Women who conceive after the age of 35 are often known and referred to as an “advanced maternal age”. If you haven’t heard this medical term before, you’ve likely heard that “waiting too long to have a baby is risky.”
Why are women now waiting until they are in their 30’s or 40’s to start a family? There is not one answer to this question, as there are plenty of reasons why motherhood is now taking place at a later stage in life. It takes time to build a career, create a home, healthy relationship and a stable financial status, and these values are all important to those who are looking to start a family.
Pregnancy over the age of 35 has always been remarked as ‘dangerous and risky’. However, it’s not like everything is fine at 34 and then something magically switches at 35.
Now science is finally coming around to the fact that having a baby after 35 can be beneficial, and it shouldn’t be considered as a deterrent for healthy women.
Compared to a couple of decades ago, there’s been quite a change. Birth rates for women in the 35 to 39 age group have skyrocketed since the 1970s. Typically women in their 30’s and 40’s are generally healthy enough to conceive and The National Center for Health Statistics says that this is now the fastest-growing group of women who are now having children.
Even in the media, we are seeing more and more women announce pregnancies after the age of 35. Carrie Underwood has recently announced a pregnancy at the age of 35, Halle Berry had her first child at 41 and her second at 47, and the new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, announced her first pregnancy at the age of 37.
No matter the age or stage of life, having a baby can be a little scary, regardless. However medically speaking, it’s not unusual anymore for women to wait a little later to start or continue a family, and in many cases – it isn’t even more difficult.
There are many ongoing studies on this subject, one particular study in the New England Cenenarian found that having a baby later in life can actually help you to live longer. Another research paper called Feeling Old vs. Being Old has found that having a baby when you’re older may help you to live a happier and more carefree life.
Raising a baby also does wonders for the adult brain, a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shares how teaching and watching your baby learn and grow has been shown to improve your own memory, mental reasoning, and problem-solving skills, all of which keep your brain sharp.
So if you’re inching closer to 35 or 40 and you haven’t started a family yet… Try not to stress. You can still achieve a healthy pregnancy in this ‘advanced maternal age’.
Science confirms that conceiving at a later stage in life is not only doable, but the experience may even come with added benefits. Keep your body healthy and focus on building the life you want, you’re allowed to have a baby after 35.