“I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.” – Oprah
Motherhood is mind-blowing, and it comes with countless blessings.
Yet, I also respect women who choose not to have children, I know many whose blessing arrived earlier than planned, and many who plan it for a long time, but have several things to complete in mind before they try to conceive.
Many people tend to judge and terrify women who plan to become mothers later in life. Pregnancy after the age of 35 is believed to come with many risks. This age is often referred to as an “advanced maternal age”.
Yet, nowadays, many women choose to reach their 30s or 40s to start a family due to various reasons, like developing a healthy relationship, creating a home, building a career, and becoming financially stable.
Scientists now explain that conceiving at a later stage in life is both, doable, and beneficial. Things have changed in the past few decades, so women in their 30’s and 40’s are generally healthy to have a baby.
Lauren Streicher, M.D., an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says:
“It’s not like everything is fine at 34 and then something terrible happens at 35,” adding:
“I tell patients that, biologically, women are meant to have babies in their twenties, but I would never say that you have to have your baby before 35.”
Dr. Juli Fraga, a San-Francisco-based psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive health, explains:
“It’s normal to be concerned about later age pregnancy, and yet women at the age of 35 are generally healthy and can have babies. Even with fertility issues, there are many ways to help families have children, through IVF, donor eggs, or surrogacy.”
According to The National Center for Health Statistics, these women are actually the fastest-growing group of women who are having children.
Numerous celebrities have also announced their first pregnancy later in life, such as Meghan Markle, Carrie Underwood, and Halle Berry. Having a baby comes with its challenged regardless of the age of the mother, so many girls decide to wait before they start a family.
A 2004 study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, headed by David Dunson, found that if they had sex at least twice weekly, 82 percent of 35-to-39-year-old women conceive within a year, compared with 86 percent of 27-to-34-year-olds.
Also, a study of 2,820 Danish women, published in Fertility and Sterility and led by Kenneth Rothman of Boston University, showed that if they had sex during their fertile periods, 78 percent of 35-to-40-year-olds got pregnant within a year, compared with 84 percent of 20-to-34-year-olds.
What’s more, a study published in the New England Centenarian showed that women who give birth later in life were four times more likely to live to 100 than women who had children at a younger age.
Moreover, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that this might even lead to a happier and less stressful life.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society pointed out that motherhood is beneficial for older women, as the flood of hormones is advantageous for them. Plus, it sharpens the mind, boosts memory, and improves problem-solving skills and mental reasoning.
Therefore, if you still haven’t started a family, and you are close to 35 or 40, just relax. You are still able to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Just keep your positive attitude and make sure your body is healthy and strong to welcome the new life. To prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy, doctors recommend eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and exercising.