What It’s Like To Be Pregnant Over 40

man and woman holding hands with two baby shoes hanging off of their little fingers

Today, some women prefer to delay having children to instead concentrate on their career growth and to have more stable finances. On the other hand, if women wait until after they are 40 to get pregnant, the risk of birth-related complications increases. If you are planning to have kids later in life, you need to be well-prepared for the challenges you may face.

While you don’t have to develop a negative outlook, it is important to have a balanced view about the pros and cons of having a child after forty. You need to decide whether your ability to earn more income is of greater importance to you than having to bear with the difficulties that can arise during pregnancy and childbirth at a later age.

Reasons Why You May Choose to Postpone Having Children

When you put off pregnancy and raising children, you can enjoy the following benefits:

Career and business growth: If you don’t have to bother about raising kids when you are in your early 20’s and 30’s, you will have plenty of time to get professional training and work in any company you desire. You won’t have to worry about taking care of infant feeding, schooling and child training. This allows you to just focus on getting to the zenith of your career.

More opportunities to travel: As a single lady without kids, you can travel to different parts of the world with or without your spouse. You can go hiking, do mountain climbing or get lost in the woods for weeks without worrying about who is with your kids.

More time to know your spouse: When you don’t have to divide your attention between taking care of your spouse and meeting the needs of your little child, you will have ample time to build a solid relationship with your spouse. You will be able to study and understand your partner, play together, plan exciting tours and develop a strong bond before you start having kids.

You become wiser: Waiting longer to have a child allows you to become a more informed parent. You will be able to read parenting books and take better decisions. You’re more likely to give your child breast milk and make good dietary choices for your kids. Instead of giving your children sweets and snacks made with refined flour and sugar, you will give them fruits, vegetables and whole foods.

Financial security: For each year you wait to have a child, you have a chance to boost your earnings. This means you will have more savings in your bank account, depend less on credit cards and be ready to buy a comfortable house to raise your children. Your financial stability will also allow you to provide a better education for you children.

Reasons Why You Should Have Children Early

Here are some of the major drawbacks of waiting till you are over 40 before you start having your children:

Getting pregnant becomes more difficult: It’s far easier to get pregnant from the age of 20 to 35. After 40, the supply of eggs from your ovaries decreases. Unfortunately as these eggs decrease, their quality also reduces. These eggs have a higher risk of producing children with congenital diseases and birth problems.

Your partner’s sperm is older: While men can father children even after they are 70 years old, the quality of their sperm gets worse with age. The sperm of an elderly man has a higher risk of having genetic defects than the sperm of a youth.

Your baby has higher health risks: Having a child after 40 will increase the risk of delivering a baby that is underweight or premature. The probability of having a stillbirth is also higher.

You may need to work longer: You need to be aware that while having kids late can allow you to build up your financial base, it could also put pressure on you when you are old. For instance, if you have your children at the age of 45, it is likely that you and your spouse will continue working for the next two decades to give them a good college education.

When most of your friends have started to retire, you will still have to bear some financial responsibilities. Unless you have been saving money regularly for retirement, it could become much harder after you have kids. In addition, if you have some difficulty in getting pregnant early, you may have to pay a significant amount of money to take care of fertility treatments.

How To Get Ready For Pregnancy After 40

To reduce the risks and complications involved in having a pregnancy after 40, you need to prepare yourself well. Here are some of the things you can do to increase your chances of having a safe delivery.

Consult your gynecologist: Tell your healthcare provider or gynecologist about your intention to get pregnant. Your gynecologist will perform a routine medical examination on you. Talk to your doctor about how to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Let your doctor or dietician recommend a healthy diet that can increase ovulation and the quality of your eggs. Your spouse can also benefit from such medical advice.

Discuss any medications that you are using and let your physician tell you how they can affect your ability to:  conceive, keep a healthy pregnancy and breastfeed. Let your doctor tell you how to manage issues related to high blood pressure that can become worse with age. Where necessary, ask your doctor to carry out a test on your ovarian reserve to know whether you still have an adequate number of eggs to get pregnant.

Discuss your birth options: You need to take note of the main options available to you: giving birth naturally and birth through C-section. Let your doctor explain the risks involved in each birth plan. If you’ve already had a child through C-section, your doctor may not recommend natural delivery. Also, due to the increase in strain during childbirth after 40, problems linked with high blood pressure may occur. So your doctor needs to monitor your health frequently during your pregnancy and if you have a high risk of complications, your doctor may decide to let you choose to deliver your baby through C-section.

Now that you know what to expect if you put off getting pregnant till you are above forty years, you can make decisions that will help you reduce birth complications and improve your chances of delivering a healthy baby.

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