Unlike before, women no longer feel the urge to give in to the pressure of the ticking biological clock. This has resulted in more and more women having babies in their late 30s or 40s.
Motherhood is a huge responsibility, which can be overwhelming for women, especially when they are not ready for it. There could be several reasons why a woman chooses to have a child later in life — unreliable partner, lack of readiness, focus on career, desire to live for yourself, and not being financially independent, to name a few.
But having a child in your 40s comes with its own set of advantages and risks. Scroll down as we discuss the 5 benefits that come with becoming a mother after 40.
1. You Are More Experienced And Wiser
At 40, you would have acquired enough knowledge and experience. You would know exactly what you want out of life and how you want to raise your child in this world. Hence, your approach to parenting will involve a lot of thoughtfulness, and you are likely to be more patient with your child. The maturity that you have gained over the years will probably work in your favor in parenting as well.
2. You Will Be More Prepared Emotionally
If you’re pregnant in your 40s, it is most likely a conscious decision that you would have made after much contemplation. You would have prepared yourself both physically and emotionally to take on the role of parenting. Being pregnant in your 40s means preparing yourself psychologically and emotionally for all the challenges that will come your way once you become a mom.
3. You Are Financially Stable
By the age of 40, most women will be much more stable financially as they’ll no longer be trying out different fields to find their passion, constantly changing jobs, or dealing with an unstable income.
Babies can be expensive. And bringing a child into the picture can put mothers under financial strain if they are not in a financially stable position. But when women no longer have to worry about finances and how they are going to meet the monthly expenditures, it allows them to focus more on the baby.
4. You’ve Had Time To Do Everything You Love
Your 20s and 30s is a fun time for you to live an adventurous life and try your hand at everything, whether you love partying, traveling different places, or wish to start a business of your own. It is a time for you to explore the world, your passions, and expand your boundaries. So, when you are in your 40s, you are less likely to feel any sort of regret about not living your life and have taken the plunge into parenting too quickly.
5. You May Live Longer
One of the major concerns about having a child later in life is that you won’t have the energy to keep up with them or that you won’t be able to be a part of some of the major life events of your child’s, such as when they graduate college, get married, or have kids of their own. But this may not be the case after all. According to a 2015 study, it was found that women who have kids after the age of 33 were more likely to live longer than women who have kids before the age of 30 (1).
While becoming a mother in your 40s has its set of advantages, it’s important to note that it has a few downsides as well. Below we discuss a few of them.
1. You Are Less Likely To Conceive
As women age, their fertility also begins to decline. The fertility rate in women starts decreasing gradually from the age of 32 and then significantly reduces after the age of 37. This makes it challenging for women to have babies after the age of 40 (2).
2. You Are More At Risk Of Having A Miscarriage
Though age does affect your chances of conception, women who are healthy and over the age of 40 do manage to successfully become pregnant. But the first trimester can be stressful for older moms as they carry a higher risk of miscarriage.
3. You Have Increased Risk Of Giving Birth To A Premature Baby
Women who are over the age of 45 are at increased risk of preterm birth. Preterm birth is when a baby is born before the estimated due date. A premature baby is likely to have medical complications, especially if it is a very preterm baby. Symptoms of prematurity include small size, low body temperature, and lack of reflexes, among others (3).
4. You Are More Likely To Have Other Pregnancy Complications
As you age, pregnancy can be more challenging. Women in their 40s are more likely to have pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure compared to younger women. However, a 2015 study also found that women over the age of 40 can have healthy pregnancies with quality prenatal care (4).
Pregnancy at any age comes with its own set of risks and challenges. Whether you decide to get pregnant in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, it’s a decision that you and your partner should make. If you choose to get pregnant after 40, know that you can have a healthy pregnancy and baby, provided you follow your doctor’s advice and consult your healthcare provider of any issues.