The Pros and Cons of Having a Baby Over 40

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Are There More 40+ Women Having Babies?

If it seems to you like more and more women over the age of 40 are having babies then you’re right. According to the CDC, in 2010 the number of women giving birth in the age 40 to 44 age bracket rose 4 percent over the year before.

The Pros and Cons of Having a Baby Over 40

Despite the increasing number of women having children past the age of 40, there are certain risks associated with it. While women over 40 who become pregnant try to remain positive, the fact is that the chances of anything going wrong with the pregnancy is going to be multiplied. The picture is not all grim, however, as there are some very real benefits to giving birth after the age of 40.

The Risks
Women over the age of 40 risk having a miscarriage. They are twice as likely to have a miscarriage as a 20 year old woman. In fact, 1 out of every 2 women over the age of 40 will miscarry. There is also the higher risk of the fetus being born with a chromosomal disorder. This is because a woman’s eggs age as she does and as they get older genetic abnormalities develop in the eggs. At the age of 49, one out of every ten births will result in the baby being born with Down syndrome, compared to one out of over a thousand at the age of 25. Women over the age of 40 also face higher risks of gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.

When a woman over the age of 40 becomes pregnant she will have to undergo genetic counseling and her pregnancy will be very closely monitored. She will be offered an opportunity for several tests early in her pregnancy to try to determine the health of the fetus.

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