The oldest mother to give birth in Ireland over the past decade was 54 years of age.
CSO figures have revealed the number of mothers giving birth after the age of 45 has more than doubled over the past decade.
It shows an increasing number of Irish women are having babies after their 50th birthday, with the number going from just four in 2007 to 13 in 2016 although the highest number was 17 in 2015, according to the latest CSO figures.
Pop superstar Janet Jackson got worldwide attention when she gave birth to her first child, a baby boy, at the start of this year, seven months after celebrating her 50th birthday.
The trend for older motherhood is bolstered by people living longer and new advances in fertility treatments with Irish women able to use healthy donor eggs of women in their 20s from countries like the Czech Republic, Spain and the Ukraine to have a safer pregnancy in their late 40s and, even, at the age of 50.
The sharp rise in Irish women over 45 giving birth is underlined by CSO figures of 118 in 2007 to 295 in 2016.
The IVF Cube Clinic in Prague revealed Irish mothers have given birth at the age of 50 after receiving donor eggs in recent years.
In those cases, the births were all as a result of donor eggs with the embryo transfers all done the day before the 50th birthday.
In 2016, the interpretation of the law was changed in the Czech Republic and women now must have their last embryo transfer the day before their 49th birthday.
The vast majority of Irish patients visiting the Prague clinic are over the age of 35, when the quality of a woman’s eggs starts to decline.
Out of the 670 patients from Ireland over the past six years, 43% were aged between 41 and 45.
Motherhood in middle age is a trend which has thought to have been influenced by a string of high-profile pregnancies among the world’s most famous women in their late into their 40s.
Halle Berry’s said it was a complete shock and a miracle pregnancy when she delivered, at age 47, her son Maceo.
Thelma and Louise star Geena Davis had a daughter at 46 and twins at 48, while supermodel Iman was 45 when she gave birth to her daughter with David Bowie. Dr Hana Visnova, medical director of the IVF Cube fertility clinic in Prague, said donor reproductive eggs has “revolutionised” fertility treatment for women looking to delay motherhood until later in life.
She said: “The age of a woman is closely linked to the quality of reproductive eggs. As a woman gets older, the quality starts to decline and fertility problems tend to become more common.
“Many women are now choosing to delay starting a family, only to realise their chances of being able to conceive naturally have started to decline rapidly.”
Dr Visnova said: “The egg bank has revolutionised fertility for older women.”
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