When is it “Too Late” to Have Kids?
Kelly Preston recently had a baby at age 48 and Halle Berry had her second child at 47. And it’s not just a celebrity trend: One in five women wait until they are 35 or older to have their first child, according to the Centers for Disease Control, so “too late” is a relative term and will vary from woman to woman. As the use of assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) continues to grow, so do the odds of conceiving later in life. Interestingly, while overall birth rates declined from 2007-2010 during the recession, rates for women ages 40 to 44 rose six percent. Nearly 40 percent of all babies born in the United States in 2010 were born to women over the age of 30. While there are more potential risks and complications for moms over the age of 35, first-time older mothers are also more educated and more likely to have greater resources to support their family. Healthy 40-year-olds can have easier pregnancies than younger women if they prepare their bodies for pregnancy and focus on eating well, avoiding harmful behaviors and exercising.
While you may see your doctor more often, there is no reason you can’t have a happy, healthy pregnancy in your late 30s, or 40s. Rather than worry about information you find online or the wealth of misinformation that’s often available about pregnancy later in life, talk to your doctor if you are considering starting or expanding a family. We can discuss the options to help you determine your fertility and what you can expect. Ultimately, this decision is incredibly personal, based on your lifestyle, health, resources and interests, and we are here to support you.