The Other 50 Year-Old in AARP Magazine, Janet Jackson

Everyone on the Internet were losing their minds over the fact that Beverly Hills 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry is 50 and on the cover of AARP magazine.

Meanwhile, the American Association of Retired Persons mag also took on another famous 50-year old making headlines: Janet Jackson.  

At 50, the pop singer is expecting her first child with husband Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, whom she married in 2012.

Women that age who are healthy can have a successful pregnancy, a medical practitioner said in the issue. 

“If you’re 50 and healthy, the outcome of having a healthy pregnancy is high,” says Robert O. Atlas, head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, but noted  that “a woman’s risks go up if she used reproductive technology like IVF and donor eggs, or if there are medical disorders such as hypertension. Then the risks go up exponentially.”

Having a first child at 50 like Jackson is still not common, more women are waiting longer to get pregnant. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 20 percent of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35.

“So many women are getting pregnant in their 40s, 50 is not that big of a difference in age per se,” Atlas says. “If you’re healthy, you can anticipate a healthy pregnancy.”

The latest research also suggests Jackson’s chances of delivering a healthy baby are good. 

According to a 2012 study in the American Journal of Perinatology, postmenopausal women over the age of 50 experienced similar rates of complications, such as gestational diabetes and preterm labor, as women under the age of 42 who received donated eggs. 

Of the 101 patients in the study, 61 reported no complications, and 32 reported just one complication.

So while there are lots of discussion about the impact of parenting a child so late in maternal age and its effect of the children, the fact remained it is getting more common nowadays. 

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