After four boys, 54-year-old Brigitte Nielsen is now a mama to a baby girl.
The actress and reality TV star welcomed her first daughter on June 22 with her husband Mattia Dessi.
"We are overjoyed to welcome our beautiful daughter into our lives," the couple told PEOPLE
. "It's been a long road, and so worth it. We've never been more in love."
The couple chose the name Frida for their daughter, who came into the world weighing 5 pounds, 9 ounces.
Nielsen's other children are decades older than Frida. Her oldest son, Julian Winding, is 34. Her other three sons—Raoul Meyer Jr., Douglas Meyer, and Killian Gastineau—are all in their twenties.
Nielsen announced her pregnancy in late May via an Instagram post,
sparking a flurry of headlines about her age. At 54, Nielsen is certainly older than most new moms, but it's not like she's the only woman to have a baby in her fifties.
Other high-profile moms to welcome babies after their fiftieth birthday include Senator Tammy Duckworth and Janet Jackson.
It's not easy
That's not to say having a baby after 50 is easy. Duckworth
have both reportedly used IVF technology, and while Nielsen hasn't publicly discussed the particulars of Frida's conception, back in 2008 she told Hello! magazine
that she and Dessi were considering IVF. Back in 2008, Nielsen (then 44) would have been approaching the cut off age for many IVF clinics, but times have changed.
The Chicago Tribune
reports that "many IVF clinics once refused to treat women over 45, but today that number is more typically set at 55." Dr. Helen Kim, chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Chicago, told the Tribune she's seen a change in recent years in how older mothers are viewed within her profession.
"People are saying, well, people are living longer now, women are healthier now," Kim explained. "There's no evidence that someone who's 50 is any less healthy than someone who's 44, and I think that's another reason that there's an increase is that doctors are willing to do it."
Kim notes that positive media portrayal of older mothers are great, but cautions that "people don't realize how rare it is and probably that they used an egg donor. I think many of these celebrities have used egg donors, and they just don't come forward with that, and it gives people a false impression. It sort of makes you feel like maybe you can have it all, but there is still a biological clock."
Her comments echo the findings of a recent study by New York University's School of Medicine.
It determined the way the media covers Hollywood pregnancies may be misleading people about how easy it is to get pregnant after 40.
Birth rates for older moms are rising
Still, figures from the U.K. show
that the over 40 demographic is the only age group experiencing a rise in pregnancy rates, and it's the same in the U.S. Birth rates have declined for women aged 15–39 from 2016 to 2017 but rose for women aged 40–44, according to the CDC
At 54, Nielsen is statistically off the motherhood charts, as the CDC includes moms over 50 in the birth rates for women aged 45–49. The number of births to women 45 and older rose 3% from 2016 to 2017.
Nielsen is older than most mothers, but her journey reminds us that how and when a woman experiences motherhood is for her to judge. Some women embrace the journey in their 20s, while others are in their 30s, 40s or, like Nielsen, even older. We mamas may have been born in different decades, but we can all support each other.
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