Having Children Later in Life: Is It Dangerous?

January 26, 2019
In recent times, many women have begun putting pregnancy off until a later age. This is due to several different factors. As a result, having children later in life is becoming more and more common.

However, this can have possible consequences on the expectant mother’s health. Take note of the risks and dangers that mothers are exposed to during advanced age pregnancies.

What are advanced age pregnancies?

An estimated 1 in 10 couples experience advanced age pregnancies. This term refers to pregnancies that occur after a women reaches the age of 35 or older. 

This considerably increases a woman’s chances of suffering illnesses and complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and miscarriage. Therefore, these pregnancies require strict monitoring and frequent checkups.

Risks of becoming pregnant at an older age

If women are in good health, then a high percentage of those who decide to get pregnant after age 35 don’t suffer risks. However, some women may face complications that put both their own lives as well as their baby’s at risk. 

Below are some of the complications related to having children later in life.

High blood pressure

An estimated 10% of all pregnant women experience high blood pressure at some point or another during gestation. The chances increase when women reach 35 or 40 years of age.

Having Children Later in Life: Is It Dangerous?

Premature birth

An estimated 9% of pregnancies in women over the age of 40 result in premature birthThis is due mainly to the reduced capacity of the uterus to carry the baby.

Chromosome alterations

Another risk related to pregnancies at an older age are congenital malformations. As the human body gets older, a woman’s eggs start to lose their ability to divide. This can lead to genetic problems.

The most common genetic alteration that occurs as a result of advanced age pregnancies is Down’s Syndrome. This condition involves mental disability, heart problems, and other health risks for the baby.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a risk that is common in all pregnancies. However, the chances of suffering from gestational diabetes doubles in women over 38 years of age.

This condition is the result of pregnancy-related changes that reduce the efficiency of insulin and increase blood sugar levels.

Other pathologies

Various other complications can appear during advanced age pregnancies. These include placenta previa, miscarriage, multiple births, preeclampsia, edema and low birth weight.

Just the same, it’s important to keep in mind that, in most cases, these pregnancies have happy endings. This is thanks to advanced medicine and special care of the mother and baby. 

When possible, it’s best to consult with your doctor before trying to get pregnant to guarantee a healthy process.

“An estimated 9% of pregnancies in women over the age of 40 result in premature birth”

Advantages to having children later in life

Not everything is negative when it comes to conceiving after age 35. Those who have faced this situation have accepted the challenge and overcome it with plenty of love.

Although pregnancy at this stage of life poses its risks, success is possible given the following advantages:

  • Some women make a conscious decision to wait until later on to have children. If that’s the case, it’s common for these women to be in good health, follow a balanced diet and exercise. All of these factors contribute greatly to a healthy pregnancy.
  • Having children later in life may also have its economic advantages. Older couples are often more economically prepared to face the expenses that pregnancy and parenthood present.
Having Children Later in Life: Is It Dangerous?
  • These pregnancies tend to be intentional and very sought after. Therefore, the babies are loved and taken care of with a great amount of love.
  • Emotionally and psychologically, couples tend to be more stable at this point.
  • Parents who wait to have children later on avoid the thoughts of having missed out on certain things before conceiving.
  • Experts indicate that woman over the ages of 35 or 40 have a better understanding of their own bodies. This allows them to take better care of themselves. Therefore, they pay more attention to things like nutrition and physical fitness.

There are a wide variety of advantages to having children later in life. What matters most is that parents are realistic when taking on the roles of mother and father at this age. If they do, they will be sure to form happy families because they make a point to dedicate time to their little ones.

In conclusion, is it dangerous to have children later on in life? It can be because the risk of complication is higher. However, a balanced diet, moderate exercise and healthy habits make a huge difference. Remember to talk to a trusted doctor about any questions or concerns that you may have.