For last 15 years number of women who gave birth for the first time in the age
between 30 and 39 years increased more than twice. For the same period number
women over 40, giving birth for the first time, increased 50%. 10 years ago a
woman’s biological clock began ringing discomposedly, when she was 30. Today the
first ring sounds somewhere in 35 or even after 40.
Why does this happen? One of the reasons – is more safety. Pre-natal
researches reduced women’s over 40 danger of giving birth to babies with genetic
defects till the level of 20 y.o. girls. New methods of sterility treatment
appeared, which women over 35 often suffer from. New achievements of medicine
the sphere of helping a future mother, suffering from chronic disease or in case
of complicated passing of pregnancy, allowed women giving birth to normal,
healthy babies. Rather safe methods of contraception and such popular persons,
like Hollywood actress Kim Basinger, who became a model exemplary, first gave
birth being over 40, also contributed to popularization of an opinion “it’s
never too late”. Now many women consider that they can delay giving birth to a
baby without any risk for themselves till some certain time, and this means –
until they receive education, reach success in carrier, strengthen their
financial situation and find an appropriate soul mate.
Indeed, many women
give birth lately not because they wish to. Late pregnancy can be a result of
sterility, late entering into marriage or second marriage.
Which age is the best one for giving birth?
Although according medical prescriptions the best age for giving birth is
between 20 and 24 years, many women feel that they are not emotionally ready for
it in this age. For some women, whose childhood passed in 50-60ies, this age was
rather a prolonged awkward age, than a beginning of adult life. Such shift means
that women reach emotional maturity 10 years after peak of physical maturity.
But nowadays a woman who became pregnant being 35 isn’t in a high-risk group
Really, if a woman over 35 is physically healthy, doesn’t suffer
from sterility, had no miscarriages, her chances to give birth to a normal,
healthy baby are almost the same like a 20 y.o. girl has.
How to value a degree of risk?
Pregnancy after 35, of course, cannot be completely free from risk, but it’s
not so high, like you think, and in many cases it can be reduced to minimum. Not
very young woman, who wishes to give birth for the first time, should remember
Firstly, it may be difficult for you to become pregnant. There’s documental
information that ability to give birth reduces after 35 years little by little.
Even not mentioning such negative factor, like premature menopause, this
means that you can conceive in one day, and cannot in other. It may require 6-12
months from you, instead of 4, to conceive.
But greater danger, which traps
an older woman that is pregnant for the first time is connected with giving
birth to a baby with genetic defects, especially Down syndrome.
Statistics shows that for 40 y.o. woman a danger to give birth to a baby with
Down syndrome is 9 times higher, than for 30 y.o. one. For 40 y.o. woman a
probability of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome is less 1%. And,
although risk increases with age, for 45 y.o. woman it’s 3%, i.e. if looking
from other side, a probability of giving birth to a healthy baby is 97%. Women
over 35 have health complications during pregnancy more often, in particular
this concerns diabetes and high blood pressure, which are peculiar to people of
older age in general. About 6% of women over 35 suffer from such complications
in comparison with 1,3% of younger ones. According to statistics, women of older
age may suffer from complications of pregnancy, including abruption of placenta
and pathologic condition of fetus, which require medical operation, and can have
very serious after-effects for both mother and baby health. Risk of miscarriage
increases too. Delivery can be complicated and prolonged, and these are main
prescriptions for Cesarean section, which is quite popular now. However,
researches showed that on average duration of delivery of women, giving birth
older age, exceeded duration of delivery of young ones only on 45 minutes.
For women over 35 a risk of problems connected with endometriosis and
fibroids, which may affect fertility and passing of pregnancy, increases.
But all this sorts of dangers can be reduced to minimum, if a woman, who,
most likely, plans her pregnancy carefully, prepares herself physically for
coming pregnancy beforehand.
Fetus organs are formed during first 12 weeks
of pregnancy, and in this period fetus is most wounded, as doctors consider, so,
if you eat well, refuse from nicotine and alcohol, caffeine and drugs, start
taking vitamins and do physical exercises, you’ll increase your chances to bear
pregnancy easily and well and give birth to a healthy baby. However, pregnancy
is not the time for starting physical exercises, doctors warn. You need to
prepare yourself physically for this, before you become pregnant, then it will
be easier for you to cope with problems, if they appear.
A correct valuation
of real risk can become a woman of older age to reduce stress while pregnancy,
which often leads to complications during childbirth. Every emotion is
accompanied by changes in organism’s biochemistry. If you consider you’re ill,
you may become ill in fact.
If a woman is about 40, and she is going to give birth for the first time,
while first sings of some problem a doctor begins to work. He’s in rush to
meddle. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t completely trust to previous researches of
women of older genital age. Somewhere women of this age either had many
children, and everything was not ok with their health, or these were women, who
had been trying to become pregnant for a long time – may be, last 15 years, but
they had miscarriages.
In researches, which were held recently, main
attention was paid to women, who corresponded to a modern demographic situation
to a greater extent: these women, as a rule, belonged to a middle class, were
well-educated, gave birth to first, not 10th baby. If not taking into account
fact of sterility, then women of older genital age and their younger sisters
Right choice of time
It becomes absolutely obvious, that late maternity has a range of advantages.
Women, who are not in a hurry to give birth to babies, turn to be best prepared
for bearing and growing babies. It’s proven that older women don’t suffer from
ambivalence of feelings during pregnancy and go through inner conflicts seldom.
They treat pregnancy rather like God’s bless, not because they couldn’t give
birth in earlier age. Knowledge of who you are and what you want comes with age
You’re more disciplined and live in harmony with yourself.
what you will have to refuse from and what expects you.
Pregnancy in later
years usually falls on time of deep reflections, two mature persons take this
decision, having big life experience. Depending of a wife’s age, they can see
the “last chance” in it, and to treat it like a precious gift of destiny.
Research showed that late baby means especially a lot for a mother; a woman
in such age is less subjected to stress, is more open and interested in learning
new, than young mommies.
Late baby comes in world like a beloved gift for a
woman, who knows what she wants. In one American hospital a research was carried
out, when they compared feelings of primara women of different ages: it was
discovered that women of older age group felt less stress during pregnancy, than
very young women, despite of heightened risk of giving birth to a baby with
genetic defects, despite of the fact that a baby will most likely change her
usual life more. Older woman, majority of which got married later, according to
researchers’ opinion, have more chances to become more self-confident,
independent, feel better, and this improves their mood during pregnancy.
Although when childbirth approaches, they may feel oppressed, but not so much,
like young women.
Moreover, older woman, who dedicated all her young years
for carrier, can treat pregnancy like an opportunity to try herself in what was
left blank in her life. Unlike a young woman, who hasn’t found her place in the
world yet, an older mother is less inclined to expect that her baby will become
a realization of her dreams. She also doesn’t think that a baby “pulls her
back”, when she’s trying to finish her achievements. Majority of mothers who
gave birth late have already taken care to become professionals.
The reverse of the medal
Late maternity, of course, has negative sides. Women of older genital age
recover from delivery not so quick, like young women.
Some women encounter
difficulties to get used to requirements, connected with baby care, as they have
been taking care only of themselves for so many years. A very organized woman
feels bad in a situation, when everything – pregnancy, delivery, taking care of
a baby – cannot be planned, like this happens most often. As for late pregnancy,
there’re other things, which should be taken into account. Although now women
give birth in older age, there’s still a moment, when it’s too late to give
birth. Parents have to restrict with only baby or give birth with very short
interval. Some opponents of late childbirth point out that parents spoil them
too often - a syndrome of precious baby, - especially if this is an only baby.
However, such tendency can be observed in any age group.
We also need to
dwell on other arithmetic. At 35, 40 a woman may simultaneously play a role of
both a newly-made mother and a nurse for her old parents.
Mother with grey hair
Which types of role models can grey-haired parents offer to teenagers?
Because of big age difference between parents and a child there’s a danger of
generation gap. Many parents, who gave birth lately, turn to be too busy to feel
Late maternity obliges you to remain young. You response to everything,
take part in everything.