46 answers

Pregnant at 42

I'm 42 years old and just found out I'm pregnant (this was not planned). I had my first child at 32 and my second at 40. I was nervous enough having a child at 40 and worried the entire pregnancy. Even after all the necessary testing was done and my doctor assured us everything was perfect, I continued to be concerned till my daughter was born and it clear that she was fine. Now at 42 the risk for problems is even greater. I've stayed fit throughout life, I eat healthy - cooking with fresh ingredients and drinking lots of water. I exercise, don't smoke and don't drink. This time, hovever, I am even more nervous than I was at 40. I personaly don't know anyone who has had a baby at this age. I read that it would be near impossible for a woman of 42 to even conceive with her own eggs. So I'm shocked and curious if there is anyone else who has had a child this late in life.... If so, how was it?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! Thanks so much for the kind words and support! My doctor frowned at me for having a child at my age, but all of the responses I received have tremendously helped to override his negativity. I'll take the advice, work on relaxing and just letting it be....

Thanks again

Featured Answers

Well, now you know someone who's had a baby at 36, 39, 43 and happily became pregnant again at 44. total now of 4 boys: all beautiful, healthy, and straight from heaven. I was a lucky women indeed.

2 moms found this helpful

I had my first (and probably only) baby at 42. My pregnancy was completely uneventful and my baby was healthy. I have not completely ruled out another baby, though it's getting pretty late. I have a friend who had a baby at 46. Two others who each had one at 43. Elizabeth Edwards had hers (twins, maybe?) at 48. If you're healthy, don't worry. You're in plentiful company. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hi M.,

My twin sister had her first baby at age 39 and her second at age 41.

She and baby are doing fine. She did have a C-section with both pregnancies.

My grandparents had 11 children. Lots of moms had a "lot" of kids back then and everything was fine.

Now a days there is so much more medical help and knowledge out there for moms who want to have children. Just keep thinking positive thoughts.

My co-worker & friend's sister is a dula in Arizona and she swears by our pre-natal vitamins. She will not accept any patients unless they are taking our Pre-natal supplements becasue of the 95% absorbtion rate into the body. Her patients that take our supplenments have little to no problems with their pregnancies because of the level of absorption of the minerals & vistamins and antioxidents into the system.

If you want to learn more about them, let me know. Clara's sister also did blood work to prove that the vitamins worked. It's pretty incredible evidence!

The one thing that I have found that attitude is everything!

God Bless
J.
____@____.com

2 moms found this helpful

M., I can understand your concern and I wish you all the best in this pregnancy. It is true, older moms can have more problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and birth complications. I have had two babies, my first at 41 and my second just shy of my 43rd birthday. I just turned 45 and am hoping to have another before it's "too late". Since you are healthy, exercise, don't smoke or drink and are conscious of what you eat, it sounds like you are well on your way to having a perfectly fine baby! Every mother has concerns about her baby and can't quite believe everything is all right until you hold them in your arms. I'd say, enjoy the pregnancy, listen to your doctor and take joy in the experience of bringing another new life into your family! As for myself, I can tell you there is hardly anything I've enjoyed more than the experience of being pregnant. I did have some problems in my first pregnancy, I had gestational diabetes which was controlled by taking a pill-form of insulin. I also found out after an amnio at 28 weeks that my first daughter has Down syndrome (DS). This was news we were hoping we wouldn't hear, but after educating ourselves and meeting other families in the Twin Cities that already had children with DS, we soon learned that she would be just like other babies in most ways, and the resources for helping her, or any child with disabilities achieve all they can are plentiful in the Twin Cities. My second daughter is what we call "typical" but in many ways I can tell you the worries I have about her are greater than those I have for her sister. You see, I know we can deal with Maeve's challenges, with help from teachers and the wonderful DS community we are now a part of - but I really don't know what challenges her sister will face as time goes on. Good luck with everything and if you want to talk to me privately feel free to get in touch.

2 moms found this helpful

Congratulations M.! Please don't worry so much about being 42 and pregnant. Last year I became pregnant at 43, and I was afraid, too. Not only had it been 17 years since the birth of my son, I was in not-as-good shape this time around, plus I was taking a strong medication that is *not* advisable to take during pregnancy, a med I cannot live without. For that reason alone I "knew" I shouldn't have any more children. Well, I got a blessed *surprise* and I was scared witless for the first couple of months, until I started having tests (ultrasound, etc.) that showed everything was normal. Normal pregnancy, normal and uncomplicated delivery. Fast-forward to today, and here I am with a beautiful and very healthy 11-week-old little girl! So I'm here to say, if *I* can do it (have a healthy baby at 43) I know you can have a healthy baby as well! *Peace*! ~M. :)

2 moms found this helpful

Well, now you know someone who's had a baby at 36, 39, 43 and happily became pregnant again at 44. total now of 4 boys: all beautiful, healthy, and straight from heaven. I was a lucky women indeed.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M.-
Welcome to the late motherhood club- although it keeps you younger!!
I had healthy twins at 41 years old- full term, no bedrest.
You'll want to eat a higher protein diet.
You'll want to supplement with an omega3 fatty acid.
Yes- your risks are higher for several things: preterm, bedrest, diabetes and of course things we all hope none of us experience.
You have to decide what you need to be comfortable with those risks.

You're as young as you think in your mind. You said you're healthy. 42 now is like 32 15 years ago!!
Enjoy the journey- you can appreciate it more.

About me-
Med. Prof., wellness coach after twins, wife, 47 yo, mom of super almost 7yo frat. twin girls and staying young every day.

B. J
____@____.com

2 moms found this helpful

Congratulations! No need to fret. You're joining what seems to be a select crowd and growing trend. I personally know mostly moms having their first babies in their late 30's to early 40's! It must be the age group I'm in, but everyone around me had careers first, and now that they're "established" are deciding just now to have children. Everyone I know is doing fine...no problems for neither mom nor child.

The other moms I know are women who started having children when they were young, but have big families and had children well into their 40's. Everyone seems okay in those cases too.

If you have no diagnosed complications, you should be right as rain. As my OB has just told me..."things may slow down a bit for some, but you can still have a baby until you go through menopause." Take those prenatal vitamins! That's really a good way to help your baby's development and eat lots of vegetables, fruit and drink plenty of milk for your bones and the baby's bones.

Most important, enjoy your wonderful surprise and experience childhood again through the wonder and joy of another child! :)

1 mom found this helpful

My sister had her first child at age 41--no problems.

My doula has attended many births where the mom was in her 40s, with usually very good outcomes.

A friend had her two children at ages 40 and 42--both are healthy.

A different friend just had a baby at age 42. He is perfectly healthy, although she was on bed rest for part of her pregnancy (not sure if that had anything to do with her age).

Cherie Blair, the wife of the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, had an unplanned pregnancy at age 45, but delivered a healthy baby boy.

If you are healthy, I encourage you not to focus on your age.

1 mom found this helpful

My father was an "oops baby" that my grandmother had at the age of 44...and that was nearly 60 years ago. He was perfectly healthy. I used to work with two women who had "oops babies"; one at 41 and the other at 45. Both had healthy children with no medical problems at all. There are always risks with pregnancy, no matter what the age of the mom is. Being in your 40s and being pregnant is getting more and more common and the majority of the babies are born healthy and happy. There's no reason why you couldn't have a perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy.

I don't have personal experience to share with you, but if you're interested in meeting other moms who are closer to your age and still have young ones, I know there's a group on www.meetup.com for moms over the age of 35 who live in the Twin Cities area.

1 mom found this helpful

I had my first baby at 44 and she is beautiful and healthy. I had no trouble getting pregnant and had an uneventful pregnancy. I had many more doctor's appointments than my younger pregnant friends but it was all for the best. Since you have others kids, you will probably want to line up some extra help for when the baby arrives - family members or a doula.
I have met a couple of women recently that have young children and was shocked to find out that they were each about 45 when they delivered. It truly will keep you young and very tired!! Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

I had my daughter at 42 and have a friend who had a son at 44, also my cousin had her last child at 45. Our children are approaching two years of age and they are fine. It can be scary but you need to have faith that things will turn out fine. Worrying will not help. You may want to be ready for an early delivery. My daughter was 3.5 weeks early. You are very fortunate. Embrace it and celebrate!

1 mom found this helpful

Congratulations!! I think all pregnacies can be scary. Trust that all is fine, continue to eat well, rest, take your vitamins, etc. I don't think a child has ever been conceived without His blessings. Relax and enjoy the life growing inside you! =) It'll be ok and before you know it you'll have a sweet new bundle of joy to love.

I'm almost 45 and think another would be great. =D

Wishing you joy,
~A. <><

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., best wishes and congratulations. I just wanted to let you know that my mom had a baby at the age of 43. She had a c-section and gestational diabetes but neither of these things had anything to do with her age, it was just genetic stuff. My little sister recently turned 10 and is perfectly normal and healthy. I'm sure your doctor will help keep an eye on everything and it sure sounds like your healthy lifestyle will help contribute to an easier pregnancy for you. :)

1 mom found this helpful

First CONGRATULATIONS! My step mom had by youngest brother when she was 42. I was 24 when she had him. Her tubes were tied when she conceived so you talk about a shock! Anyhow her pregnancy was just fine. She had him C-section but that was how she had all of her children. My brother is just fine...well other than being spoiled rotten.

Try not to worry too much. I know it is easy for me to say as I am not in your situation but I think that more an more women are having babies later in life and you sound like you have taken very good care of your health.

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Nonsense! Check out any homeschooling magazine and you'll read about families who have babies in their 40's. The best thing you can do is quit worrying! That is more unhealthy than anything you could eat or exercise regimen you missed. You have a gift from God - no matter the ultimate condition of the child - that very few women ever have - the privilege of conceiving at an older (wiser!) age. Trust God to see you through, pray for your baby and your family. Keep calm and rest - you'll need it! People around the world have been conceiving and carrying babies to term into their 40's plus for ages. Go online and find a support group of older moms (or write to me). Babies are a tremendous blessing, and hard as it is in this society to have one after 40, the are always worth the effort. EVery baby is perfect in God's eyes, and should be in ours, too!

49 yr old SAHM of seven, bio/adopted, some special needs, 23 yrs - 18 mos

1 mom found this helpful

M.,
I can't answer for myself personally, but my mom had my youngest brother at 42 via C-section and he was very healthy and probably her happiest kid. He's 21 now! She did say it took longer to recover, but he was #8. She actually wanted to have more children after him, but her Doctor "tricked her into a tubal ligation" while she was under anethesia. She is still upset about that. I just had my second baby at 35 and plan to have another when I'm in my 40s. Why not? A lot of women in the community where I live (Upper Peninsula of Michigan)have babies into their forties. One one my students parents just had a son last year. Her mom was 51 and her dad was 59 years old. OF course all the people that I know of have also taken good care of themselves.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy little one!
M. S

1 mom found this helpful

Rock on soon-to-be new mom at 42! CONGRATS! Why the freak attack? You seem to have your life together and had a baby not all that long ago.

Women can and have successfully carried full-term babies well into their 60's! (okay, I even think that's over-stepping the boundaries a bit) but it's true! Cheryl Tiegs had twins at 52, Geena Davis had twins at 48, and many career women wait until they are in their 40's-50's to have kids.

I say have fun with it! You are far from rare. Go to all of your appointments, have all the tests done that your OB/GYN recommends, and most of all...RELAX!

Keep us posted on your progress and write more when you have other "freak-attack" moments...perhaps that will help you get through the rough patches.

Take care! :-)

~J.

1 mom found this helpful

I had my first (and probably only) baby at 42. My pregnancy was completely uneventful and my baby was healthy. I have not completely ruled out another baby, though it's getting pretty late. I have a friend who had a baby at 46. Two others who each had one at 43. Elizabeth Edwards had hers (twins, maybe?) at 48. If you're healthy, don't worry. You're in plentiful company. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I had my 1st child, a girl at 39, and had 2 miscarriages trying to get pregnant with the second. When I decided to give up and be happy with 1,boom I was pregnant. Other than gest. diabetes(which I had the 1st time too) everything went great. My son did, however decide to come 4 1/2 wks early, I think due to my own stress over my husband's driving.(long story) I was 43 when he was born Nov.'07 and he's perfect. He was only 5 lbs. 9 oz. but healthy and spent no time in NICU. Everybody's different, But don't worry yourself too much. Good luck an have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

Hey M.,
Sounds like you're a perfect candidate for a healthy baby - even at 42. I know it can be scary but my advice would be to continue to focus on being healthy have regular check ups with your OB or midwife and try to maintain a positive outlook. I can tell you of a few women I know who've had healthy babies over 40 but the closest one to home for me is my own grandmother. She was 42 when she had my aunt, (who was - and still is perfectly healthy) and this was in 1956 when we certainly didn't have access to all of the medical science we do now. And that was really unplanned - my mom was 19 and her brother was 16! What a joy!
Best of luck with everything!

1 mom found this helpful

Our neighbor had their son when she was 42! The only thing she too complains of (like the other posting) is lack of energy to keep up. But I complain of that too and am younger!

I also agree with the other posting- RELAX and ENJOY!! All worrying does is make it so you don't enjoy this WONDERFUL gift. Really try, worrying isn't good for the baby either.

Do keep us updated on the baby and how you are doing. And good luck with your Masters Degree. From one mommy that did it with kids at home- good luck and congrats! :)

I know someone that had one at 49 - and all turned out well. In fact, she always looks so happy. I don't think 42 is as old as it used to be.

I'm 42, ready to get my IUD out. (It's expired.) You make me both excited and nervous. I don't want another baby, but I love babies and being pregnant. (My youngest is 5, and ready to go to Kindergarten--no more daycare costs, but...)

Congrats and good luck!

there have been lots of women that have had healty babies after 40. risk are higher sure. and there are greater chances of down syndrome babies but. u will do fine. get alot of help at home dont stress..u will be very tired. and need the extra help.enjoy..god bless. god dont send babies for no reason..

my doctors wife had her 5th child at 42 and my daycare lady had her last at 40 she has 7 herself.

i just found out today that i am pregnant and i am 42. i have three kids ages 23,17 and 10. I'm excited but concerned. i know many healthy babies are born at from women this age and i'm sure you will be fine. Thank God they do have the extensive testing to ease out minds. Good Luck and God Bless i am sure everything will be fine. i'm still quite shocked i thought i was experienceing symptoms of Diabetes...i have had irregular periods for years did not think i was still aboe to get Pregnant.

Congratulations! Don't worry! Worry can make you sick! It's awesome that you live such a healthy lifestyle. That alone should be enough to banish your worry, but I know why you do worry. It's because of all that you've heard and read about risky pregnancies. You just need to fill your mind up with positive stories. I finished reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin and the first half of the book is filled with birth stories. I do recall that there were at least one or two stories by women in their 40's.

I also wanted to say that my mom is working with a midwife right now (as an apprentice) and the midwife says that she has even done VBAC's for women in their 40's......those VBAC's being after several caesarians. (sp?)

Be confident in your own body! I'm so happy for you!

A lot of women are having babies in their 40s these days. A friend of mine had her first baby at 43. She got pregnant on the second try and had a healthy baby girl 9 months later. It was an uncomplicated pregnancy. It sounds like you are healthy and take care of yourself. So relax--it will be best for your baby. If you continue to worry you can have an amnio done in a few months. Oh, these are stories from long ago, but my great grandmother had 12 children, the last was a healthy baby girl when she was 45. A friend of mine from book club was born when her mother was in her 40s. She has an older brother almost 20 years older than she is. Congratulations on the new baby.

...near impossible for a woman of 42 to even conceive with her own eggs??? That's ridiculous. Lots of women have kids at that age. My mom was 40 when I was born...I was 38 when my daughter was born...I used to work with a woman who had her first at 42...and I currently work with a woman who last summer had her 3rd child at the age of 45. All just fine. Just relax and enjoy it. The odds of something going wrong are higher for older moms, but if you look at it objectively, the odds are still overwhelmingly in your favor.

People have had babies much later in life. My grandmother was born in 1906 and had my mom in 1949. She was 43 and have birth to a healthy baby. Think of all the medical advances since then. Just stay healthy. Do all the testing and try to relax. You being worried doesn't do you any good. I hope and pray everything goes great with you and your pregnancy.

Congratulations! My mom was 38 when my youngest brother was born. She had a great aunt who was 48 when her youngest was born! My husbands Great Grandmother was 46 when her youngest was born...that baby and my father-in-law were more like siblings than aunt and nephew since they were only about 7 months apart in age! All of the children were healthy and 2 of them are in their 60's now. It sounds like you are very healthy and active yourself and I'm sure this little one will be too.

A family friend of ours was 45, thought she was going through menapause, went in for a physical, and low and behold, she was pregnant!!! Quite the shock to all of us! Everything turned out just fine and her daughter is completely healthy! The only complaint she has is that she's too old for such a young child and feels like she gets tired easily :)

Congrats! My husband's mother was born from a 45 year old mother 57 years ago. I also know a 70 year old woman who was born the 15th child to a 45 year old mother, who had at least a couple of other children in her 40's. The odds of a successful outcome are much better than you think. You often hear scary statistics, such as the risk of 'X' is 4 times greater after the age of 35. Well, 4 times greater than 1 in 1000 is still a very low number. Just an arbitrary example, but most of the risks are still pretty low for a healthy woman. Best of luck!

M.,

I can give you hundreds of stories of moms who got pregnant and had wonderful births with normal babies all after the age of 40. Your healthy life-style will be a boon to you but you should know that there is no magical line that you cross over and are suddenly more at risk. The word risk itself is overused for pregnancy in my opinion. You're high risk, low risk, etc. God designed your body to be able to birth and it is a wonderful thing, a natural process. Relax and look forward to your little surprise! I am a midwife and speak from experience. Blessings to you -

Hi M.,
I have actually heard of many women who have gotten pregnant at age 42 and older, some even by choice. You did fine at 40 and you will likely do just fine at 42. Enjoy and have a healthy baby.
Peace and Blessings,
S.
Mamasource business owner

As you are well aware there are serious risks however there are LOTS of success stories of older women having babies. Especially if you a person that takes care of themself and goes to the doctor. My mother in law had her last baby at 41 and she was a beautiful girl with no problems. Best wishes!

I think you and the baby will be just fine. You are still very young and you take very good care of yourself. Congratulations!!!

I don't have experience having a child after 40,but my mother gave birth to me when she was 41. This was back in the 60's and I believe I turned out just fine. There was also no complications to my mother.
Many people are now having planned pregnancies after 40. I'm sure your doctor has had experience delivering babies to those older than 40. Just ask him or her.

I hope that none of your friends or family are making you feel bad about your unexpected pregnancy due to your age. I grew up in CA and went to school back east. Until I became a stay-at home mom with my toddler, I only knew moms whose first children were born after they had turned 35. It seems we chose to wait. (I had my little one when I had turned 37 after I had been married for 9 years.) Like all pregnancies, there are risks but I think you're taking this age-thing too seriously. Remember, in the past, women would have baby after baby after baby. I know that they tended to get married young but it wasn't abnormal to have more than 10 children. So good luck!

Congrats, that's wonderful news! Don't worry yourself about those statistics, especially if they sound a bit on the exaggerated side... Your doctor will keep a closer eye on you, and you'll know if there really is anything to worry or not. I have an aunt who was pregnant at 45, and she has a perfectly healthy son. The only thing I remember her complaining about was that her skin had lost some of its elasticity, so there were more stretch marks than when she was younger. So take good care of your skin, coco butter and such, do the regular check-ups, and have a wonderful time with the experience!

Hi M.,
I wouldn't stress about your pregnancy. I am a massage therapist and work with a lot of prenatal mothers. There ages vary from 21 to 54. Yes even 54. The risks are higher but if you are healthy and your babies have been healthy through your other pregnancies you shouldn't be conserned. Your doctor knows and if she was concerned she would send you to a high risk doctor.

Enjoy being pregnant and the new bundle that is coming.

K.

My mother in law had a baby (unplanned) at 42... the 'baby' just graduated from high school. Her pregnancy went totally fine with no problems... At this point I would say don't worry so much - with the medical advances now, they are even better at detecting problems, so you will be just fine! Congrats and good luck!

I have several friends who TRY to get pregnant after 40, and even after 45! They even had a reversal TO have kids after 40! None of them has had any more issues than they had before 40.
The risk is not as great as you may think. It is pretty over-exaggerated. I have had more problems when I was younger and pregnant than I have in my late 30's.
I know a lot more people with problems before 40 than the people I know in their 40's having children.
Worry is going to bring on more problems than just letting nature take its course.

hi....found this on the net...hope it helps...the odds are still in your favor..

Researchers have found that the likelihood that a reproductive cell will contain an extra chromosome number 21 increases dramatically as a woman ages. Therefore, an older woman is more likely than a younger one to have a baby with Down syndrome. The National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) says older mothers account for only about nine percent of all live births each year, but 25 percent of Down syndrome births.

The likelihood that a woman under age 30 will have a baby with Down syndrome is less than 1 in 1,000, but those odds increase with age. Here's a look at how the risk increases, from NICHD:

* under age 30 - less than 1 in 1,000
* age 35 - 1 in 400
* age 38 - 1 in 180
* age 40 - 1 in 105
* age 42 - 1 in 60
* age 46 - 1 in 20
* age 49 - 1 in 12

My husbands aunt had her last child at 42; she was just fine and so was their son.
If you are as heathly as you sound- you'll most likely be just fine too. :)
I've heard of women into their late 40's and I swear there was an article somewhere not too long ago where a woman was somewhere in her 50's, it might have even been early 60's!!! Wouldn't be my choice, But it isn't always up to us, right? Someone had other plans for you too... you are meant to have one more baby.
Good Luck, relax and try to enjoy it. God Bless.

My 5th and last child, a girl was born 8 days before I turned 41. I did not undergo any tests because they have their risks and I would have gone through with the pregnancy anyway. I didn't think I could get pregnant because of the timing of my cycle, but a nurse practicianer said as we get older we ovulate earlier in our cycle. I would just try to enjoy the pregnancy, and leave it in God's hands. I know sometimes easier said than done.(After my daughter was born, my husband had a vasectomy.) With my last three I was 37, 38, and almost 41.

Thousands of women have babies at your age (millions all over the world) and their babies are fine. Thousands of women have babies in their 20's - 30's or 40's and their babies are unhealthy or born with defects. What is the difference? No one knows for sure, but eating a healthy diet increases your chances of having a healthy baby because a healthy body has healthy eggs to fertilize.

If you are going through with the pregnancy M., you are in it for the entire ride. Why spend 9 months worrying? It won't change the outcome and will make an already difficult time period more stressful.

Sit back and enjoy the ride ~ your baby will most likely be just fine (in keeping with your first two). Then, get those tubes tied!

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