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 of women over 40, giving birth for the first time, increased 50%. 10 years ago a woman’s biological clock began sound the alarm, 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. Prenatal 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 in 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 is not in a high-risk group already.
Really, if a woman over 35 is physically healthy, does not 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 is 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 following moments.
Firstly, it may be difficult for you to become pregnant. There is 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 is 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 in 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 fibroid, 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 will 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 are 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 is in rush to meddle. Unfortunately, you should not 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 differ little.
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 is proven that older women do not suffer from ambivalence of feelings during pregnancy and go through inner conflicts seldom. They treat pregnancy rather like God’s bless, not because they could not give birth in earlier age. Knowledge of who you are and what you want comes with age and experience.
You are more disciplined and live in harmony with yourself.
You understand 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 women, who were going to give birth for the first time, 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 has not 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 does not think that a baby “pulls her back”, when she is 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 are other things, which should be taken into account. Although now women give birth in older age, there is still a moment, when it is 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 is a danger of generation gap. Many parents, who gave birth lately, turn to be too busy to feel old.
Late maternity obliges you to remain young. You response to everything, take part in everything.