Celebrity News Is Buzzing With The News That Actress Kelly Preston Is Pregnant Again At 47 Years Old. 42-Year-Old Singer Celine Dion Just Announced That She Is Pregnant With Twins, After Her Sixth Attempt At IVF. While Expecting Is A Joyous Occasion,
From fertility treatments to natural conception – even a “surprise” baby later in life – here are 5 things women considering pregnancy after 45 should know:
1. Conceiving after 45 isn’t always easy
Kelly Preston hasn’t told the press if she conceived naturally or through assisted reproductive technology, but it’s important to know that for most women over 45, it’s likely the latter. “Most women are infertile after the age of 45 years old,” says Dr. Jennifer Wu, a board certified OB/GYN affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “The majority of women who wait until 45 to try to conceive will need assistance, either in the form of fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization or with donor eggs from younger donors.” If you are concerned about infertility – the inability to conceive after trying for six months once you’re over 35 years old – talk to your doctor about connecting with a fertility specialist.
2. Certain pregnancy risks increase with age
Expectant moms of all ages should talk to their healthcare providers about how to have a healthy pregnancy and options for prenatal and genetic testing, but there are certain things that may affect older moms more. “When a 45 year old gets pregnant with her own eggs, the major genetic risk is Down's syndrome,” explains Dr. Wu. “The risk is approximately 5%. Even with donor eggs, when a 45 year old is pregnant, there are increased risks of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean section.”
3. Yes, pregnancy can happen naturally
Although the odds may be stacked against mid-life moms conceiving naturally, many do – it may even come as a surprise!
Mary Ellen K., mother of four in British Columbia, Canada says, “It wasn't at all difficult to conceive after forty-five. In fact, Elliott was an enormous surprise! We were open to having more children, but we weren't trying. Our third child, Philip, was born when I was forty-four, so I probably shouldn't have been astonished to be pregnant again, but I was!”
4. Your age may affect labor and birth
In addition to the risk of preeclampsia and cesarean section that Dr. Wu mentions, according to the March of Dimes women over 35 have increased risk of miscarriage, placenta previa, premature delivery or still birth.
While it’s always important to understand risks, know that you may not experience any of these complications, regardless of age. “Elliot was born at home when I was 46,” Mary Ellen K. explains, “My labor with him was the easiest of all four labors.”
5. Later in life motherhood brings special rewards
The possibility of medical risks aside, many mid-life moms extol the virtues of waiting until later in life to become moms – like climbing the career ladder or travelling the world before trying to balance it all with babies.
After getting married and having her kids after 40, Angel La Liberte started Flower Power Mom, The Truth About Motherhood After 40. “Acknowledge your gift,” she tells midlife moms, “a mother’s fierce, tender love, entwined with a ‘grandmother’s cup’ brimming with life’s wisdom.”
“One of the advantages of having children later than most mothers is that I'm less concerned than many young mothers about proving myself and about what others think of the way we raise our children," says Mary Ellen. "Relax, enjoy your children.”
“Don't worry about the time warp you feel when you meet the parents of your child's friends and discover they were born when you were in your twenties. Who knows, you may be arranging play dates with the grandchildren of your high school classmates. You'll probably find yourselves enjoying friends from your generation and the one that came after you. In a few years you'll be translating popular youth culture for your fifty-something friends.”
Video: Pregnancy after age 35
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