Pregnancy Over 40 – Risks & Rewards

Pregnancy Over 40Considering women are at their reproductive pinnacle in their 20s, your odds for successful pregnancy over 40 have declined significantly. Medical experts suggest it may not be possible to demonstrate pregnancy, relying on your own eggs.

Nevertheless, women in their 40′s do get pregnant. Some elect fertility treatments and others conceive the old-fashioned way. The US Department of Health and Human Services released their latest report showing numbers of pregnant women between ages 40-44 have escalated 65% from 1990-2008. Pregnancy declined 18% among women in their 20′s.

What Are The Risks?

Modern society is more accepting of pregnancy over 40. And you are an individual, not a statistic. However, if you’re approaching motherhood in your 40′s, it is prudent to understand the risks as well as the rewards.

The medical profession generally finds that pregnancy risks increase after 35 and steps-up subsequently. Among known risks are: stillbirth, miscarriage, diabetes, genetic disorders and high blood pressure.

However, cutting-edge technology and modern medical care providers offer the best opportunities to get pregnant and complete a successful pregnancy after 40.

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Genetic disorders are the leading fear of over 40 pregnant moms. Down Syndrome seems a specific concern. As a woman ages her egg doesn’t divide properly as it does in a younger woman. While this could result in Down Syndrome, the risk of delivering a baby with this condition is 1 in 100 for women who are 40 years of age.

Birth defects can demonstrate, no matter the mom’s age. Overall there is a 3% risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Pregnancy over 40 doubles risks 6-8%.

Miscarriage occurs in approximately 20% of pregnancies, generally in the first trimester. Women in their 40′s suffer about two times as many miscarriages as those in their 20′s.

Preeclampsia is a result of high blood pressure while pregnant. If you should experience swollen feet, hands and face, which do not resolve after 12 hours of resting, you have preeclampsia. Bed rest is prescribed until the baby is delivered. Preeclampsia is on the rise and medical experts attribute it to the increased numbers of women who are pregnant after 40 years of age.

Placental Abruption poses serious risks for the mother and unborn baby. The placenta will separate from the mother’s uterus before delivery. Placental abruption denies the unborn baby of essential nutrients and oxygen. It can also instigate serious bleeding. This condition occurs in one out of 200 pregnancies, but women who are over 35 have higher risk factors.

The odds are in your favor if you’re sensible

If you follow your medical provider’s sensible prenatal plan, eat a nutritious diet, get regular exercise and monitor your weight, the odds are in your favor to deliver a healthy baby.

Rewards: Pregnancy Over 40

Many moms, who are over 40 years old, feel their child is a great blessing. By this time of life, you are more patient. You have grown into your wisdom and can make better parenting decisions.
You’re more financially stable. You have experienced life challenges.

Now that you’re aware of potential risks and rewards of having a baby in your 40′s, you can make an informed decision.

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