You may have heard that women shouldn’t have babies after 35. Turns out, that’s not true. To be sure, there are potential challenges to having a baby after 35. But, hitting that birthday doesn’t mean you can’t be pregnant and gie birth to a happy, healthy baby.
Meghan Markle, the beautiful American actress who became the Duchess of Sussex, got pregnant with her first child at 37. She’s not alone. The CDC says that in 2016, more women in their 30s were having babies than in their 20s. If you are approaching 35 and want to get pregnant, I hope that encourages you!
Let’s take a quick look at a few of the pros and cons of having a baby after 35.
The Cons of Having a Baby After 35
It might be harder to get pregnant.
As you know, women are born with a certain number of eggs. The older we get, the number of eggs decreases and the quality decreases as well. They aren’t as easily fertilized.
Those factors don’t mean that you can’t get pregnant. They mean you might need a little help getting pregnant. If you’re a younger woman who doesn’t want a baby now but might in the future, you may want to consider freezing your eggs.
Gestational diabetes is more likely for older moms.
Gestational diabetes comes with its own set of risks. Babies can be larger than normal and cause more risk during birth. It can cause high blood pressure for Mom and premature birth for baby. In short, it’s not a good thing to have during pregnancy.
Older moms should definitely be active and monitor their sugar intake. Medication is also available during pregnancy if it occurs.
High blood pressure is more common in older women.
You can expect more appointments with your OB so that your blood pressure can be monitored closely.
Your chances of twins increases.
Hormonal changes can cause more than one egg to drop at a time. (Actually, I think this is a PRO, not a con!)
Your chance of miscarriage and premature birth increases as you age.
It doesn’t mean you will definitely have a miscarriage when you become pregnant after 35. Not at all. But, the older eggs I mentioned earlier increase the chances.
The Pros of Having a Baby After 35
You’ve lived it up and you’re ready to settle down.
By 35 you’ve done so many cool things in life that you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing everything to have a baby.
You’ve traveled, you’ve moved up the ladder in your career, and you know what life is about. More importantly, you’re more self-assured and because of that, more ready to be a parent.
In your mid-thirties or older, you don’t feel the need to have the world’s approval of your choices. You know who you are and you’re perfectly comfortable with it.
Confident moms raise confident children.
Studies say you’ll live longer.
Women who give birth after 33 tend to live longer, according to Boston University Medical Center. (There are also other studies that back this up.)
You’ll probably be a more chill mom.
Science Daily reports “…research has indicated that a higher maternal age is associated with increased psychosocial well-being during the pregnancy and the early days after the child is born.”
Hoping for a baby after 35?
The first step is to find a doctor who specializes in pregnancies for older moms. You can talk about the things you can do to get healthier, how to deal with any potential fertility issues and how a doctor can best monitor your pregnancy.
Ask for referrals and do your research online to find the right physician for your situation.
In closing, your age shouldn’t be the thing that discourages you from having a baby. Yes, there are things to think about and consider, but isn’t that the case for having kids at any age?
If you’re choosing this path, I sure hope you’ll share your story in the comments. I wish you all health and wellness for both you and your baby!