Pregnant and 40-ish: Is it Really So Bad?

older-moms-having-a-baby-at-over-40-childbirth-cnnPregnant 40- to 44 year-olds are at a greater risk for complications like pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage and children with chromosomal disorders. Yet these so-called older moms are giving birth at ever so slightly higher rates every year.

Between 2o07 and 2008, births for women over 40 increased 4 percent, while births for women under 40 decreased 3 percent.

Just how scary is it to get pregnant after 40? Well, the numbers don’t look good. But they’re also not a condemnation.

At 40, 1 in three pregnancies ends in miscarriage (1 in 2 at 45+).

1 in 66 women who were pregnant between 40 and 44 had a baby with a chromosomal disorder (1 in 21 at 45+).

More than 80 in 1,000 get gestational diabetes at 40+, while 48 in 1,000 get pre-eclampsia.

And yet, it’s not all bad.

Older moms are better off financially and better positioned to ask for flexible work schedules. They are better able to find ways to spend time with their families.

One mom featured in CNN’s piece on older pregnant moms got unexpectedly pregnant and gave birth for the first time at 44. Of course, she was overwhelmed with all the negativity during the pregnancy but had a perfectly healthy boy. She and her husband are so smitten with their sudden family, they’re thinking of trying for another. She’s 45.

So which is better — young or old motherhood? Even Ariel Gore can’t answer that and she had her first as a teen and her second at 38.

Would you have a baby in your 40s? Did you?

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