Towards the end of last year, actress Tina Malone made headlines for giving birth to her daughter at the age of 50.
Many were shocked, some were outraged and some wished her all the best.
But although Tina insists her age will make her a better mother, it poses the question: are older women selfish to want babies well past middle age when most of their peers are gearing up for retirement and grandparent duties?
Although more and more women are leaving motherhood to a later age, a recent study showed that a staggering 70% of women over the age of 55 are opposed to and uncomfortable with women having babies in their forties.
But what about when the new mum is even older than that?
Britain’s oldest mum Patricia Rashbrook caused controversy in 2006 when she gave birth following IVF treatment at the age of 62.
At the time, she was criticised for choosing to get pregnant at such an age, but she remained steadfast in her belief that she was acting in the best interests of her son.
“What is important in parenting is not how old you are, but whether you are meeting all the child’s needs and we are very confident about doing that,” she said.
As for Tina, now 51, she can’t wait to try for another baby to give her daughter Flame a sibling, despite suffering pregnancy complications that put her life at risk.
She says she is more comfortable with herself mentally, physically and emotionally and is in a good place to give to a child.
And now Tina is starring in a new fly-on-the-wall series, Tina Malone: Pregnant at 50, documenting her journey to motherhood via a gruelling course of IVF treatment.
“I'm not an idiot, I knew the risks involved but you have to take risks in life to get what you want,” said Tina.
“But I do think there needs to be a limit – I think over 55 is getting too old because you want to see your child graduate and go to university.”
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the UK regulatory agency, hasn’t imposed an age limit on women becoming mothers, but there is a law that says doctors have to take into account the welfare of the child and the ability of patients to provide a stable, healthy upbringing.
And although most British clinics refuse to treat women over 45, since they have double the risk of stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy, some doctors, have been known to treat women in their fifties.
The issue certainly causes a good debate, with a number of pros and cons.
But there’s no denying, having a baby at the age of 50 has brought untold amounts of joy to Tina Malone’s life, whether you think it’s right or wrong.
“Everything worth doing is a risk and when Flame was born I was instantly in love.” she says.
“I'm not saying everyone should run out and have a baby at 50 but I strongly believe older women make better mums and I want to show others that they can do it.”
What do you think about this issue? Tweet us your views @ChesterChron.