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There has been an increase in adult life expectancy in recent decades. Additionally, people are spending more time and effort into building their careers while in their 30s. These are just two of the factors that are encouraging many couples to have children while they are in their 40s. Almost every good fertility clinic is encouraging women who wish to have late pregnancies. But it is also true that nature hadn’t intended women to always bear children so late in life. That’s why it is important to be aware of all aspects if you are considering having a child at 40. There are several benefits which many do not know about.
On the flip side, there are certain risks that both partners should be aware of. This post will take a balanced view of this choice, so you can take an educated call. We recommend that you use the points mentioned here to begin further discussions. You can discuss and get more details from your gynecologist. That will help you consider all aspects and then decide for yourself.
The Benefits of a Late Pregnancy
There are several reasons why more and more women are delaying their pregnancy. Here are the major three of them:
1. Better Lifestyle:
It is very likely that a woman in her 40s would be earning more than she was a decade back. The same would be true for her partner. That is why a child born to parents in their 40s is likely to enjoy a better lifestyle.
2. More Quality Time:
People in their 40s would be more settled in their respective careers, and more confident about their value. That is why they would be more likely to take a day off from work to be at a parent-teacher meeting. What this means is that parents over 40 are more likely to value the time spent with children more. At a younger age, they could choose to meet work demands at the cost of time spent with children.
3. Better Knowledge:
A woman having a pregnancy after 40 is more likely to be aware of her body and aware of how to take care of herself. These are just a few of the reasons why every good fertility clinic takes special efforts to help women who are considering having a child at 40.
The general health of the mother (sometimes the father too) could cause a few difficulties. These could also affect the health of the newborn. If you have preexisting diabetes, then there is work to be done. It is recommended you bring the sugar down to acceptable levels before initiating efforts for conception. You should be aware that it is also possible to contract gestational diabetes. If you suffer from high blood pressure (which is not uncommon after 40), then you must speak to your physician and seek an opinion.
The Possible Risks of a Late Pregnancy
While we can discuss benefits all we want, there is no denying the fact that a late pregnancy can cause complications too. Some are in your control, while others seem to be more a matter of chance.
What You Can Do?
You must make sure you are fully aware of all the possible risks in late pregnancy. Then you need to go through all necessary tests along with your partner to know if your partner or you have some inherent genetic or physical risk. You can speak to your gynecologist or at the clinic where you are planning your pregnancy. But do keep in mind that some of these stated risks are based on anecdotal evidence only. Since all of these risks are not conclusively proven by robust medical research, they might not all apply to you.
Getting Pregnant Itself
Before we get to the possible risks, you must first accept the fact that getting pregnant at 40 or beyond itself carries the risk of failure. As a woman ages, the number of eggs that are released during ovulation gradually reduces. That is why you need to be ready to face several disappointments before you can actually conceive.
There is no definite conclusion regarding the biological reason for this. A woman above forty is more likely to conceive twins, triplets, or more. While you might feel ‘more the merrier’, there is a flip side to multiples. There could be related complications that you need to be wary of.
This is one of the biggest and most common complications for people considering having a child at 40. There could be physical defects in the newborn. More importantly, there could be afflictions like Down’s syndrome and similar other conditions.
Problems Before or During Delivery
These are issues that even younger women have. There could be miscarriages or stillborn babies. You might even need to have a Caesarian section rather than normal/natural delivery. These instances have been seen to occur more for older women.
We spoke about the benefits of late pregnancy. We also discussed the possible risks before and during pregnancy. Some of these risks you can do nothing about. But there are some complications that can be forecast. Certain prenatal tests can help the doctor to tell you if you are likely to have some or all those complications. Different women undergo tests like DNA tests, chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, etc. to see how they are placed.
The birth of a child is a beautiful moment for the parents at any time. But you also have a responsibility towards the child you plan to bring into the world. The financial and psychological aspects of a late child are most likely to be mostly positive. The area which needs your attention is the physical and medical elements. The good thing about this is that we are much more medically aware today than even a decade or two back. You can enroll with a good fertility clinic and initiate the process with your partner. They would be able to help you with the long and beautiful journey you will take till your child is brought into this world.