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Can I have a baby at 45 years old?

By August 14, 2015 - 4:25pm
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pregnant at 45

I am 45 years old and would like to have a baby. I have not gone through menopause, but will I be able to go through with pregnancy at an older age? I want to make sure my baby is as healthy as possible. I recently remarried and never had a baby in my previous marriage. But my new husband and I would love to have a baby and grow our family.

I've also been trying to weigh out pros and cons of raising a child later in life. Would love to hear anyone's personal experiences with this!

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HERWriter Guide

Hi there!

I’m glad to hear that you and your husband are (or were) thinking of trying- that’s always exciting news. Children can truly bring so much joy into one’s life. However, of course, having children when you’re middle-aged is a cause for concern, both for your mental well-being and the physical toll of it all.

As you well know, children are not easy, especially when they are babies. Your teenagers’ independence is a far cry from what you will experience with your toddler, and you should be mentally prepared for that. With sleepless nights, endless crying, and more hurdles accompanying the possibility of a baby, your life is bound to get a lot more stressful and a lot less manageable. At the same time, there are a ton of positive aspects to having a baby at this age. As babycenter.com lists, some of these include the fact that you’re more experienced, you’ll know what you’re doing, you’re more financially secure, and you know what to expect.

Of course, a big concern when it comes to having a child in your 40s is the health of the child. According to ndss.org, the likelihood of having of a child with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother; there is a 1 in 30 chance that having a child at age 45 will result in the child having Down syndrome. According to babycenter.com, you’re more likely to have a difficult pregnancy when giving birth at over the age of 40. Problems like high blood pressure and diabetes are more likely to develop during the pregnancy, as well as birth complications. Chances of a C-section are higher. Furthermore, your child is more likely to be a small or preterm baby. Stillbirth rates are also higher.

Also, this issue does not only concern you. Many women are surprised to hear that the father’s health is actually imperative to the baby’s health as well, just as much as the mother’s is! For more information, check out this article on EmpowHER: http://www.empowher.com/sexual-health/content/father-s-health-conception-important-his-babys-health

I hope that my response has shed some light on the difficulties that come with having a child over 40. In addition, there’s this great article on EmpowHER about just this topic- I hope you will find it helpful! http://www.empowher.com/pregnancy/content/am-i-too-old-have-baby

In the end, it is your own decision of what you think is best. However, it is also important to discuss this your doctor.

August 14, 2015 - 4:32pm
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