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She’s a New Mom . . . at 43!

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Pregnancy related image Photo: Getty Images

This past weekend a dear college friend, at the age of 43, gave birth to her first child. Her baby girl, delivered by Cesarean section, is beautiful and healthy, weighing in at over 8 pounds.

Since our son is headed for college this fall, I marvel at this little gift that arrived so much later in life for her. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), my friend Beth is part of a growing trend of moms that are waiting until later in life to deliver their first child. 2008 Statistics from the CDC show not just a 4% increase in babies born to women aged 40 – 44, but a decrease in babies born to moms below the age of 40.

Why are we seeing an increase in older, first-time moms? Beth explains that there never seemed to be the right time to start a family. “I kept trying to finish college, and save a little money before I had the additional responsibility of a family,” she recalls.

“I went through a sad divorce and then decided to focus on my career.” She was happily remarried two years ago, and had started thinking about a baby. “We had many discussions with our doctor about the risks of conceiving after 40.” Indeed, older moms are at higher risk for miscarriage and their babies have a higher chance of being born with Down syndrome. Like other expectant moms over 35 years of age, Beth’s blood pressure and sugar were carefully monitored. Her doctor also recommended procedures to screen the fetus for possible genetic problems.

I admire Beth because she finished her higher education, launched a successful career, and will now enjoy the gift of a baby. Some other famous ladies chose the same path. Halle Berry, Salma Hayeck, and Brooke Shields all had children past 40. When I had our son at 25, I barely understood who I was or what I wanted to do the rest of my life. As an older mom, Beth has the added bonus of understanding life a little better and feeling secure, financially.

Although I haven’t met the new baby in person, I have chatted with Beth over the phone. I could hear the excitement, relief, and happiness in her voice loud and clear. I am confident that she is about to experience the most rewarding time of her life!


Reviewed July 19, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

Add a Comment32 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I had my first child at 19, and the second 5 weeks short of my 40th, and third at the age of 42!!! Having a 20 year age gap is a constant source of amazement to people, but I slotted back into it fairly quickly. The hardest thing I find is having 2 kids so close in age, but when you see the two of them playing together it's worth it all. Funny though when some people think my eldest is my husband!!!

August 6, 2011 - 2:34am
EmpowHER Guest

My mom was 26 and 39 when she had me and later my brother. Good Luck !! : ) However, women should bear in mind the risks i.e. genetics (Down syndrome, etc), health (more complications for the mom, possibility of the death of the mother before child grows up and then what...), grandparents (the kid might not see any of them, e.g. my brother - just one, me - all of them), population (the age limit appeared maybe so the woman would focus on a few kids instead of having one kid after another like some insect queen). And by the way women are not without fault either, I've got a master's degree and haven't got a kiss from anyone - though I think over the last decade I've asked at least 25 girls that I liked to kiss me : (

August 5, 2011 - 11:55pm
EmpowHER Guest

I was told after 10 years of tests,etc., that I would never have a child. God decided that I would have my only child at age 43 and my doctor was never able to tell me how I conceived. She's beautiful and intelligent and is getting ready for graduate school for her master's degree. She turned 24 on Friday and I turned 67 in January. God truly blessed me.

August 4, 2011 - 1:59am
EmpowHER Guest

Why do people assume you need to be married to have a child? My male partner and I have been together for 7 years and are expecting our first child in November after a year of IVF treatments. I'm 40 and we are both ecstatic and I certainly don't expect to find myself a single mom in a few years simply because we aren't married.

August 2, 2011 - 3:41am
EmpowHER Guest

I became a first time mom at the age of 45 through adoption. My husband and I are now 47 and we are having THE time of our lives!! To the mom that said being an older mother is not good...I hate that for you. We have had people assume we are grandparents...well my husband has...hee hee...and when they say "aren't grandkids great?" we say "They ARE great" I mean, its not like they are being offensive....we ARE old enough to be his grandparents so they are not saying we look old. They are saying we look our age. I usually don't even correct them because I am just SO happy to have him in my life and feel he was worth every minute I waited for him. If they say my grandson is beautiful I hear "he is beautiful" and I always say " We think so too!" I think that with age I have learned not to sweat the small stuff and in my happy and blessed world THIS STUFF is smaller than
miniscule. Btw, we are from the south...not Boston or New York.

July 31, 2011 - 9:18pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Adoption is a wonderful way to become a parent :) I was adopted and grew up in a wonderful family -- 3 adopted siblings and amazing parents. My parents now have 11 grandchildren who love them very much!

August 31, 2011 - 3:18am
EmpowHER Guest

I had my first at 39 and I never expected to wait so long. I had Grave's disease and was on meds that would make me have a baby with birth defects for years, then there were other problems, but I was ecstatic to have him. He has been and is a joy. He has Asperger's, Tourettes, OCD, but these are hereditary issues, not because I was older. It has been a challenge not to have siblings, but we "borrow" other people's children, even taking them on vacation with us. I do wish I had hurried and had another child immediately, but that won't make it so. And who's to say that with my son's issues that he hasn't benefitted from the extra attention and parental focus? It could be exactly what he needed. I tell him he is a gift from above.

July 27, 2011 - 4:36am

I applaud women women who have the bravery to take this challenge on. Me and my wife struggled with infertility in our mid 20's - early 30's. And the growing trend as i look up and down my FB friends list, alot of my gal pals just never got married, some have never had children, now they in their late 30's, and they have to hear the clock ticking. There was a time when i had a harsher viewpoint of older parents. I was bias, with having a mom who was 36, and a father 43 when i was born. People always though my father was my grandfather, and fast forward years later... he's gone, never saw me married, never saw my children which i know he woulda LOVED!!! And i also think, with all the medical problems i've had in life, because i was the offspring of older parents, i can't but help to think that if they were 10 years younger, i wouldn't of had these issues.

Sp that's a few things you have to keep in mind when this comes up in life. If your health would to turn a 180 in about 20-25 years, how that affect your child when you are not their for their wedding? My wife is in the same exact boat with her parents. Her mom got a chance to see us wed, never saw our first child. That still bothers my wife, and it's been 10 years.


July 26, 2011 - 5:26am
EmpowHER Guest

I had my son at 43. What a wonderful experience! My husband and I decided we wanted to have a child. We knew the risks and decided we would do everything to maintain a healthy pregnancy. My preganancy was perfect, no morning sickness, no high blood pressure, everything went fine. I attribute my great exprience to healthy eating and exercise. My son Logan was born 8lbs and 1oz. The greatest gift I ever received. I would encourage anyone who wants a child to explore your options and make the decision that is right for you.

July 26, 2011 - 5:26am
EmpowHER Guest

I really, really hate that "milk for free" analogy. When, oh when will this bromide finally die? Besides being offensive, it's ridiculous to posit that men only marry women who refuse to sleep with them.

July 25, 2011 - 1:10am
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