Is 40 the new 25? (On Women Having Babies)

multiple-ethnic-babies

The body is ready to have babies. Nature wants it done then, when the body can handle it, not after 40, when the income can handle it.

-Toni Morrison

This quote resonates with me for two reasons. One – I’m dating, and meeting men who don’t have children and want children (#@!*&% ₩%), and two – I know quite a few women who have had babies over the age of 35. Closer to 40, in fact – and I know one woman who is expecting her first child at age 44.

Of course Halle Berry just had a baby – at the tender age of 46, but what are the implications for ‘older’ moms and their babies?

POTENTIAL ISSUES

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the risks include:

Infertility: The chance of getting pregnant in any given month decreases as you age, and the risk of miscarriage rises.

Increased risk of genetic abnormalities: As women age, their eggs do not divide as well, which could lead to genetic problems, the most common genetic disorder being Down syndrome, which causes intellectual disability and defects of the heart and other organs. The risk is still relatively low, but it goes up significantly at age 35 and older.

Halle Berry runs some errands with her daughter Nahla in Sherman Oaks, California

Loss of Pregnancy: Women older than 35 have a higher risk of miscarriage than younger women. For a woman over 40, the risk more than doubles compared to a woman in her 20s and early 30s. Most of the time, these miscarriages result from chromosomal abnormalities, and these abnormalities are more likely in women over 35.

Health problems during pregnancy: Common medical conditions in women over 40 include diabetes and high blood pressure.

Labor Problems: The risk for having labor problems increases for women over 35 and even more for women over 40 who are having their first child. Studies have shown that older women have a greater chance of prolonged second stage labor and fetal distress.

Multiple Births: The incidence of having twins or triplets is increased in later life pregnancy even without infertility drugs. Multiple-birth pregnancies are considered higher risk.

OUTLOOK for Moms Over 35

Despite higher risk for complications, the majority of older women have healthy babies. And once women are educated about potential pregnancy risks, they can more readily focus on your focus on things like proper nutrition and diet, good prenatal care, and preparation for a new addition. I.e preparing emotionally and financially for life change.

PERSPECTIVE

Ultimately, having a baby at 35+, or 18, or 25, is a personal decision for potential parents. Obviously what’s good for one person for one person, may not be good for another.

Having children later in life is also a quality of life concern. For women who have already raised children, the question becomes ‘are my 40s and beyond a time I want spend raising more children (or my first child)?, or do I want to do things I may have put off before (travel, pursuit of personal passions, etc.) for childcare of financial reasons? Or do I want to usher in new life and start a new phase with a newborn?

Friends encourage me to “have a baby for love” if I meet a man who sweeps me off my feet. While I consider that a sacrifice (even though emotional intimacy and love makes you think and feel some crazy things), they consider it a compromise. Call me selfish, but I’m not up for strollers at the mall, or weekends at home because I have no babysitter, or sleepless nights spent tending a baby, etc. I’m fertile and highly capable, but I’ve been there and done that. (And I do have rare moments when my maternal instinct kicks in and I ponder the possibilities, but lawd knows – I’ve been through too much stress already.)

Per my friend Dana who is an educator for autistic children:

If  you’re 35 and over and realize that may be your situation and you are more than ready to handle that and love that child unconditionally, GO FOR IT!

I don’t disagree with her.

Adoption is also an option. There are plenty of loving and able individuals, under and over 40, who are willing to provide loving homes to children who would not otherwise have one. Is that different than a woman opting to give birth to the child herself? Would she be going against nature?

What are your views on this issue? Is it an act of selfishness, or an act of love – or nobody’s business what women choose to do with their bodies when it comes to pregnancy over the age of 35?

Source: Later Age Pregnancy | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/pregnancy/specialcare-pregnancies/later-age-pregnancy#ixzz2iPzY4cdR
University of Maryland Medical Center



Categories: Advice, Parenting

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46 replies

  1. So ironic you posted this. My GF/baby-mama is going on 42 years. I have my only 2 kids with her, a 3 year old and 2 year old, so that’s right there in the 40 range. Whether that’s a good or bad choice is another story. It’s quite hard for a woman in her 40’s to keep up mentally with wild kids, so I guess to have kids young (actually 25) would be wiser for many reasons.

    BTW, Halle looks sexier when she’s pregnant than not ;).

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    • Lol. You would say that re: Halle.
      Yea, that is ironic. The women I know seem to be keeping up well, but I hear physically it’s more draining. Energy levels are higher in the 20s in general, but it depends on how you take care of your body. Little kids are so adorable, but being an involved parent is work.

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    • And stop calling her “baby-mama!” Lol

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      • She can be a pain in the ass 75% of the times, so the baby-mama title is fitting :). When she keeps the peace and civility, I’ll give a better title

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          • You know how y’all women can get

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            • You got a nerve! No, I don’t know.

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              • A little testy or too testy @ times :). Well at least that’s the case with my girl. She does more testing and throws more attitude than…I don’t even know. But what I think it is with my girlfriend is a bit of pre-menopausal freak out. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the closer a woman gets to menopause, the more irritable she becomes? I think I read this in a mainstream article some years ago. You probably cannot relate since you’re still my age (31 ;))?

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                • Kenny, you are hilarious. I’m not at that stage, so I don’t know. But surely you can’t be doing anything to aggravate her, right?

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                  • Lmao :lol:. Well actually, as everyone would know, I’m no model boyfriend. I mean, I pick up girls for recreation and educational purposes ;). My GF gets what I do and what I’m about and what I advocate. She isn’t happy go lucky about it but I think my lifestyle flares up a bit of resentment in her at times. And I can live with that.

                    Look @ it this way, I on a personal level, have the option of dumping my current GF of 4 years (with whom I have my only 2 kids), and get with a younger much hotter girl. But I don’t do that. Once I’m with a girl, I am with her. Not that I’ll be perfect, but I won’t dump you (unfairly) and won’t desert you.

                    So knowing that I’m the furthest thing from a perfect BF, I have to live with what she gives me which I might not like. She takes my BS and I take hers. We compromise as it should be.

                    The problem with most couples today, as conflict comes up, they cut and run instead of resolving things.

                    My GF had dumped me numerous times, once for impregmating a girl in the Bronx…I don’t know how the hell she heard all the way down in the Caribbean. But instead of moving on, I manned up and tried to patch things up as I did, when I could’ve easily picked up 20 other girls and had a festival orgy and forget about the GF.

                    All in all, I said all that to say, in spite of my promiscuous ways, I never abandoned wifey in an way. I told her up front the day we met that I subscribe to the pickup artist lifestyle so I will flirt with other women and meet other women. Not that it will happen but it might.

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                    • I would say this is real A-HOLE behavior (most women might say that), but if it’s working for your family, I guess that’s what matters? I guess you complain (and call her “baby-mama”) just to vent since neither of you are going anywhere.

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                    • No but look at it this way. You rather have a guy come into your life, impregnate you and bounce? Or would you rather he sticks around with you and the kids, but know that there is a possibility he might stray? Why not take that? Rather than getting with a man who feeds you lie that he will never cheat, to then find out he’s cheating (if he did)?

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                    • If that’s how you justify being able to do whatever the hell you want, that’s fine. Since I was 18, any man who I found out was seeing another woman got dumped, and I never looked back. It comes down to what’s working for y’all, not what every other woman would tolerate/ prefer. My tolerance levels are low.

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                    • Goddamn you beating me down on this 1. I don’t expect any woman to agree with me here. In fact, I don’t expect any man reading this to agree because most men today (in the western world) have drunk the koolaid where they agree with every agenda women push.

                      But to my original point, I think deep down, any girl in her right mind would or at least should prefer a guy to stick around even with baggages, than to be deserted with father-less kids. Look @ the black community with all these father-less kids. I want to believe that a great portion of these cases are so due to the fact that the mother/GF was unwilling to work with the father because of his so-called cheating ways. This may sound fucked-up, but I believe white women are more forgiving and understanding, which is part of the reason why the epidemic of farther-less white kids isn’t as bad as our community. Sisters just don’t want to compromise, don’t want to forgive nor understand.

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                    • Oh my goodness. No you didn’t take it to the black community. Any woman in her right mind would know that she can survive – and thrive, without a man who treats her like a piece of shit and makes her miserable. That negativity and unhappiness is unhealthy for children too. It used to be that women accepted ANYTHING (illegitimate children, disease, physical abuse, etc) because the man was the breadwinner in most cases. So men drunk the koolaid when women began coming into our own.

                      And I would argue that most broken homes in our communities aren’t caused by cheating. Relationships aren’t established on solid footing/ principles to begin with in many cases.

                      Think back to government mandates that destroyed black families as well. I.e. initiatives that didn’t allow families to receive public assistance if there was a man in the household. Then, drugs in our communities etc. I think its a very narrow-minded view that “Sisters” are responsible for the demise of the black family. Shame on you!

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                    • My bad, I didn’t mean to take it there :). That’s like the giant elephant in the room. BTW, I’m black, but why do I feel like I’m not on this subject lol!?

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                    • Probably because our views are so different on this. But you know we duke it out from time to time. I like the way you say “elephant in the room”, because I left MEN out of that piece and you lent a male perspective. Thanks. One thing we get from discussion, is food for thought.

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                    • Yep yep. A little heated debate can’t hurt nobody.

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                    • I’m not saying all those factors aren’t real. But in spite of it all, the women can work with the men more. Just as you stated, most broken holmes don’t come down to issues of cheating but an unwillingness to work things out on both ends. I mean, in my case/relationship, it would’ve been over within the first 6 months had I been the average guy who was unwilling to compromise and accept the other’s shortcomings. I mean, I’m 31. My GF is 42. That is a huge embarrassment for most men to date a woman much older when men are flocking to women 10 years younger. You get no props for dating a MILF/cougar. But I accepted that and accepted that it won’t look cool nor sound cool but it’s ok with me. We need more men in the world with my attitude instead of guys chasing after 18 year-old Blonde Bimbos.

                      #JustSaying

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                    • That’s odd. I thought MILFS were in.

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                    • Sure MILF’s are in to an extent, but it still isn’t cool. You get no props in dating a woman who have kids, stretch marks, wrinkles. Society, pop culture and the media, just don’t see that as cool, especially when you have Rihanna’s and Miley Cyrus’ running around the place.

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                    • That’s a real statement. I respect that. Two points to consider: 1) some of these younger men are impregnating milfs, and 2) even when a young man impregnates a young woman – there goes that “perfect” body.

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                    • Well I agree. And that is my main and probably only issue with the seduction/pickup community: most of the guys in this, tend to praise the super-thin women. They don’t seem to realize that if they knock her up, she may get bigger, stretch marks, etc. So the idea of the perfect body is just bullshit to me.

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                    • I don’t know what men think about thin women in the pua community. Bodies change. You either accept/ embrace it or not.

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                    • Sound like I was playing the race card 😉

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                    • I honestly don’t believe in monogamy and I believe that men should have multiple women if they desire. But because I have that belief doesn’t mean I’ll adhere to it. As much as I believe in promiscuity, I’m not single, which means I don’t have to exactly adhere to that ideology although I believe in it.

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                    • Lots of men don’t believe in monogamy — BUT, they certainly don’t want their woman sleeping around, so they compromise (or cheat).

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                    • Lol well that’s always the flip-side argument by women, “well if men can do it, why can’t we”!? The man’s argument on this is so complex, I can’t even get into it but I have blogged about it many times.

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  2. my mom had me at 38 and the only abnormality i have is possibly my inability to think simple (apparently). it should be a very carefully thought out process though as it seems the cons about it are very dangerous

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  3. I think the younger the better. My girl is 24 so babies are in the future within the next few years. We want to get married before the kids though.

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  4. I had my son (2nd child) the same year I turned 37. I believe its a personal choice. No one has to take care of the baby but that woman.

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  5. It’s nobody’s business what age a woman decides to have a baby. My friends are between 40-45 years old and have given birth to heathy babies. The women are smart, full of life, energetic and have a lot of support from family and friends. It’s a non-issue to me.

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