Having a Baby in Your 40s – The Benefits of Late Motherhood

Having a baby in your 40s equals a longer life, say researchers. The benefits of late motherhood range from financial to physical, and include social and emotional. Some women prefer to have their babies while they’re young, others think waiting until they’ve “experienced life” is better.

Having a Baby in Your 40sTaking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler is the book you need to read if you’re thinking about having a baby in your 40s.

Remember that there are pros and cons to having babies in any stage of life. If you’re trying to get pregnant and feel hopeless, take this advice from writer Elizabeth Gilbert: “The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust, and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams.”

If you’re coping with infertility – don’t give up hope! Hope for your own pregnancy, hope for a family that may not develop the way you expect or plan, and hope that your dreams will come true. If you’re looking at late motherhood and having a baby in your 40s, let this scientific research give you hope…

Having a Baby in Your 40s – The Benefits of Late Motherhood

According to the University of Utah, women how have babies naturally in the 40s or 50s tend to live longer than other women (it may be different for women coping with infertility and using in vitro fertilization or other solutions for infertility).

“If women in your family give birth at older ages, you may well have a chance of living longer than you would otherwise,” says the study’s lead author, Ken Smith, a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah. “If you have a female relative who had children after age 45, then there may be some genetic benefit in your family that will enhance your longevity.” Heredity – far more than environmental factors – plays a role in prolonged fertility and longer lifespans.

Having a baby after age 45?!

This study shows that women who had “late fertility” – a birth at age 45 or older – were 14 to 17% less likely to die during any year after age 50 than women who did not deliver a child after age 40. Smith says scientists believe genes account for up to 25% of differences in longevity.

Other studies found that late menopause also is associated with women having prolonged fertility and longevity. So the later your menopause is, the longer you may live! And the more chances you have to have a baby in your 40s.

having baby in your 40s
“Having a Baby in Your 40s” image by Laurie

Other Benefits of Late Motherhood

  • Greater financial security
  • Emotional and social stability
  • Greater psychological well-being
  • More stable marriage and other relationships
  • Stable job or career

What do you think of these benefits of late motherhood, or having a baby in your 40s? 

I think I’d be a much, much better mom now when I was in my 20s or 30s! I’m 39, and trying in vitro fertilization (IVF) next month. As a 40 year old woman having a baby, I’m calmer, healthier, and more centered than I was even just a couple years ago. I’m a big fan of late motherhood.

If you want to be a mom and you’re over 40, read 15 Things You Need to Know About Pregnancy After 40.

Source of this research about living longer if you have a baby in your 40s: Late Motherhood Boosts Family Lifespan from the University of Utah. May 4, 2009. This study will be published in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences.

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