Believe it or not, the number of births to women aged over 50 is soaring.
A few years ago Janet Jackson gave birth at age 50, to son Eissa. You may also remember US Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down in 2004. She gave birth in 2018 and she too was 50.
If you’re considering having a baby after 50, you may be wondering about the risks and benefits of being an older mom.
Believe it or not there are some benefits. That said there are also risks. We’ve detailed both in what we’ve found from WebMD has said about the Benefits of Pregnancy After 50.
Your Son May Be Smarter…
If your baby’s father is also older, there’s good news. A group of researchers came up with a “Geek score” for boys. The score included IQ, ability to focus on interests, and concern about fitting in with their peers. Boys of older dads were found to have higher IQs and be more focused on their interests. They were also less concerned about fitting in. These are traits that can indicate future academic success.
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Your Preschooler May Have An Edge In Health and Development…
Children born to older mothers showed improved health and development compared to children born to younger mothers. In one study, older maternal age was associated with increased immunization rates, fewer unintentional injuries, and fewer hospitalizations at age 5. They also had more developed language skills and fewer social and emotional problems.
You’ll Be More Patient…
Older moms tend to be more patient. They are better at setting boundaries. They are also less likely to yell at their kids or punish them harshly. As a result, their kids have fewer behavioral, social, and emotional issues. A study showed that older moms also had less anxiety during pregnancy. They were in more stable relationships and were financially better off.
You’ll Be Smarter When You’re Older…
A study of 800 women from ages 41 to 92 showed that those who had their last baby after age 35 scored better on tests of verbal memory and thinking. It also showed that women who used contraceptives for over 10 years had higher executive function and problem-solving skills later in life.
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Risks of Pregnancy After 50…
While there are a lot of benefits to having a baby when you’re older, there are some risks as well. The medical term for women over 35 is advanced maternal age (AMA). It’s worth discussing the risks of pregnancy with your doctor, including being more likely to:
– Have twins or triplets
– Develop gestational diabetes
– Develop high blood pressure
– Have a premature birth
– Need a C-section
– Have a baby with chromosome problems such as Down Syndrome
– Have a pregnancy loss
You May Need Specialized Care During Pregnancy…
An over 50 pregnancy should be monitored more closely and might mean you need more care, including:
– Preconception counseling to discuss risks
– Expert assessment of the risks to you and your baby ¨C29C- More frequent prenatal visits ¨C30C- Ongoing monitoring of your baby’s progress ¨C31C- A carefully planned delivery ¨C32C- Birth defect screening, testing, and counseling ¨C33C- Management of any existing conditions ¨C34C- Early testing and treatment for gestational diabetes and hypertension
While not necessarily easy, if you want to have a baby in your 50s and you haven’t hit menopause yet, you certainly have options. Before you try to conceive, talk to your doctor about your health and whether there are any risk factors that could interfere.
The number of eggs you have naturally decline exponentially throughout your 40s and 50s. So if you haven’t had luck conceiving naturally within a few months, ask your OB-GYN for a referral to a fertility specialist.
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