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Late motherhood: when are parents too old for a child?

Posted by Tanja Lier on
Späte Mutterschaft, wann sind Eltern zu alt für ein Kind?

With this blog post we want to bring you closer to a hotly debated topic. More and more women are having children at older ages. Many of them even their first. But isn't pregnancy too risky at an older age - are mother and child at risk?

Age is not a question of risk

From a medical point of view, a woman at the age of 35 is considered to be late in pregnancy. This is also referred to as a high-risk pregnancy. However, every pregnancy is different and is associated with possible risks and complications. However, age doesn't really play a role. However, the fact is that certain risks become more likely with age.

Pregnancy complications

With increasing age, the risk of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure increases. Although these are only temporary illnesses, they definitely need to be monitored by a specialist. Delivery by caesarean section is also more common than in women of younger age. However, this is not always necessary for medical reasons, such as a low-lying placenta or benign growths in the uterus, but is often the special request of a pregnant woman. The likelihood of a chromosomal disorder in the unborn child also increases at age 35. That's why there are numerous tests that provide information about possible defects, such as Down syndrome, some of which are covered by statutory health insurance companies.

Does the father's age affect pregnancy

A man can produce sperm into old age and thus father children. However, age also has an impact on the quality of the stem cells. With each cell division, the risk of mutations increases, which can result in various diseases in the baby. For this reason, in most countries sperm donors cannot be older than 40 years.

In any case, health is more important than age

However, doctors now agree that a woman in her mid-40s can experience an uncomplicated pregnancy and natural birth just as much as a much younger woman, provided she is healthy. In fact, older women today are much fitter than women from previous generations. Of course, age remains a factor that should not be underestimated. After all, it has an impact on fertility. However, weight, exercise, diet and avoiding alcohol and tobacco also play a crucial role. So if you have decided to have a child, a healthy and conscious lifestyle is the be-all and end-all, regardless of age. It is also recommended to take nutritional supplements such as folic acid, as this reduces the risk of a birth defect in a baby. Zinc is also a preparation that can have a positive effect on fertility.

Getting pregnant – the age of expectant mothers is increasing

Despite age and possible risks, more and more women are consciously deciding to have a late pregnancy. This is due to many different circumstances. Career is very often a deciding factor. Statistics even show that there is a connection between the level of education and the number of childless women between the ages of 35 and 39. But the financial situation, the right partner and personal maturity are also crucial points for a late pregnancy.

The benefits of older pregnant women

If this is not your first pregnancy, but is one at an older age, then you definitely have the advantage of being able to face some things more calmly based on experience. Psychologists see a major advantage of older mothers in better parenting with the growing child. Most women and men simply know better what they want, are more relaxed in many things and feel more confident in their actions. A long-term partnership usually also brings with it a more stable relationship structure, which in turn has a good effect on a harmonious family life. In addition, there is usually financial security and a healthier lifestyle. But whatever the reasons are, with every additional year of waiting, a woman takes on a number of biological risks.

Pregnancy at 40 is largely socially accepted

Many women have little choice but to become mothers later in life if they want to fulfill their careers first and find the right partner. Nowadays, however, late pregnancy is largely accepted in our society. However, if pregnant women are already 50, this remains controversial. For a healthy woman, pregnancy at this age should not be a problem. However, the risk of complications, genetic defects and miscarriages increases. But even at this age, most women give birth healthily. Nevertheless, it remains questionable whether you should get pregnant at 50+. Certainly, age brings with it some advantages, such as financial security, maturity and a different level of attention to children. However, you also have to be aware that you may no longer have the energy of a 20-year-old, especially when your child hits puberty. Or that you can no longer experience many of the child's important moments due to their old age. One must always be aware of the risks that come with pregnancy. But this has nothing to do with age in the first place.

The desire to have children is a very personal matter

Ultimately, a woman and her partner have to decide for themselves when they want to fulfill their desire to have children. No matter when, be happy if it worked. Pay attention to health, a balanced lifestyle and take the appropriate preventive examinations. Then the chances of a healthy pregnancy are good. Nature has surprises in store for us every day and we never know what will happen. So why not get pregnant at an older age? And no matter how old you are when you give birth, you will be happy to be able to hold your baby in your arms and remember the birth forever.

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