Penny Lancaster: Fish Is Not a Friend to Fertility

09/13/2010 at 01:00 PM ET
Courtesy Hello!

After enduring three rounds of IVF treatment, Rod Stewart and wife Penny Lancaster are delighted to be expecting again in mid-March.

However, the road to pregnancy was long and hampered, surprisingly, by fish.

“I love fish and I thought that it was healthy without understanding the high mercury levels that fish like tuna, swordfish and halibut can contain,” Lancaster, 39, tells Hello! in its latest issue.

“My doctor said it was unhealthy to have so much mercury in my body, and also for conceiving babies.”

Finding the third time to be a charm, Lancaster called Stewart, 65, after learning that their latest emotionally-draining IVF procedure had been a success.

“I called Rod when I was still sobbing. Rod said, ‘I’m in the middle of a restaurant in Russia, crying.'” Stewart adds, “IVF can be stressful, especially for the woman with all the hormone injections and procedures. When the first attempt didn’t work, I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll just keep trying.'”

Most excited by the news is the couple’s 4½-year-old son, Alastair Wallace.

“Our son’s happiness made all the IVF treatments worthwhile,” Lancaster explains, adding that the couple is “99 percent” sure that they’re having another boy.

— Simon Perry

FILED UNDER: Maternity , News , Parenting

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Showing 35 comments

minnie on

Another boy, that makes things all square now! It would have been nice to see a mini-Penny but Alistair is so cute how could you not want another boy.

Rachael on

Rod Stewart is 65?! Seriously!

Congrats to them, hope it all works out!

Jaz on

Very happy for them. No, they didn’t have to adopt, before anyone says that. Adoption isn’t for everyone.

Katie on

Rod is kind of on the old side for having kids, but to each his own I guess. Congrats. 3 rounds of IVF had to of been hard!

Rye on

How are they 99% sure it’s another boy if she is due in March? Wouldn’t that put her at being 3 months pregnant right now? A babies gender isn’t seen in ultraounds until 4-5 months, right? Just curious and want to see where I am wrong. haha 🙂

Bancie1031 on

Congratulations to Penny and Rod!

CelebBabyLover on

Rye- Maybe they just mean they FEEL 99 pecent certain it’s a boy! Or maybe they did gender selection along with the IVF, but haven’t been able to confirm the gender with an ultrasound yet. 🙂

t on

Rye- She may have needed to have an early amniocentesis for some reason

Kristin on

A lot of people are starting to find out the gender around 12-14 weeks (if the baby cooperates position-wise), but it’s not as definitive as your 20 week ultrasound. Maybe that’s why she says 99% positive.

Congrats to them! They’ll have another beautiful baby (boy or girl)!!!

JessicaC on

Rye, some genetic tests early in pregnancy like amniocentesis or cvs give the dr.s a look at the genes of the baby, therefore they can tell whether its a boy or a girl by whether theres two x chromosomes or an xy combination.

madison on

@Rye – given her age its very possible that she has already had an Mmnio or CVS test which would tell the baby’s gender with a high degree of certainty.

A Watson on

You can have CVS sampling between 9-12 weeks..which is a genetic test that tests the babys chromosomes and genetic makeup. I had it at 40 so they probably recommended for her as well.

KAT on

Actually Rye being due in March would make her 4 months along. Sometimes you can see a little swing too even early on. Congrats to both of them, after the grueling ordeal they have gone through!

beth on

Actually there is a new blood test (Mom’s blood) that will tell the sex of the baby. Pretty cool.

Brandi on

Congrats to them!! Having done the IVF and other fertility treatments, I know how hard it is, especially on the woman and especially when it doesn’t work.

donna on

That picture of her makes her look much further along than a mere 3 months.

Michelle on

Because of her age she could have gotten a CVS or Amnio test done early in the pregnancy. That would confirm the sex of the baby as well. Congrats to them!!

Amanda on

Rye- if you go to a dr with a good machine and a skilled technician an ultrasound can pick up gender as early as 12-13 weeks. I’ve known quite a few people get accurate guesses that early. A lot of the 3D ultrasound businesses will guarentee gender as early as 15 weeks too.

Congrats to them, I don’t agree with the decision to have a baby in your 60s (mom or dad), but I’m sure the baby will be very loved and taken care of.

Sallyn on


Techs were able to see that my son was a boy quite early on, as he was all stretched out in his glory 🙂 I think I was about 16 weeks along. Being that gestation is 40 weeks, it ends up being more than 9 months. So they’re probably close to where I was when I knew.

susie on

due in mid march- that makes her about just starting the second trimester. Thats quite a belly for 13 weeks.

Lila on

Good luck to them. We went through 4 IUI’s and two IVF cycles. It really truly sucks to go through. We are so thankful for our lovely daughter and for the fact that we don’t have to deal with infertility issues anymore.

Christian on

To Rye- I knew almost as soon as I knew I was pregnant that I was carrying a boy. I just had a “feeling”. I don’t know if it was the hormones or what, but I was correct 🙂
She probably just “knows” in her heart it’s a boy.

Dee on

Not to be the S&^% disturber, but if she had an amnio or CVS, wouldn’t they be 100% sure as to almost 99%? Genetics don’t lie…

SusiQ on

at last, a reason not to eat fish. . .other than I don’t like the taste. And, Rod, do I think you’re sexy and do I want your body? Baby, you bet I do. Congrats to you & Penny on the new baby.

Brenda on

I find it hard to believe that she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to eat a high amount of fish. It’s baby 101 stuff.

gdfg on

Well Brenda, I didn’t know that, so it’s entirely possible Penny didn’t either. I knew you weren’t supposed to eat it while pregnant but not that it made it difficult to conceive.

T on

Infertility sucks, glad they brought a little light to the issue even though lots of couples can’t afford IVF. Kudos to them for being honest, we could use WAY more infertility advocates like them.

Robynn on

Mercury has nothing to do with conceiving. You just shouldn’t eat it if you’re trying to get or are pregnant.

Rye on

Thanks for the information you guys provided! That makes a lot of sense! Yeah, I was just mainly curious because I have two friends due in the beginning of March and they have actually both had ultrasounds where you can see the baby, but the gender is not developed externally on them yet…so, that is interesting and cool that you can just have a genetic test run and find out even earlier! You learn something new everyday! haha! 🙂

Thanks for all your informative responses! 🙂

Debra on

I saw on Rachel Ray a new product that can reveal the sex of a baby at 10 weeks. So anything is possible. Penny is such a pretty lady. Yes, Rod you are still sexy. I have loved you since since 1969 the first time I saw you in concert.

CelebBabyLover on

Dee- Don’t worry about being the “S&*# distuber”. I was actually just going to ask the same thing myself, so you aren’t the only one wondering!

SusiQ- Nice to see that I’m not the only out there who doesn’t care for fish. 🙂

CelebBabyLover on

As for her belly….Remember the article about Emily Procter recently, and how she mentioned that she is carrying quite large, and people have even incorrect assumed she’s carrying twins? Perhaps Penny is also carrying large. 🙂

Skeptical on

Seriously? A baby at the age of 65? How much fun will that kid have with his dad who will probably die before the kid graduates?

CelebBabyLover on

Skeptical- Age is just a number. 🙂

ann on

Really?! A 65 year-old cannot live to be well in his 80s, in 21st Century America? Besides, CelebBabyLove is right, age is not a number. Perhaps he’s much younger than many of us.