While terming pregnancies over the age of 35 “geriatric” is enough to send shivers down our spine, in reality, many women are choosing to wait to have families. In fact, the U.S. median age for giving birth just grew to 30, the highest ever. Why? More women are having babies in their 30s and 40s than ever before in order to invest in their education and careers beforehand. That way, they feel more prepared to financially support their children — a viewpoint so many of us can agree with. And while Hollywood stars like Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria, and J.Lo aren’t exactly the most relatable people on the planet, they all waited until way after career success to have children.

Every woman’s timeline is different, but whether you choose to have babies at 23 or 43, being able to choose your own path is beautiful. On that note, we’ve rounded up nine Latina celebrities that prove that having babies a bit later in life is deeply rewarding. Each of them gave birth after the age of 35, showing there’s no cutoff to the time that’s right for you. Just an added extra? Their kids are so cute. Prepare to feel inspired by all these leading ladies that took charge of their own life’s journey.

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1. Eva Longoria

First up, we have Eva Longoria who waited until the age of 43 to have her first child Santiago Enrique with husband José “Pepe” Bastón. The 48-year-old actress gave birth in June 2018, telling Parents, “Santi was meant to be with me at this stage in my life. I’m patient… It’s the right time.” Of course, as with all women, having a child changed some things for her. She told the outlet, “I will pass on a project if I can’t give it my all. Now I have to be more in charge and more structured and on time.” Still, by the time Santiago came along, she had already built her massive career — including a Golden Globe nomination, her production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, and her activism work for Latinos in the U.S. Still, Longoria refers to her 4-year-old as “her life.”

2. J.Lo

Jennifer Lopez, 53, is another Latina star that also waited a bit to have children. The triple-threat gave birth to her twins Emme and Max with then-husband Marc Anthony in February 2008 when she was 38. Today, they have an amazing relationship, with Lopez always referring to them as her “coconuts”— but at one point, she was nervous her dream of becoming a mom wouldn’t come true. She told the Today Show, “I didn’t have kids until later, and I almost thought that it wasn’t going to happen for me… I’m very aware that I was blessed with that. I don’t take it for granted for one day.”

Today, Lopez uses her platform to support her kids in every way possible, including bringing up Emme onstage to sing with her at the Super Bowl.

3. Salma Hayek 

Mexican actress Salma Hayek, 56, has never been shy about discussing her past fear of commitment. As she has described, it played a big role in why she didn’t have her daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault until the age of 41. Her recent interview with Glamour is a must-read, especially if you’re a woman who has felt bogged down by societal pressures regarding marriage and babies. For one, Hayek said she “didn’t believe in marriage” and “didn’t want to marry” now-husband François-Henri Pinault for a “long” time. He actually “dragged” her to the courthouse as an “intervention,” which is giving us life right now.

Hayek remembers having an “existential crisis” during her 30s, thinking, “Oh my God. I’m just not going to accomplish all my plans ever, it’s never going to happen for me. I have nothing, no husband, no children.” Still, she had sage advice for her fans. “[The biological] clock is not as strict” and “Do not settle for the wrong man”… ever.

4. Eva Mendes

Actress Eva Mendes, 49, is yet another Latina actress who always marched to the beat of her own drum. In fact, she didn’t even want kids until she fell for her future partner Ryan Gosling at 37 years old. Mendes explained to People, “I never wanted babies before until I fell in love with Ryan, and it kind of worked out to where I was 40 and having my first baby.”

Now, the couple are proud parents to their daughters Esmeralda Amada and Amada Lee, fiercely protecting them from the limelight (for one, they’ve never posted photos of them on social media). While Gosling has described Mendes as a “dream mother,” the actress insists she became a mother because she met him. She told Women’s Health, “Ryan Gosling happened… Then it made sense for me to have…not kids, but his kids. It was very specific to him.”

5. Adrienne Bailon-Houghton

Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, 39, is a star that has always been extremely honest about her fertility journey until giving birth at the age of 38. After marrying her love Israel Houghton in 2016, they commenced a “very challenging” journey until their baby Ever James was born in August 2022. After having their child through surrogate, the TV personality took to Instagram to shed light on their previous struggles. “He is worth every tear, every disappointment, every delayed prayer, every IVF cycle, every miscarriage. Everything.” Bailon-Houghton called her surrogate an “angel,” alluding to the “5 years” it took to welcome their miracle baby.

6. Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey, 54, rose to international fame with a five-octave range that coined her the “Songbird Supreme” at the age of 19 years old. Her debut album “Mariah Carey” changed the game in 1990 for vocalists everywhere, and it’s safe to say she’s one of the G.O.A.T.s. Still, motherhood turned out to be another very important part of her journey when she gave birth to twins Moroccan and Monroe with then-husband Nick Cannon at the age of 41. After giving birth, she reflected on her “bleak” and “uncomfortable” pregnancy: “My body went through so much.”

Still, her kids are her everything, once explaining she loves getting up at “5 A.M.” on Christmas morning “getting everybody’s packages together” and seeing her kids open their presents. She also wrote on Instagram that the two 11-year-olds are her “favorite people in the world.”

7. Zoe Saldaña 

Dominican-Puerto Rican star Zoe Saldaña, 44, might be the second-highest-grossing film actress in the world, but to her three kids, she’s also mom. Saldaña married Italian producer and director Marco Perego back in 2013 just months after meeting on a flight to New York (really). At the time, she was 35, and always believed in not settling for anything less than magic. She once said, “If you’re not happy with a person, leave… And wait until you find that one person who makes you feel good about yourself every single day and is not expecting you to change, but to grow.”

By November 2014, the two welcomed twin boys Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio, and later gave birth to Zen Anton Hilario in December 2016. As Saldaña explained to PEOPLE, “Finally, when we had our boys, I looked at my husband and I realized: I was meant for you, and you were meant for me.”

8. Shakira 

And last, we could never forget about Colombian superstar Shakira, who had her first child Milan Piqué Mebarak with ex-partner Gerard Piqué when she was one week shy of turning 36. Eventually also giving birth to second son Sasha in January 2015 when she was days away from turning 38, it’s clear the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer also followed her own timeline for starting a family.

The star was linked to Argentine lawyer Antonio De La Rúa from 2000 to 2011, but much of that was laser-focused on her coming one of the biggest singers in the world. That same year, she fell in love with soccer star Piqué after first meeting him at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and at that point decided she wanted to have children. Giving birth to both her sons in Barcelona, Shakira has described herself as a “lion” mom in the past. Now, after her separation from Piqué, she’s making her over to Miami to start a new life with Milan and Sasha, writing on Twitter that she’s making the move to give her sons “stability” and to be close to family and friends.