Ayesha Curry responds to her fourth pregnancy being called ‘geriatric’

By | March 5, 2024

Ayesha Curry leads to a conversation about how people talk about pregnancy as women get older.

The actress and author announced earlier this month that she and her husband, Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, are expecting their fourth child.

Ayesha Curry, 34, shared the couple’s pregnancy news in the cover story of her website Sweet July, where she wrote about what it’s like to be pregnant in your mid-30s versus 20s.

“What was really interesting was the appointments with my doctor,” she wrote. “I’m in my 30s, and so there’s all this paperwork referring to the experience as a ‘geriatric pregnancy’ and all the worries that come with that.”

PHOTO: Ayesha Curry attends the 2023 Baby2Baby Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center on November 11, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.  (Araya Doheny/Getty Images)

PHOTO: Ayesha Curry attends the 2023 Baby2Baby Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center on November 11, 2023 in West Hollywood, California. (Araya Doheny/Getty Images)

Ayesha Curry gave birth to her eldest child, a daughter named Riley, almost twelve years ago at the age of 22.

She was in her mid-20s when she gave birth to the couple’s second daughter, Ryan, three years later in 2015, and in her late 20s when she gave birth to their son Canon in 2018.

MORE: What to know about the Curry family as Ayesha and Steph Curry announce fourth child on the way

The soon-to-be mother of four said that as more women decide to have children later in life, she would like to see the “narrative” shift so that women are not told they are “old.”

“I think there needs to be something more nuanced when it comes to women, their age and conversations about having children,” Ayesha Curry wrote. “A lot of women in their 30s and 40s are experiencing this for the first time, and being told you’re ‘old’ feels alarming and wild. I think the narrative needs to shift a little.”

What it means to have a ‘geriatric pregnancy’

Ayesha Curry is right when she says that giving birth later in life is becoming an increasing reality in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the birth rate for women ages 35 to 49 increased in 2022, while the birth rate for women in their early 20s and early 30s fell from the year before.

Later this month, on March 23, Ayesha Curry will turn 35, the age at which the medical community considers pregnant women to be in “advanced maternal age.”

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “advanced maternal age” is the accepted term in the medical community, versus the more colloquial term “geriatric pregnancy.”

PHOTO: Steph Curry, wife Ayesha Curry and daughters Ryan (L) and Riley (R) arrive for the world premiere of Disney's 'The Lion King' at the Dolby Theater on July 9, 2019 in Hollywood.  (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)PHOTO: Steph Curry, wife Ayesha Curry and daughters Ryan (L) and Riley (R) arrive for the world premiere of Disney's 'The Lion King' at the Dolby Theater on July 9, 2019 in Hollywood.  (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

PHOTO: Steph Curry, wife Ayesha Curry and daughters Ryan (L) and Riley (R) arrive for the world premiere of Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ at the Dolby Theater on July 9, 2019 in Hollywood. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

The age of 35 was chosen decades ago by researchers trying to decide which pregnant women should have amniocentesis, a prenatal test in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed from the sac surrounding the fetus for testing, Dr. Shilpi Mehta-Lee, a maternal fetal medical specialist at NYU Langone Medical Center, previously told ABC News.

At age 35, it was found that women were at greater risk of having a child with Down syndrome than the risk of pregnancy loss from amniocentesis.

“It’s a bit of an arbitrary boundary, but at the same time we understand that aging affects pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes,” Mehta-Lee told ABC News. “And there are more risks even after you’re over 40.”

Decades later, the terms geriatric, advanced age, and elderly are still associated with women 35 and older who are pregnant, but science has advanced so far that the exact age limit seems arbitrary.

The ACOG now classifies pregnant people into five-year categories – 35-39 years, 40-44 years, 45-49 years and 50 years and older – to reflect that the risks associated with pregnancy increase as women age, versus all women age 35 and older face the same level of risk.

Women over 40 years old are considered to have very advanced maternal age, and women over 45 years old are considered extremely advanced maternal age.

MORE: Why Duchess Meghan’s pregnancy at age 39 is being called ‘geriatric’ by some doctors

Research shows that women in their mid-30s and older face maternal risks, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, as well as perinatal risks, including miscarriage, genetic abnormalities, fetal growth problems, premature birth and stillbirth.

With the increased risks comes increased monitoring during pregnancy for women in their mid-30s and older. Typically, women of advanced maternal age are screened for chromosomal abnormalities and undergo more ultrasounds during their pregnancy and more frequent doctor visits and tests as their due date approaches, compared to younger women.

“If someone is over 35, her doctor is going to look into it a little more, just to make sure everything is going well,” Mehta-Lee said. “It gives the doctor an opportunity to take another look, to think about it again, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

Ayesha Curry responds to her fourth pregnancy being called ‘geriatric’ originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *