It is also worth mentioning that there are also women giving birth much later, at the age of 50 and even a record-breaking age of 70 (like Omkari Singh, who at the age of 70 gave birth to twins in 2008). However, one should ask the question whether such a solution is good for both the child and the mother? Does pregnancy after 40 carry more risks? What impact does a woman have after the age of 40? We will consider these aspects in the article below.
Is there an optimal age to get pregnant?
Looking through the prism of physiology and reproductive biology, the optimal time for pregnancy is age 18-20 years old. Then, in simplified terms, a woman's body has the most energy needed for the proper development of a child, followed by a grueling delivery. Of course, for many reasons this is unattainable for most women, therefore statistically in our country, mothers give birth to their first child at the age of 27, which largely coincides with the European average.
It is known that although the biological reproductive potential of a 27-year-old woman is slightly smaller, most often in economic and psychological terms the average woman at this age is much more prepared for her child than her 18-year-old friend. You also cannot be paranoid and strive for an earlier pregnancy at all costs. From the doctors' point of view, however, there is a certain limit to a safe pregnancy that ends at age 40. This border is often crossed today. 40 years - (not) the maximum limit for pregnancy?
Pregnancy older than 35 years is considered by doctors as late pregnancy while pregnancy after 40, for a very late pregnancy and at high risk of failure. Why? Here are the most important reasons:
- Women over 40 have a significantly increased risk of conceiving a child with birth defects (Down syndrome) - for many doctors this is the main argument against very late pregnancy. All scientific studies prove that mother's age is one of the most important risk factors. For example, a woman at the optimal age for pregnancy gives birth to a child with Down syndrome once in 1527, and a 35-year-old woman once in 356.
- The body of women over 40 is less physically fit, and the organs have less ability to adapt quickly - of course, there are very athletic ladies, but we are talking about the general population.
- Women over 40 are more likely to have general illnesses - The 4th and 5th decade of life is the period of the most common incidence of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other diseases significantly complicating the course of pregnancy.
- Women over 40 have a significantly higher risk of pregnancy diseases such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy intoxication, preeclampsia and eclampsia.
- In women over 40, miscarriages are more common- it is estimated that 40% of 40-year-old women will have a miscarriage and 50% of 45-year-old women.
- Women over 40 most often have a problem with childbirth - it is almost impossible for patients in very late pregnancies to give birth naturally, which is known to be less beneficial for the child.
It is worth remembering, however, that formerly women over 40 gave birth very often and, equally importantly, they were able to deal with motherhood later. And although statistics speak against pregnancy after 40 years of age, today's medical achievements largely enable safe pregnancy at this age and a happy delivery.
Pregnancy after 40 - accident or conscious choice?
There is no doubt that during our grandmothers and great-grandmother pregnancies after 40 years of age, couples often happened not only because of the desire to enlarge the family, but also due to the low contraceptive use. Today, when access to contraception is common, measures to prevent pregnancy are effective, and a woman can choose the method that is most suitable for her, much greater control over conception planning and pregnancy is possible.
Still, it happens that some women over 40 get pregnant by accident. For parents who are not prepared for such a surprise, it is certainly a shock at first, but for many of them it turns out to be the most beautiful gift and a great opportunity to change their lives and second youth.
There is also no doubt that a large number of pregnancies in women over 40 are completely thought out, often a highly anticipated event. Women decide to get pregnant precisely during this period of their lives, mainly because they feel that it is the right moment for such a step. This decision is usually made thoroughly analyzed and completely aware, and the future mother is fully determined and ready for anything. Most often it is settled and fulfilled professionally, thanks to which it feels that it can provide its child with full comfort and safety.
Women choosing motherhood after 40 are also usually more reasonable and subdued, and waiting for the child releases new layers of feelings, energy and a lot of happiness in them, which, contrary to previous fears, finds themselves in the role of mother perfectly perfect.
Second youth - pregnancy after 40
Pregnancy after 40 radically changes the whole life of a woman. In addition to completely reevaluating her own life, the future mother also faces physical and mental changes that are to prepare her for the birth of offspring. It is widely known that pregnancy is a period of constant hormonal storm that accompanies a woman also after delivery.
Mothers after childbirth, although very tired at first, usually due to the release of hormones quickly regain strength to be able to take care of their child as well as possible. They are full of energy, vitality, smiling and clearly happy. It is not without reason that it is said that pregnancy at a later age rejuvenates a woman. A perfect example of this are Hollywood stars such as Halle Berry, Monica Belluci, Nicole Kidman and Susan Sarandon.
40 years old - can age stand in the way of happiness?
Fortunately, thanks to the achievements of modern medicine, pregnancy after 40 years is possible. Doctors are able to safely conduct such pregnancies and end them with a happy solution.
Today's medicine gives a very good chance of giving birth to a healthy child to women of this age and even older. However, you cannot forget that that pregnancies after 40 will always be high-risk pregnancies, requiring the special commitment of the mother, father and gynecologists themselves.
To sum up all this, the question arises:can age stand in the way of happiness? Yes and no, because everything depends on the willingness to take a lower or higher risk and fully accept the consequences of this decision. Therefore, the choice should be well thought out by both the mother and her partner, because in this situation mutual support and acceptance should be the basis of every growing family. Society, and young mothers in particular, should never stigmatize their older friends, but enjoy with them the most wonderful gift every woman can receive - happy motherhood.