Having a baby as an older mother

Having a baby over 35

Putting off having a baby until the30’s has become increasingly popular over the past couple of decades. Forty years ago, having a baby in mid to late thirties like Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, or at 50 like Naomi Campbell, would be frowned upon, regardless of whether or not the pregnancy is achieved naturally or via a surrogate.

Many people feel that waiting until they are older means that they are more likely to be financially secure, in a stable relationship, and have more patience. Some will even say they feel like they never felt ready in their twenties as they were still wanting to do things like travel and live the spontaneous life!

One of the main worries about waiting to have children is female fertility. Girls are born with all the eggs they will ever have in their lifetime; about 2 million of them. By 37 years of age there are approximately 25,000 left and the quality of the eggs may decline too. Now that said, plenty of women get to conceive easily at 35, 37 (like me), 40 and beyond and will still go on to have healthy babies. Male fertility also starts to decline with age but they have a little longer than us women. For men, sperm quality and quantity start to reduce in their late forties, however as men don’t go through the menopause like women, they can effectively continue to father children as long as they can ejaculate, providing a healthy sperm makes it through.

Another concern about having a child in your late thirties and forties is the impact pregnancy can have on your body. Theres a higher chance of developing high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. There is also a slight increase in chance of miscarriage, stillbirth and chromosomal problems in the baby.

That said, the majority women in their late thirties and forties will have no problems in their pregnancies or during the birth, although some may find it harder to conceive.

Having had my first child as a teenager and my last in my late thirties, I can honestly say that there are pros and cons to having them early, and to having them later. I found that although pregnancy at 18 was much easier for me than at 37 as I had more energy, I’m much more patient, financially and emotionally stable now as a mother than I was back then. My last birth was easier too.

Is there ever really an ideal time to have kids? There are lots of factors to take into consideration when family planning, it doesn’t all just boil down to age.

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