Pregnancy at an Older Age: What to Expect from a Mom Who’s Done It

Never ever did I think that I would have a baby at 39. Years ago, I wanted to have three kids, but after having two I gave up the idea for many reasons. And then, suddenly I found out that I was pregnant.

Pregnant at an older age. 

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Am I atypical? Absolutely not! More and more women nowadays give birth later. Everyone has their own reasons: Some want to build a career first, some can not conceive, or maybe a baby arrives unexpectedly as in my case. In this post, I’ve listed out the pros and cons of having a baby at an older age.


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Having a Baby After 35: Facts You Should Know

Are you thinking about having a baby after 35?

Here is some boring but real scientific data. Of course, you can skip it, but I highly recommend reading this through if you are 35 or older. You just need to have an understanding of what may happen to your baby if you get pregnant at an older age. 

  • First of all, what age is considered to be old for getting pregnant? Advanced maternal age is usually defined as being 35 years or older which is believed to predispose mothers to enormous adverse outcomes during pregnancy.
  • By age 40, an average healthy woman has only a 5% chance of getting pregnant per cycle. At the same time, the likelihood of miscarriage climbs with your age. A typical 40-year-old has about a 34% chance of losing the pregnancy.
  •  It’s still possible to get pregnant at 45, though conceiving naturally is unlikely.

The following not very pleasant information is not intended to scare you or prevent from a desire to get pregnant at an older age. It just shows you that the older you are the more you tend to have a high-risk pregnancy. 

Risks of Getting Pregnant After 35

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  • Certain genetic conditions are more common in pregnancies of older people. The rate of having a baby with Down syndrome increases with the pregnant person’s age.
  • The rate of spontaneous miscarriage (pregnancy loss before 20 weeks) increases gradually with age. 
  • Risk of stillbirth. Being healthy lowers your risks, but they are still high compared to young people.

Encouragement for Pregnancy at an Older Age From a Mom That’s Done It

OK, you have read it. Now you know what to expect in the worst case. 

I am a great believer in a positive mindset. Never ever while expecting I searched the Internet for negative outcomes of my pregnancy. It’s not that I ignore it or do not trust this information, but I just concentrated my mind on my future baby in a positive way. And I firmly believed–no, I knew–for 100% that everything was going to be fine. 

If you are struggling with this try saying these powerful affirmations to help you bond with your future baby. They will make you feel relaxed and not worried.

I was 38, working 8 months of my pregnancy full-time at a physically demanding job and already having 2 children. And I did it! I was able to give birth to a healthy and beautiful baby. 

Of course, I stopped doing some activities at work which are dangerous for a future mom. But still I had to bend a lot and spend all day walking or standing. 

Plus I had varicose legs after the second pregnancy. Read what helped my legs to feel much better and have less pressure. 

Was it hard? 

To be honest with you…yes, it was! But if you ask me if there is anything I regret in late pregnancy, I would say, no!

Pros and Cons of Pregnancy at An Older Age

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Benefits of Having a Baby After 35

So, what is good in having a baby at an advanced maternal age you would ask? 

  • You are more mature. You know what you want and how to achieve it. You are more experienced and ready for baby arrival. You know how to organize yourself and your time, and what your priorities are. You are ready to enjoy your baby and value every minute spent with them rather than regret that you miss going out with your friends (compared to a pregnancy in your 20s).
  • You’re more confident. If it’s not your first baby you won’t be too nervous and worried. You know how to deal with babies and to handle different situations.
  • You’re more considerate. However, if it is your first baby you may be worried a lot! And that’s absolutely OK. It means you will take better care of your baby. I remember one of my teachers in the University who had a late baby (not sure about the age of this lady, around 40). She was concerned about the slightest and not important thing that could happen to her baby. And she thought it was because of her age. She recalled when her girlfriends were pregnant in their 20s how careless they were taking strollers with newborns everywhere with them, like to cafes with open windows and smoking people around.
  • You’re financially prepared. You are probably already financially set up better than in your 20s. 
  • Your kids might be smarter. There are studies claiming that older moms’ children are smarter and taller than young moms’ kids. Plus older moms live longer. I cannot prove or disprove this information as my kids are already tall and smart:). But it is just a fun fact to know.

Cons of Having a Baby After 35

  • The age gap is hard. Maybe, one of the saddest moments to me is the fact that I will be too old when my child still needs me. I might not see his kids or some moments of his life. A 40-year difference between us  is a very big one.
  • Pregnancy is difficult. Speaking about pregnancy itself, it is not an easy one. The older you are, the more difficult it is not just to conceive, but to survive these long 9 months. Honestly, I felt very-very old like never before. It was hard to wake up, to carry myself through the day, to move, to do anything. Never ending tiredness for the most part of the day. I started to think, was it forever? Of course, NO! Now, after baby birth I am able to wake up at night to feed him, to do house chores, and to return to my normal well being. 
  • People may not agree. Also, be ready that not all people surrounding you will be glad to hear your pregnancy announcement. I know, it’s hard but there’s nothing you can do. Just accept the fact and go ahead. Don’t even think of spending your energy and nerves on these people.
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Tip: Find Your Mom Tribe!

Dear mom-to-be, if you feel lonely in your journey of late pregnancy  find your mom tribe! I found out that there are groups on Facebook for pregnant women at an older age. Make sure to join them and see how  inspired, calm and positive you will become. When you see all these photos with  40+ (some are even 46 years old!) future moms you really begin to feel better.

And A Couple Last Words

I don’t know if it is your last baby, but this will probably be the last one. Besides all the other wonderful things that motherhood brings, I am so grateful that I have a chance to have a baby again. Not a toddler, not a school boy or a teenager. He will get there some time. Time passes very fast. 

So, enjoy touching and squeezing their squishy little hands and feet, their smell that cannot be compared with anything else. 

The way they look at you and smile as if you are the world for them. Cherish these little moments for they will never happen again…

If you’ve decided to have a baby after 35, I am so happy for you. It does not matter how old you are…I wish you lots of happiness and love!


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