthy.

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