Getting Pregnant in your 40s: What to Expect

Getting Pregnant in your 40s: What to ExpectChances are, you’ve met or know a first-time mom in her 40s. A few decades ago, this was not as common as it is today. While overall fertility has not changed for a woman living in her 40s, the fertility treatments available to women who want to start a family later in life are more effective than before. Are you considering a late start to your own family? We’ve got some facts and insights into what pregnancy and raising a baby in your 40s will be like if that’s the path you want to follow.

When you reach your 40th birthday, your chances for naturally getting pregnant have decreased heavily from your earlier years. It’s a startling statistic, but less than 1 percent of women 40-44 have babies. Conceiving without the help of hormone therapy depends largely on your overall health, fitness, and if you’re trying for your first baby. To increase the likelihood of getting pregnant in your 40s, make sure to practice good eating habits and exercise regularly. These aren’t pregnancy guarantees, but being healthy will not lessen your chances. You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes or experience issues with hypertension during pregnancy, so practicing good habits and taking nutritional supplements (folic acid!) will help keep issues at bay.

If you do get pregnant and deliver in your 40s, it will be harder for your body to return to its former state than before. Sagging breasts, stretch marks—these are unavoidable body changes for moms at any age, but you’ve already lost a lot of elasticity due to age. If you’re struggling to conceive naturally, approach a doctor about donor eggs and other fertility options sooner rather than later, because after 45 your chance for conceiving through IVF drops significantly. Miscarriage rates increase as you enter your 40s, so talk to your doctor about progesterone hormone therapy or other ways to try and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

What other factors do you bring to the table as a more mature mother—by your 40s, you’re at a financially more sound point than you were in your 20s (no more Ramen for dinner!) and you have a deep pool of personal experience to draw patience for parenting. You’ve given yourself time to grow into your own person, most likely with a stable, long-lasting marriage or partnership, and you’re able to offer your child more comprehensive stability. While you might not be as energetic as a younger mom, your feathers will not be as easily ruffled by tense, emotionally-draining situations, simply because you’ve lived through more experience.

Physically speaking, getting pregnant in your 40s is the most challenging time to do so. Our best advice is to start preparing early into your fourth decade, because your fertility will drop quickly as years pass. Getting in touch with a fertility specialist will help you know what options you and your partner have should you have trouble conceiving naturally. If you do get pregnant, you’ll have to monitor you and your baby’s health closely, because the risk of complications goes up with age.

As a mom at any age, what matters most is the love and unconditional care you provide for your baby. We’re happy to support moms of any age at Loving Moments.

Getting Pregnant in Your 30s: What to Expect

Getting Pregnant in Your 30s: What to Expect

Since the 1990s, the number of women who start families in their 30s has steadily risen according to data from the CDC. But between ages 30-39 there are large differences in the rates at which women are getting pregnant for the first time. This data, combined with later marriages and more focus on careers, helps to explain why more women are choosing to have children in their 30s than before. But what can you expect from your body when you’re trying to conceive after 29? We have some family planning and health statistics that give a realistic view of what getting pregnant in your 30s will be like if you’re ready to have a baby.

If you’re in your 30s when you try to conceive, your body is not as response as it was in your 20s. Experts report that fertility begins to decline at age 30, but don’t fear—this is a gradual change, not a sudden one. We’ve all heard the phrase “your biological clock is ticking” but that does not mean that a healthy, full-term pregnancy is out of the question in your 30s. Once pregnant, you will have a higher risk for hypertension and high blood pressure, and developing gestational diabetes is more common for women in your age range than younger moms-to-be. Taking supplements, focusing on healthy eating, and regular exercise are lifestyle habits that will keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy.

Some couples will seek a doctor’s help for infertility treatment if they do not have success getting pregnant. Doctors will usually recommend that a couple have unprotected sex for a full year before seeking In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment if the woman is under 35; after 35, your doctor might send you to a specialist after 6 months of consistent unprotected sex. At the tail end of your 30s, your eggs have aged to the point where fertilization is more difficult than before. Again, being open and honest with your doctor about your family planning experience will help you find more success getting pregnant. If you feel as though you need to seek infertility treatment, don’t delay—some clinics do not accept patients after 40.

Having a baby in your 30s will most likely not cause the same kinds of emotional or financial stress on you or your relationship the way it might on a younger couple. You and your partner are probably entrenched in a job and enjoy financial security that many younger couples do not have right out of school. Also, a woman in her 30s is less likely to feel body-conscious while gaining pregnancy weight than a younger woman. If you’ve been married for a number of years, you might feel more prepared to start a family because you’ve had the luxury of unhindered alone time with your partner. Talk to your partner, begin to talk about whether or not you’ll return to work and if so when that may happen (especially if financials are concerned), and enjoy the process of starting a family.

Even though you’ve passed your most fertile years, many older couples have found success with treatments and you should not let your fears about getting pregnant eclipse the family planning journey. Doctors are much more knowledgeable about infertility options than past years and will help you find the right method if you should need some help. Pregnancy at any age is a beautiful experience, and focusing on creating a happy, healthy baby is the first priority for parents-to-be.