Naomi Campbell Had Her First Baby: What To Know About Conceiving at 50

The veteran supermodel is now a mom.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell welcomed a daughter in May 2021 at age 50.

Campbell hasn't been silent about wanting to be a mom. In 2017, Campbell told the United Kingdom's Evening Standard, "I think about having children all the time... But now, with the way science is, I think I can do it when I want."

According to fertility experts, here's what you need to know about conceiving at age 50. 

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Having a Baby at Age 50

Though it's not unheard of to become a first-time parent at age 50, experts say it's rare. As people age into their 40s, the quality of egg cells declines, making conception and pregnancy difficult, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG).

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average age of menopause, which occurs after 12 months after your last period, is between ages 44 to 55. But that doesn't mean it's impossible, especially with the help of assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Campbell did not share her method of conception. But here are a few options for a person to have a baby at 50 or older.

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of ART. IVF is a multi-step process, and there are a few variations.

First, a healthcare provider retrieves the mother's eggs and fertilizes them in a petri dish (in-vitro translates to "in glass") with sperm cells. The fertilized egg is called an embryo. According to the ACOG, the healthcare provider will implant the embryo, or multiple embryos, in the mother's uterus.

But as people age, their eggs may not be healthy enough for traditional IFV. In some cases, a donor egg or embryo is one of the most viable options for people over 50, Cary Dicken, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at RMA Long Island IVF in New York state, told Health.

According to Dr. Dicken, donor eggs and embryos can be your own, frozen at an earlier age, or donated by another person.


Through a surrogate (also known as a gestational carrier), another person carries the pregnancy to term in your place. A fertility specialist vets the carrier's health to ensure they can carry the pregnancy to term.

Per the ACOG, a healthcare provider will transfer an embryo, whether your own or a donor embryo, into the surrogate's uterus. In the uterus, the embryo can attach to the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus and develop if pregnancy occurs.

Natural Conception

Whether with a partner or a sperm donor, Dr. Dicken suggested that natural conception is extremely unlikely to work. For people older than 50, natural conception results in less than 1% of viable pregnancies, even with IVF.

However, "as long as a woman ovulates and there's sperm, there's always a possibility [for full-term birth]," added Dr. Dicken.

Recommendations for Conceiving at Age 50

It's also important to note that people over age 35 are at increased risk of pregnancy complications and need special considerations regarding prenatal care, according to the ACOG

Prenatal may include blood tests and monitoring for pregnancy complications and congenital disabilities.

According to a review published in 2021 in the International Journal of Women's Health, people 35 and older ought to plan before trying to become pregnant, which may include:

  • Not smoking 
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol
  • Regularly exercising  
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Taking folic acid supplements 
  • Managing any health conditions

A Quick Review

Through IVF, either with your own or a donor egg or embryo, surrogacy, or natural conception, it's possible to become pregnant at age 50. 

If you're 35 or older and want to become pregnant, it would be best to consult your healthcare provider to ensure you take the healthiest steps to conceive.

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