We all know that 40 is the new 20. But is this the case for pregnant women giving birth too? If current trends hold, then yes. So many women today are now comfortable waiting until their forties to finally have a child. Most have studied, had a career and travelled the world and are finally ready to be moms.
But are they ready for all the challenges a pregnancy at their age entails? Experienced and mature by now, they should be. They know that due to their age, they must be vigilant about checkups and about treating their bodies like temples before conceiving and during pregnancy.
Studies have shown that women over 40 who were at a healthy weight when they conceived lowered their risk for Caesarean section, premature birth, low birth-weight, and gestational diabetes, which is particularly common for women in their late thirties and forties. And while a 20-year-old mom-to-be has a one in 10,000 chance of delivering a baby with Down Syndrome, a 40-year-old’s odds are one in 100. Other risks they face are: preeclampsia, slightly longer labor and a higher chance of cesarean section or assisted delivery.
According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting’s Heidi Murkoff: “This shouldn’t be cause for concern. A mom-to-be in your age bracket has nearly the same odds of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby as her much younger counterparts.”
Here are 10 golden rules to follow if you’re pregnant and in your forties.
Repeat After Us: Age is an Asset, Not a Liability
“You’re so much more emotionally ready to be a parent,” Tracy Gaudet, M.D., executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C., told Fit Pregnancy. “I see in my older patients that they have more life experience—they’re more likely to honor pregnancy as the sacred experience it is.”