Not so long ago, women over 35 were downright discouraged from having children but, nowadays, it usually just means that the expectant mother will get a little more attention. The attitude towards pregnancy in a woman’s late 30s and 40s has been gradually changing and the leading ladies in Hollywood are definitely part of this trend.

In a recent interview, Jennifer Lopez talked about the growing desire among women to have babies in the “11th hour.”  At 45, she’s the mother of 6-year-old twins, Max and Emme, but she would be open to having more. She said: “I have two happy healthy kids, so okay, good, we’re doing all right. [And] I don’t know if it’s in the cards for me because of my age, but I would love to have another baby, to be blessed one more time. I’d love to have twins again.”

Of course, she’s in great company. Mariah Carey gave birth to twins, Moroccan and Monroe, at 41. Halle Berry had son, Maceo, at 46 and Kelly Preston welcomed son, Benjamin at 47.

Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow, whose children, Apple and Moses, are 8 and 6, seemed to sum up the dilemma many women may be facing. She explained: “My brain says, “Oh, I think I’m done, the kids are big now and I don’t want to go back to changing diapers but a part of me would love to have another.”

Nicole Kidman was a lot more enthusiastic about her desire to become a mother for the third time. During a radio interview, she exclaimed: “I’m baby crazy. I hope every month that I’m pregnant, but I never am. I would be jumping for joy if it happens. [But] I’m 47, it won’t happen.”

So what’s the deal? Is this happening to women who aren’t rich, famous and can afford nannies? The short answer is yes. In fact, since 2000 the statistics show an increase of 2 percent almost every year (2013 was the sole exception) among women in their early 40s. What about mothers aged 45 to 49? Incredibly, that rose as well in 2012.

Theories abound as to the reason for this phenomenon including the idea that having another baby may make aging women feel young again. Some argue that it’s a way for women to embrace their femininity at any age. Others believe it’s because modern medicine has increased our lifespan and made the impossible possible for so many new mothers.

What do you think?  If you’ve had a late in life baby, share your experience in the comments!