18 answers

How Old Is Too Old to Have a Baby?!

Is 36 1/2 too old to have a baby? I'm sure some of you are laughing at my question, but in all seriousness, am I tempting fate a little bit too much here? I already have two beautiful girls, ages 4 1/2 and almost 7. I'm not really thinking about a third because I want a boy (although that would be a pleasant surprise) I know the risks of having a baby with problems rises after age 35. I don't want to risk that, knowing how it would change my life and the lives of my girls. But I am very healthy, eat well, work out at least 5 days a week. I know that has nothing to do with genetics though. I'd love to hear your opinions (and medical advice if you have it) Thanks!

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Featured Answers

First of all, you guys are ALL AWESOME!

K., thank you for posting this b/c this is a question i've been struggling with too. My husband wants "one more try" -- we have 2 - and I am SO on the fence. One day I lean one way, the next, another. And age ( I am right there with you) is a HUGE factor in this.

Thank you, and all the best ~

More Answers

Hi K.,
Thirty six is fine, K.. I had my son when I was 2 months shy of 41. Not by choice; we'd been trying for years, gave up, then surprise! :o). He is healthy, keeps me young and gives us joy every day.

A word about "going back to the well" for another child: yes, having a child is a risk -- at 22 or 40. If you are worried, you need to decide up front what you would do if you found out something was wrong. And there are so many false positives with the CVS test, that it's hard to rely on that one.

If you feel like you are incomplete without another child, then by all means, try. If it's meant to be, it will be. If not, then ask yourself the hard questions so many have already posted. Ask yourself how life would change? Would you resent the child for changing your life -- or blame yourself for changing your family's life?

Another child will change your family -- consider all the possibilities and do what's in your heart. Good luck!

In my opinion, you are not to old to have another baby and I am sure there are other moms out there who will agree. If that is what you and your family want then go for it. Like the saying goes. If it's meant to be it will happen.
Good luck

Hi K.,
No you are not too old. My SIL just had a kid at 42. My mom was 41 w/ my brother and my Grandma was 47 w/ her last (back in the 50s).
We were talking about this the other day at work and my co-worker had this thought. Don't worry about whether you're too old now, but how old you'll be when the child is in elementary school, middle school, high school, college and all you'll be expected to do then. Field trips, helping at school, homework, prom, graduation, etc. My mom was 47 when my brother started school, I was 20 (15 yr diff). There were numerous time were people thought that I was his mom, and that his mom was his grandma. (do the math people!) I think that's what bothered my mom the most.
My suggestion is to keep your mind and heart open. If you are meant to have another child, you will.

Hi, K.,

I had my first baby at 37 (conceived at 36). Yes, your risk of genetic issues does rise with age, but I know many, many people who have had babies over age 35 and have had no problems. My daughter does have Down syndrome, but I will tell you, she is the most incredible joy in my life. She just turned 2, and is the sweetest, funniest, brightest little girl! I know many other people with children with Down syndrome who feel the same way, too, and wouldn't change anything about their kids. If you like, you can e-mail me privately, or even check us out at www.thebatesmotel3.blogspot.com or www.flickr.com/photos/bateminx.
Don't worry, though--the odds are still against having any genetic issues--they just increase.

well here is my story. i conceived my son at 35, turned 36 the next month, had him and 4 months later turned 37. he is healthy and i would not change anything. i had a great pregnancy. my age seemed to be more an issue with my doctor in va. i moved to va 6-7 months pregnant. my former dr never made my age an issue. i am 39 now and am considering having another even with the risks as i'd like him to have the sibling dynamic though it would be a difficult decision especially if the next child had issues. my older child would always have the responsibility of caring for his sibling not sure as a parent how i would feel about doing that to my child.
best of luck.

My FIRST pregnancy was in my 37th year. The Doctor said I was healthy, predictable and not to worry.
Before my next child, my BODY had already eliminated (miscarried) two eggs. The doctor said the eggs were too old so they weren't viable. Between the two miscarriages, I changed obstetricians to be sure their expertise was in high- risk pregnancies.
I was in my 41st year for my second.
My third was in my 43-44th year, and everything about the pregnancy and our child was a paradise compared to the 1st two. and the doctor sent me to a gene-ologist(?) who clearly explained the percentage risks (which seemed quite small) and they were better because I had already had 2 babies.
FYI: I'm in Fairfax Co. too.

About a boy...(I know this is unsolicited) I like the natural procedures explained in the book by Dr. Shuttles; "Choosing the Sex of your Baby"...

So, "don't worry, be happy"!

Well, I am the youngest of six, born when my mother was 39, 3 years after my next oldest sister. I was perfectly healthy, and my mom was fine, even though I was over 8 lbs at birth. Age increases the risks, but only by a few percentage points. If you're healthy, I wouldn't worry about it; just say prayers, if you believe, and all should be fine.

Hi K.,
I had my first 3 daughters,( it was just fine having 3 girls!) at ages 30, 32 and 35. Two years later, I felt our family was "incomplete" , and wanted another one, not to get a "boy" but to have #4..Yes, I felt like I was "tempting fate", but in the long run, I knew that whatever happened was in God's hands. I had infertility prior to my girls and was on a low dose fertility medicine to get pregnant with them. When we tried naturally for #4, it took 2 years, and I was 40 years old!! We had our precious baby boy when I was 41 and 1/2 and have not regretted a day of his life. BTW, other mom friends of mine have had their children over the age of 40. The girls absolutely loved having another younger sibling in the house.
Medically speaking ( I am an RN), they did a sonogram at 20 weeks for looking for specific markers for any anomalies. We would NOT have ended the pregnancy, even if there WAS something wrong, but just to "prepare"..There ARE a lot of False positive tests that the other mom talked about. A whole lot of worrying for nothing being wrong..
So, I would make sure you and your hubby are of the same mind, pray, and see what happens.
Hope this helps! Feel free to email for anything else. ____@____.com

S. ( a tired but happy mom of 4, I am now 47!)

If you are talking about Downs Syndrome risk and such, your risk at 36 is only 1/255. The risk doesn't climb above 1% until age 41. Otherwise stated, at 40, you have a 99% chance of having an absolutely healthy baby.

If you are healthy and had uncomplicated pregnancies, I don't see any reason why you couldn't/shouldn't have another healthy baby.

Well, I am the product of a 40 year old mother. And that was back in 1980. I think I'm pretty normal :) I think that you just have to be very aware of what the possibilities are. And you and your husband need to discuss how you want to deal with things if there are complications. Decide now so that you know how to deal with it all. Decide if you want to have testing done and then if the tests show a problem how you will deal with it. I think the main issue will be more in getting pregnant at an older age.

It all depends. Do you feel too old to have another baby? I was 35 when I had my son. I had 3 girls at home. He kept me young. Take into consideration, it may not be a boy. If you're healthy, I don't see a problem. Your chances for problems are much less since you've had children, and you're healthy. I say, if you and your husband want another baby, and you can afford another one, go for it.

First of all, you guys are ALL AWESOME!

K., thank you for posting this b/c this is a question i've been struggling with too. My husband wants "one more try" -- we have 2 - and I am SO on the fence. One day I lean one way, the next, another. And age ( I am right there with you) is a HUGE factor in this.

Thank you, and all the best ~

You are certainly not too old! Your doctors may act like you are but I didn't have my first until I was 37! (I have two) I do think it helps that you've taken good care of yourself and workout! When I was pregnant with my second my doctors really acted like I was a 100 year old lady getting pregnant but that's their job to go over all the risk, etc. But have faith, and don't worry! There are many more older women still having kids.

Good luck!

I think 36 1/2 is a GREAT age to have a baby, especially if you want one! I had my first at 35 and my second at 38, and had no problems whatsoever. The fact that you are already healthy will make a tremendous difference. You will probably want to have some genetic testing done (amnio is what I did but that was years ago and there may be something less invasive that can be done earlier in the pregnancy). Talk to your doctor and I am sure you will ge the green light. Go for it and enjoy!

Hello K.,
I'm a 46-year-old mom of 2 beautiful boys, ages 8 and 5. I had them when I was 38 and 41. They're extremely healthy and normal. They do say that risks rise after 35, but still, the odds of your baby being normal far outweigh the alternative. You may want to have an amnio or cvs procedure during the pregnancy to keep your mind at ease. Even younger women can have problems. The point is, there are some things you can't control, but your chances are excellent that you'll have a normal, healthy baby. Good luck to you!!

I know women in their 50s having kids still, with no problems. My mother ad my baby sister when she was 42. There are extra precautions they have taken but nothing to off the wall. The thing to remember is to listen to your body and consult with a doctor you trust. Let God handle the rest. Good luck.

I had my boys at 35 and 38. Both are clearly healthy... and so am I. I believe if you and your husband want another child, go for it. The doctors will offer many tests because of "advanced maternal age" but you don't have to take them. It's all up to you. Don't let 36 years old stop you... people are having healthy babies well into their 40s now. Just take care of yourself and your family.

Hi K., my lovely young son was born when I was 40. Of course, there are no guarantees in this life but for every risk that comes true after 35, there are hundreds of women like me, who have healthy pregnancies and healthy kids. If age is your only concern, go for it!

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