For the last 15 years the number of women who gave birth for the first time between the ages of 30 and 39 years has more than doubled. For the same period the number of women over 40, giving birth for the first time, increased by 50%.
10 years ago a woman’s biological clock began to sound the alarm when she was 30. Today the first ring generally sounds somewhere around 35 or even after 40.
One of the reasons is the advancement in medical research that makes women feel safer about having babies later in life.. Prenatal research has reduced the danger for women over 40 giving birth to babies with genetic defects to the level of 20 year old females.
New achievements in medicine have helped future mothers suffering from chronic disease, sterility or having the possibility of complications during pregnancy and allowed these women to give birth to normal, healthy babies.
Now many women consider that they can delay giving birth to a baby without any risk for themselves until they meet their life goals such as completing and education, reach success in career, strengthen their financial situation and find an appropriate soul mate.
However, many women give birth late not because they wish to. Late pregnancy can be a result of sterility, late entering into marriage or second marriage.
According to “Medical Science” the best age for giving birth is between 20 and 24 years, though many women feel that they are not emotionally ready for it at this age.
Nowadays if a woman over 35 is physically healthy, does not suffer from sterility and has had no miscarriages, then her chances of giving birth to a normal, healthy baby are almost the same as a 20 year old female has.
Firstly, it may be difficult for you to become pregnant due to premenopause, this means that you can conceive one day and cannot on other. It may require 6-12 months from you, instead of 4 months, to conceive.
But a greater danger for women over 35 who are pregnant for the first time is giving birth to a baby with genetic defects, especially Down syndrome.
Statistics shows that for 40 year old woman the chances of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome is 9 times higher than for 30 year old. For 40 year old woman the probability of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome is less than 1%.
Although risk increases with age, for a 45 year old woman it is 3%,
While this may sound scary this means the probability of giving birth to a healthy baby is around 97%.
According to statistics, women over 35 may suffer from complications during pregnancy, including abruption of placenta and pathologic condition of fetus, which require medical operations and can have very serious after-effects for both the mother and babies health.
Delivery can be complicated and prolonged which may lead to having a Cesarean section. However, research showed that on average duration of delivery of women, giving birth in older age, exceeded duration of delivery of young ones by an average of only 45 minutes.
For women over 35 the risk of problems connected with endometriosis and fibroid, which may affect fertility and the chances of getting pregnant increases.
But all these dangers can be reduced to a minimum if a woman who plans her pregnancy carefully prepares herself physically for pregnancy beforehand.
The fetus organs are formed during first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in this period the fetus is most suceptable so, if you eat well and stay away from nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, drugs and start taking vitamins and do regular physical exercises you will increase your chances to give birth to a healthy baby.
However, pregnancy is not the time to start physical exercises if you haven’t been a regular exerciser before. You need to prepare yourself physically for this, before you become pregnant, then it will be easier for you to cope with problems, if they appear.
One key factor is to try and control stress levels in your life as well. Every emotion is accompanied by changes in organism’s biochemistry. If you think that you are ill, you may in fact become ill.
It becomes absolutely obvious that late maternity has a range of advantages. Women, who are not in a hurry to give birth to babies often turn out to be best prepared for bearing and growing babies. It is proven that older women do not suffer from ambivalence of feelings during pregnancy and go through inner conflicts seldom. They treat pregnancy rather like God’s blessing. Knowledge of who you are and what you want comes with age and experience.
You are more disciplined and live in harmony with yourself. You understand what you will have to withstand from and what a new baby will expect of you.
Research showed that a late baby means a lot for a mother; older women may be less subjected to stress and more open and interested in learning new ideals, than younger mums.
Late maternity, of course, has negative sides. Being older in age means that you do not recover from delivery so quickly as younger women.
Some women encounter difficulty looking after a new baby as they have gotten used to taking care of only themselves for so many years and it may be that at 35 – 40 year old woman may simultaneously play a role of both a newly-made mother and a nurse for her older parents.
Overall if you are looking to get pregnant and are over 35 it is a good idea to visit your doctor for a preconception consultation.
Going through your medical history of you and your partners family can help to identify any possible conditions that may affect you or the health of your baby. You should also take this opportunity to check your physical condition for pregnancy and get blood tests for rubella and screening tests for cervical cancer.
Once all that is done just focus on getting yourself in the best health possible before you try to conceive and you have every opportunity to have a beautiful healthy baby.
If you do have trouble conceiving then make sure that you seek further help sooner rather than later to help increase your chances of getting pregnant.
You may need to consider infertility treatment options for yourself or for you partner as low male sperm count can also be a factor as your partner gets older as well.