Updated: 2019, Aug 16

Pregnant in the 40s: It’s Never Too Late to Be a Mom!

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Pregnancy at 40

Most women decide to get pregnant and want to get pregnant during their early years, especially in their 20s or early 30s.

However, being pregnant is considered freedom of choice, and not everyone wants to get pregnant early. Some women simply decide to delay their pregnancy due to several factors and decide to start a family in their 40s.

Factors of Delayed Pregnancy

Pursuing a career is a valid reason for delaying pregnancy, but more often than not, this is simply an excuse for women, as there are deeper signs behind it.

Not everyone gets to find the right guy, and until they find it, most of the ladies don’t want to enter motherhood.

Being a mother is no simple task, and it requires support and understanding from the other half in the relationship, in order for ladies to decide to start a family.

Once the right guy comes along, provided mothers don’t miss the opportunity, they feel comfortable at giving birth.

Being ready to start a family can sometimes be linked with other factors, like not having their own home, or simply not feeling emotionally ready.

This is also connected with financial problems, as modern mothers are more rational when it comes to babies. Unlike their parents and grandparents, nowadays, ladies are fairly aware of the financial burden having a baby causes.

They want to have a solid paycheck, so they can provide everything for their darling. Not taking anything away from our elders, but today stuff costs more.

Relationship problems are another factor to keep in mind.

It doesn’t always have to be Mr. Right, but everything in the relationship has to click, for mothers to decide to take the final step forward into consideration.

Another essential reason for delayed pregnancy is health problems.

How to Prepare For Pregnancy Over 40?

The first thing to consider when deciding to start a family in their 40s is dealing with the existing health problem. As health issues are a common reason for delaying pregnancy, once they decide to conceive, ladies should consult their physician and try to resolve all problems.

Health problems can have an effect and leave a toll on everyday life, as days become harder during pregnancy. One of the examples is diabetes which increases the risk for miscarriage.

Treating STDs is next on the list, as they often lead to infertility. Women in their 40s need to get themselves fit, and in the healthy weight range. Being overweight or underweight can interfere with the desire to start a family.

Next thing on the list is to improve nutrition, as a healthy diet is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. In essence, this includes improving the level of folic acid and other vitamins in the body, as they prevent birth defects.

Future mothers should try to improve their vitamin levels naturally, and avoid supplements. The following are the recommended food for pregnancy:

  • Citrus Fruits
  • Whole Grains
  • Complex Carbohydrates
  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Legumes
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Lean Meats

Meanwhile, walking, pilates, yoga and other exercise programs increase mothers activity level.

All these are essential in getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. The more fit they are, the fewer troubles mothers face during pregnancy and labor.

The folic acid supplement is next on the list for preparation, and the minimum is 400 micrograms per day. Folic acid is essential in preventing neural tube defects. Ladies in their 40s, should start taking supplements at least three months before they try to conceive.

Starting a family is an excellent excuse to stop smoking. Women, who want to have a baby, should quit their favorite habit at once. Smoking lowers fertility, and sometimes it can lead to early menopause.

During pregnancy, cigarettes cause a series of problems. And it is not just the mother the one who needs to ditch smoking, their partners should do so as well. Secondary smoking is harmful almost as much as primary during or before pregnancy.

If there is no success in the first six months of trying to conceive, mothers should make a follow-up visit to their physicians, and take appropriate fertility treatment.

This is because the more they wait, the lower the chances are they are able to conceive naturally.

Advantages of Being Pregnant Over 40

Once women get over 40 years old, it is a valid assumption they are more experienced, knowledgeable, better educated and mature – and these factors help them essentially during pregnancy.

Another advantage is that by this time they usually had lots of time to travel the world, see places they want to see, and they can now focus their full attention to parenthood.

Women over 40 are also better suited financially and well into their careers.

Disadvantages of Being Pregnant Over 40

There are both long and short term disadvantages of starting a family at the age of 40. First and foremost, women experience physical issues.

It is way harder to conceive at 40 years old and more, and risks for complications increase with every passing year. Other disadvantages include social issues. Most mothers had their first children at the age of 25 to 30, and when getting pregnant in their 40s, women are found in a position where not many of their friends are in the same situation.

Ladies in their 40s are usually the oldest moms in the class, in every group and activity.

Another long term disadvantage is the fact the mothers will be 70 or more when their child is 30. This means they are less likely to enjoy grandchildren.

Risks of Getting Pregnant Over 40

The older women are, the higher the risks are for complications during pregnancy.

And while many older women experience a perfectly healthy pregnancy, the fact of the matter is that the rate of chromosomal birth defects is higher. Statistics show that 1 in 100 women will have a baby with Down syndrome, and at 45 years, that percentage increases to 1 in 30.

The most important risk when trying to conceive at 40 or more years older is infertility. Older women simply release fewer eggs, leading to lesser chances for fertilization.

Loss of pregnancy, miscarriages, and pre-eclampsia are other risks to keep on mind. Ladies trying to conceive at the age of 40, should consider that percentage for miscarriage at that age is 35.

Promote a Healthy Pregnancy

Promoting a healthy pregnancy is not hard, as long as mothers stick to several guidelines. Once pregnant, food hygiene becomes more important and more vital. Washing fruits and vegetables should be a habit for women by now.

Doing pelvic exercises also contributes to having a healthy pregnancy at the age of 40, since exercise activates muscles that support the bladder. Cutting down on alcohol and smoking is imperative.

Caffeine is next on the list, and drinks like coffee, tea, and energy drinks should be cut to a minimum.

Getting a rest, both physical and mental is essential. One can argue that getting mentally healthy is even more important, as the more comfortable mothers feel, the easier they will bear their pregnancy.

Read Also: Pregnancy During Menopause – Is It Possible?

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Peony C Echavez

Peony is a registered nurse and former Director of Nursing services for a large nursing facility. She has written web content for a lar

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