Mid-life pregnancy isn’t as easy as you might hope, here are the risks of having babies over 40.
Having a baby is truly a blessing! Not only can you get them adorable baby gifts, but you can also enjoy different baby customs from around the world. While having children may be wonderful, the truth is that there comes a time in a woman’s life when it may be as simple as nature to have chilren. Once you reach a certain age, the risk of health problems – both for you and for the baby – increases drastically.
Risks of Childbirth Among Older Mothers
There are a number of risks that you run if you plan on having children after the age of 40:
Autism — A study published in the LiveScience Journal found that the risk of having an autistic child is much greater once you pass 40. Mothers older than 40 have a 50% higher chance of having a child that will be diagnosed as autistic than mothers younger than 29.
Cancer — This is a threat to the mother, not to the child. Research has discovered that older women that have recently had a child are more susceptible to breast cancer – for up to 15 years after the child is born!
Pregnancy Problems — Women older than 40 find it much harder to not only get pregnant, but stay pregnant. Their risk of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage increases dramatically as they get older. You are also at risk of developing pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, placental abruption, gestational diabetes, and placenta previa.
Down Syndrome — Once you pass the age of 40, your chance of having a child with chromosomal problems increases significantly. Your risk of having a Down Syndrome child at the age of 25 is roughly 1 in 1,250, at the age of 40, that same chance is 1 in 40.
Premature/Low Birth Weight Babies — Mothers over the age of 40 have a much higher chance of their child being born prematurely. The risk of having a low birth-weight baby is also much higher. The rate of C-section delivery among women over the age of 40 is also much higher.
Stillbirth — Once a women passes the age of 35, the risk of stillbirths and maternal death is higher – though thankfully the latter is much less common.
Heart Problems — According to Health.com, the risk of heart problems increases as you age, and adding pregnancy to the mix just makes it even more likely that you will have serious heart issues. Many women that get pregnant after 40 suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension, which they would not have experienced until their 50s or 60s had they not gotten pregnant.
Multiple Births — The rate of multiple babies – twins or triplets – increases once a women reaches the age of 35. This isn’t a bad thing on its own, but multiple births usually carries with it an increased risk of health problems and complications.
Many physicians suggest women should try to have children before they reach the age of 35, but it’s not possible in every case. Understanding that there are serious risks will allow women over the age of 35 or 40 to make an informed choice.