Menu

Motherhood after 50: Brigitte Nielsen welcomes baby girl at 54

Her four sons are adults and she's a new mom again.

Motherhood after 50: Brigitte Nielsen welcomes baby girl at 54

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.

The announcement

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 and Jackson 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."

Media messages

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.

You might also like:

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Micuna: Innovative and stylish baby gear that grows with them

Since 1973, Micuna has been perfecting the art of sustainably handcrafted baby furniture. Made from wood sourced from the north of Spain and Germany and manufactured in sustainable certified sawmill companies only, their modern and minimalist high chairs are perfect for families who don't want to sacrifice their aesthetic for function. What's more, they hold themselves to the strictest of European and American safety standards, resulting in only the best for parents and their littles.

Habbi Habbi: The easiest way to expose kids to a different language

Created by two best friends as an expression of their effort to be intentional parents, Habbi Habbi Reading Wand & Bilingual Books are the easiest way to start your kids bilingual learning without the screen. Their innovative and engaging play-based tool brings language to life through a tech-enabled wand and "tappable" books that give kids instant feedback, from vocabulary and phrases to musical tunes. The content is as intentional as the books are beautiful highlighting topics like emotions, female role models and diversity.

Countdown to Mama: 14 mama-tested, mama-approved presents to get excited about a new baby

Founded by a mama who came up the idea at the end of her own uncomfortable pregnancy, Countdown to Mama is the only advent calendar-style mama-to-be gift box out there. With a range of "niceties to necessities," she made it her mission to curate a collection of mama-loved products that thoughtfully usher her through the biggest transformation of her life.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

From Adelia to Ziggy.

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play