Age and fertility – ugh, something many of us don’t even want to think about! Here at BabyBeat we actually deal with quite a few older moms (myself included!). For one, getting pregnant later in life pops you straight into the category of “high risk – advanced maternal age”. And once you are marked as high risk, a BabyBeat fetal Doppler goes a long way to ease your mind. Being able to keep that additional tab on baby between appointments is such a relief.
We all know that there are pluses and minuses to everything, including postponing those child-bearing years.
Yes, it is true that your chances of getting pregnant at 40 are far lower than just a few years ago. Experts say that after 45 it can be almost impossible to get pregnant using your own eggs. However, on the flip side, many 40+ women DO get pregnant, some on their own and some with the help of fertility treatments. And there can be many benefits on waiting to get pregnant, for both the parents and the child.
What are some of the pros and cons? Of course the big con of waiting is that the longer you wait the harder it is to get pregnant. There is a big difference in egg viability between your early 40s and mid to late 40s. Along with getting harder to get pregnant, it is also harder to stay pregnant. With increased age comes increased chance of miscarriage.
Pregnancy complications also increase the older you get. Problems such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, placental complications and birth complications all rise.
So, is all hope lost? Not at all. There is no better time in history to try to get pregnant as an older mother. There are many new assisted reproductive technologies (ART) out there. In addition to in vitro fertilization (IVF) there are the options of egg donation, using a surrogate and adoption.
Waiting to have children can mean that the parents are more prepared finacially. There is also evidence that older parents, being better educated, are more likely to make wise parenting decisions. Older parents are often more patient and focused on their children. Finally, they are also less likely to put unnecessary pressure on themselves as a parent.
So again, as with everything in life there are pluses and minuses to when someone becomes a parent. And it is definitely a personal decision. There is no one answer for everyone. In my opinion, becoming a parent is a BEAUTIFUL thing – no matter when it occurs or how it occurs.