My torment at losing my third baby… and nearly dying: Gwyneth Paltrow
17 Mar 2013

In a recent article in the Daily Mail, Gwyneth Paltrow discusses her traumatic miscarriage during her third pregnancy. Although she wishes for another child, she feels that at 40 and with two children, ages 7 and 8, she has now missed her chance and is passed the “baby phase” in her life. Here, Dr Zhai comments on women having children over the age of 40. 

It is entirely possible for Gwyneth Paltrow to have another child at 40 if she truly wishes to do so. Today, many career women are starting to try for a family later in their lives- late 30s to mid 40s. Between the ages of 35 to 45, there is a ten year period called peri-menopause during which a woman’s egg quality and egg production go into decline. This does not mean that women cannot get pregnant during this time, but many women may struggle to conceive or they simply need some help. 

At The Zhai Clinic, we successfully treat many women in their 40s. In fact, 33% of all the pregnancies at The Zhai Clinic are achieved by women between the ages of 40 to 43- a figure that is not much less than pregnancies for women below 35 years of age. Many women over the age of 40 think IVF is there only option, but it isn’t. IVF may help to increase the chance of bypass fertilisation particularly for those who have blocked fallopian tubes, low sperm count or poor egg quality. However, TCM treatments such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines can help improve the quality of the egg and sperm while promoting a healthy uterine environment to improve the implantation and has proved to be more successful than other forms of fertility treatments. The treatment programme at The Zhai Clinic aims to help couples conceive naturally or combined with assisted fertility treatments when a woman is in a better position to do so. I highly-recommend getting your body in the optimal shape to conceive first through TCM before undergoing IVF treatment. 

If Gwyneth Paltrow does decide to have another baby, I would advise against her strict diet that she endorses in her new cookbook as I feel it is too extreme. I encourage my patients to eat a healthy, balanced diet with foods rich in proteins, calcium, iron, vitamin C, folic acid, water and Omega 3 fats. These can be found in lean meats, dark green leafy vegetables, oily fish, eggs and fruit to name a few. Getting pregnant is not a time to follow a strict diet; it is essential that you have three healthy meals a day. You are what you eat.