Having a Baby at 40: Benefits, Risks, and What to Expect
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Getting pregnant is associated with some advantages and disadvantages irrespective of age. There is no perfect time to get pregnant that is described by the research. It is also proved that the rate of fertility tends to decline in the later years of life especially in women, in which the reproductive cycle loses its proper functionality.
However, the statistics show the data oppositely. The number of women getting pregnant at the age of 40 is increasing day by day. This increase in the occurrence of pregnancies in later years of life implicates the possibility of having a baby and starting a family in their 40s.
However, pregnancy at the age of 40 or above has some benefits and risks.
Following are some benefits and risks of having a baby at the age of 40 and certain other factors that you need to know if you are curious about starting a family in the late 30s or 40s.
Benefits of having a baby at 40:
No direct health benefits have been observed in the pregnancies at the 40s; however, certain pros you can enjoy are as follows:
1. Financial Stability:
In the later years of life, such as in the 30s and 40s, people are more secure regarding their financial status. The early years of a person are the duration in which they are struggling with their education, career, and job. Having a baby in their 20s or early 30s brings a lot more responsibility of nourishing and taking care of a family along with self-growth and development.
Moreover, being a financially independent and stable person, one can fulfill the needs of family in a better way, and the affordability rate of high quality societal and medical care increases. With a greater amount of your disposable income, you can enjoy the happiness of starting a family in a much better way.
In addition to this, financial security and stability help save you from a lot of stress. You can prioritize your family and children in all aspects of life without worrying about other areas of attention. The less you worry about money, the less stress you experience.
2. Emotional and Psychological Well-being:
In the later years of life, people tend to focus more on the other things in life rather than on their careers. Financial stability brings peace and emotional well-being as well. They are emotionally ready to start a family. Moreover, emotional stability has a positive impact on the health of both parents and children.
The emotional support and care provided by your partner while being in a relationship for quite a few years. This creates a comfortable space with the partner and leads to a stronger foundation for a family to start.
In addition to this, women in their 40s are at a lower risk of postpartum depression because of the high quality of marital relationship with the partner.
3. Going to be the best mother:
Women in their late 30s or 40s are more mature, wise, and practical than the younger women in their 20s. This maturity and ability to handle most of the situations prove to help one become the best mother for the child. Such women go with the better and more practical choices regarding parenting and thus bring better nourishment to their babies.
4. Source of the new lease to life:
As you grow older, sometimes it feels that life has become stable and nothing new and exciting is happening in your life anymore. Starting a family and having a baby in your 40s is a source of bringing a new lease to your life and breaking the monotony.
You can enjoy the events better with your little ones. The chores of a baby will keep you busy, thus giving new perspectives to life. Moreover, in the late era of your life, you will have quality time with the family because you are much more eager to concentrate on your personal life than anything else.
Risks of having a baby at 40:
No doubt couples can start their family at the age of 40 years and enjoy. However, there are certain risks and disadvantages of having a baby in later years of life.
Certain risk factors are as follows:
The production of eggs declines with age, and thus the risk of infertility tends to increase with age. In addition to this, the menstrual cycle of the female body is about to end in the later years of life, which also reduces the chances of getting pregnant.
However, certain fertility treatments and assisted pregnancy technologies are present, which help start the family in later years of life.
Other than infertility, an older woman can face a hard time getting pregnant. The longer you wait, the more difficulty you will face.
2. Pregnancy and Physical Fitness:
Pregnancy is accompanied by a lot of physical changes through which a female body undergoes. It is associated with the overall physical health and fitness of the body. The midlife of human beings brings certain aches and body pains which tend to be more pronounced if you are planning to get pregnant in your 40s.
However, there is no need to worry about it as exercise and walking are the best solutions to such problems. Moreover, it will keep you fit and healthy.
3. Medical Conditions:
Infertility also brings the risks of certain medical conditions that are deleterious to the health of a female body. Such medical conditions are uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and anomalies of Fallopian tubes. Such conditions make it almost impossible to get pregnant and protect the pregnancy in later years of life.
4. Pregnancy Complications:
Getting pregnant in the later 30s and 40s have a strong relationship with pregnancy complications. These complications are:
i. High Blood Pressure
ii. Diabetes during the pregnancy period or gestational diabetes
iv. Placental problems
v. Low birth weight babies
vi. Preterm babies or Stillbirth
viii. Ectopic pregnancy
The risks of all the complications as mentioned above increase with age.
5. Birth Defects:
As women become older, the risk of having children with birth defects tends to increase. Other genetically associated birth defects are also common in pregnancies of older age.
Moreover, the major role in such birth defects is also played by sperm quality and effectiveness. Such deteriorating quality of sperms causes genetic defects such as Down’s Syndrome and Autism Disorder.
These genetic conditions have a stronger link with the sperm quality and age of female partners.
Labor and Delivery:
Getting pregnant and preserving the pregnancy in your 40s is itself very demanding. And now the next step is having a baby in your hands. The older age pregnancy is more likely to have complications during pregnancy and more complications in your labor as well. The health of a female body is the most important factor that creates the complication in labor or delivery of a child. Women with chronic conditions tend to suffer more than other younger women.
The risks of complications in labor include the cesarean sections and induction of labor because of the main concern of the continued pregnancy in later years of life. Take proper help and affirmation from your doctor or midwife regarding your delivery and the suspected complications you can face.
All the risks mentioned above are present in pregnancy of older age. Moreover, the rate of infertility treatments and technologies such as in-vitro fertilization and many others tends to decrease as well.
What to Expect:
The advancing age does not have any concern about the process of pregnancy and how a body of a woman feels during pregnancy. For example, the majority of the women feel symptoms such as morning sickness during the first trimester, and the older women somehow experience these symptoms in the same manner.
The chances of pregnancy loss are higher in the first trimester, and it is even more in older women who have a previous history of multiple miscarriages.
Because of these reasons, the increased medical monitoring of both baby and mother is recommended. This monitoring includes certain additional prenatal tests and appointments. Furthermore, genetic testing is also advisable to know about the chances of having any birth defect or genetic abnormality.
It has been recommended that women above 35 years and are not successful in conceiving after trying for more than six months of natural and unprotected intercourse must consult a doctor. If there is any need to seek help from fertility treatments, then get it as soon as possible because delay can do more harm than good.
Moreover, couples can enjoy positive outcomes with healthy lifestyles and proper health care.
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