With wrinkles and age spots, would an image of a pregnant 70-year-old woman be enough to get you thinking about your own fertility?
A controversial new campaign called “Get Britain Fertile” hopes to prod women into having children at a younger age. British TV personality Kate Garraway, a 46-year-old mother of two, appears in the campaign, transformed by make-up into a heavily pregnant, much older woman. Garraway tells The Telegraph that she had her kids at ages 38 and 42, and says it’s now too late for her to have a third child.
"I do look back now and realize that leaving pregnancy late can be a risky bet as diminishing fertility can stack the odds against you,” she told the newspaper. “In some ways I wish I’d had my babies younger.”
The group behind the campaign says it wants to start a conversation about the consequences of delaying childbirth. Some women, though, are furious about the ads.
“Women struggling with fertility or lack of partner do not need this campaign in their face with wrinkly old mum & ‘Get Britain Fertile’ message,” tweeted Katie Hopkins.
In the United Kingdom, women delay having babies longer than in any other country, the Telegraph reported, citing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In the United States, where the birth rate has been declining in the face of the recession, women have also been delaying childbirth.
The average age of first-time mothers in the U.S. rose from 21 in 1970 to 25 in 2006, according to a 2009 report form the National Center for Health Statistics.
Fertility declines with age starting when a woman is in her early 30s, and declines more rapidly after age 37, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.