Hilary Swank made a big announcement on Wednesday: She’s pregnant—and expecting twins.
The 48-year-old shared the news on Good Morning America while promoting her new show, Alaska Daily. “I’m going to be a mom—and not just of one, but of two,” the Oscar winner said. “I can't believe it.” Swank added that “it’s so nice to be able to talk about it and share it.”
Swank,who married her husband Philip Schneider in 2018, also shared that she’s wanted to be a parent “for a long time.”
Swank later went on Live with Kelly and Ryan and said that she’s “feeling great right now.” She also added that “it’s so fun to actually finally be able to say it, you know, to get past the 12 weeks and be able to say, ‘I’m pregnant!’”
According to Swank, the cast and crew of Alaska Daily just learned the news, too, and she had trouble hiding her news before her announcement. “My clothes started not to fit so I had to, the other day . . . cut [my jeans] open. And then I put a jacket on that wasn’t in continuity,” she said. “And [they] came and said, ‘You know that’s not in continuity.‘ And I said, ‘Oh, I think it works.’ And she’s like, ‘It doesn’t.’ I’m like, ‘No, it does. I’m going to make it work.’ She's like, ‘You’re an executive producer, you can do it, but this is weird.’”
Swank said that twins run in both her family and her husband’s family. “It’s double excitement,” she said. “My grandmother was a twin, my husband's grandmother was a twin, so we have twins in our lineage.”
It’s “pretty rare” to see pregnancies in your late 40s, according to Christine Greves, M.D., an ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. “We see pregnant patients in their early 40s more frequently than we did years ago, simply because of assisted reproductive technology,” she says. “But it’s not common for people in their late 40s.”
Matthew Carroll, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine, agrees, but says doctors are seeing later pregnancies more often. “Both average age of people pregnant for the first time and the birth rate in people 35 and older have increased, while other demographics have seen birth rates decrease, so it is increasingly common,” he says. “This does not mean it is necessarily easy, as fertility can decrease significantly after age 40 and spontaneous pregnancy is very rare after 45.” (Spontaneous pregnancy, in case you're not familiar with the term, is getting pregnant without reproductive assistance.)
There are increased risks with having a pregnancy at an older age, Dr. Carroll says, including miscarriage, pre-term delivery, preeclampsia (i.e. high blood pressure in pregnancy), and low birth weight in infants. “Multiple gestations carries its own increased risk for any pregnancy and these risks compound with increasing maternal age,” Dr. Carroll says.
Every ob/gyn practice is different, but some may have “extra precautions” in place for women in their late 40s who are pregnant, including more monitoring and more frequent appointments, Dr. Greves says.
But Dr. Carroll stresses that, even though there are greater risks of complications in people who are pregnant at a later age, older pregnant patients and their babies still typically do well. “While there are more risks to pregnancy at this age, studies show that most people in this group have good pregnancy outcomes and can cope with the stresses of pregnancy, both physical and emotional,” he says.
Swank didn’t share her due date, but it seems to be sometime in the spring.
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