How old is too old to have a baby? 45… 55… 60?! If Mother Nature could be given a helping hand so that you could conceive at any age, when would you call time on adding to your brood?
According to news reports, a 55-year-old grandmother has become the oldest woman in the UK to give birth to triplets.
The Evening Standard reports:
A 55-year-old grandmother has become the UK's oldest person to give birth to triplets. Sharon Cutts and boyfriend Stuart Reynolds, 40, welcomed sons Mason and Ryan and daughter Lily into their family after spending £15,000 in loans on private IVF treatment.
Cutts, who is a nurse, already has four grown-up children but says she sees no issues with her triplets being younger than her grandchildren.
The story first appeared in the Sunafter the couple gave an exclusive interview to the paper, detailing their decision to visit a clinic in Cyprus for a third stab at IVF.
The new mum also told the paper:
"I've been trained by a doctor to administer Botox. I gave myself a dose while I was staying in the maternity ward for 11 weeks."
Call me bonkers but I frankly admire the chutzpah of this woman. But that's not to say that I agree with IVF treatment at 55. When I had my third child in my late thirties, a midwife helpfully pointed out that I was officially considered to be of 'advanced maternal age' since I was over 35. So I feel at least vaguely qualified to comment on the whole question of how old is 'too old' to have a baby.
I think I'm in support of the NHS policy which is not to offer IVF to women over 42. It's not that I think that's old - and I have a great deal of sympathy for women who wish to conceive beyond that age - but for the benefit of the babies if nothing else, I think it makes sense to accept that this ship has sailed once you're firmly on the other side of 40.
Of course, I might feel differently if I were pushing 50 and hadn't had the chance to have a child - although the new mum in this story already has four kids, let's not forget. Shouldn't she be basking in the joy of her granny years, not bashing out three more babies in between Botox jabs?
This story has been the subject of hot debate in the Playpennies office today. We've heard all views expressed, from the argument that having a child in later life (or 'getting your bus pass when your child starts school') is selfish to the idea that kids can benefit enormously from having older (and potentially wiser) parents - who are surely more likely to have some financial security later in life than many parents in their early twenties.
But we'd love to hear your views. How old do YOU think is to old to have a child, and why? And at what age would you call time on adding to your family?