Healthcare Marketing: British Fertility Campaign Controversy: How Old is Too Old to Have a Baby?

The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, continuing the conversation over delayed child rearing in Britain.  Duchess Catherine has now had her first son at 31 years of age.  Her pregnancy demonstrates the recent trend of women in Britain choosing to have children later in life.Image

According to First Response, a UK pregnancy testing company, women in Britain are postponing child rearing too late in life, which is why the company invested in a new fertility advertising campaign. The campaign, dubbed “Get Fertile Britain,” aims to shock, provoke, and some say shame, women in the UK to think about the consequences of delaying childbirth.

The campaign’s advertisement, receiving the bulk of the criticism, is a portrait of 46-year-old TV personality Kate Garraway, dressed as a heavily pregnant 70-year-old woman.

Relying on the shock value of the advertisement to stir conversations, First Response says the goal of the campaign is to alert women to think about fertility at a younger age, as studies have found that fertility declines with age starting in early thirties and declines rapidly after 37.


First Response is overtly concerned because statistics have shown that women in the UK are choosing to delay childbirth more than women in any other country. The average British woman has her first child around 30 years of age, which is five years later than the average American woman. Many wom

en put off raising children because of student debt, the cost of raising a child, work and other life obstacles.

The campaign is receiving a lot of international attention, stirring up controversy among many women, some stating that “those struggling with infertility don’t need to see a wrinkly old mum” and that “the campaign is wrong, misogynistic, and naïve.” Many women feel the campaign is shaming them for making the choice to prolong childrearing.

According to a recent study, 70 percent of women in Britain want to have children and the majority are planning to have their first child in their early thirties.  75 percent are not concerned about their ability to conceive; however, those women over 40 years of age that needed IVF assistance were “shocked” that they needed fertility treatments in order to conceive.

What are your thoughts on the “Get Britain Fertile” campaign? Do you find it effective or offensive? Tell us in a comment below and at Facebook or Twitter.

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