Getting Pregnant in your 40s: What to Expect

Getting Pregnant in your 40s: What to ExpectChances are, you’ve met or know a first-time mom in her 40s. A few decades ago, this was not as common as it is today. While overall fertility has not changed for a woman living in her 40s, the fertility treatments available to women who want to start a family later in life are more effective than before. Are you considering a late start to your own family? We’ve got some facts and insights into what pregnancy and raising a baby in your 40s will be like if that’s the path you want to follow.

When you reach your 40th birthday, your chances for naturally getting pregnant have decreased heavily from your earlier years. It’s a startling statistic, but less than 1 percent of women 40-44 have babies. Conceiving without the help of hormone therapy depends largely on your overall health, fitness, and if you’re trying for your first baby. To increase the likelihood of getting pregnant in your 40s, make sure to practice good eating habits and exercise regularly. These aren’t pregnancy guarantees, but being healthy will not lessen your chances. You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes or experience issues with hypertension during pregnancy, so practicing good habits and taking nutritional supplements (folic acid!) will help keep issues at bay.

If you do get pregnant and deliver in your 40s, it will be harder for your body to return to its former state than before. Sagging breasts, stretch marks—these are unavoidable body changes for moms at any age, but you’ve already lost a lot of elasticity due to age. If you’re struggling to conceive naturally, approach a doctor about donor eggs and other fertility options sooner rather than later, because after 45 your chance for conceiving through IVF drops significantly. Miscarriage rates increase as you enter your 40s, so talk to your doctor about progesterone hormone therapy or other ways to try and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

What other factors do you bring to the table as a more mature mother—by your 40s, you’re at a financially more sound point than you were in your 20s (no more Ramen for dinner!) and you have a deep pool of personal experience to draw patience for parenting. You’ve given yourself time to grow into your own person, most likely with a stable, long-lasting marriage or partnership, and you’re able to offer your child more comprehensive stability. While you might not be as energetic as a younger mom, your feathers will not be as easily ruffled by tense, emotionally-draining situations, simply because you’ve lived through more experience.

Physically speaking, getting pregnant in your 40s is the most challenging time to do so. Our best advice is to start preparing early into your fourth decade, because your fertility will drop quickly as years pass. Getting in touch with a fertility specialist will help you know what options you and your partner have should you have trouble conceiving naturally. If you do get pregnant, you’ll have to monitor you and your baby’s health closely, because the risk of complications goes up with age.

As a mom at any age, what matters most is the love and unconditional care you provide for your baby. We’re happy to support moms of any age at Loving Moments.