17 answers

Pregnant at Age 46

I like to know what kind of risk that I have for me and my baby when I am pregnant at age 46.

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I don't know the risk at 46, but I had a baby when I was three months shy of 41 and all was great. He was healthy and wonderful and joins his two brothers ages 4 and 6. Good luck! Do the first trimester screen and the ultrasound and blood work and take it easy and I am everything will go fine. Congratulations!

Congratulations! Here's an article I saw this morning that might help. http://living.health.com/2009/05/18/health-risks-mid-life...

Take care!

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I have a friend that carried and delivered a happy, healthy chunk of a little boy at 46. She was my hero since I'm in the same age range and want to have another baby myself.

You should consider getting yourself a high risk maternal specialist as your OB. I found one with my first pregnancy at 40 and it gave me a lot of comfort knowing that I had a specialist trained in older mother pregnancies in my corner. She used to tease me that at the age of 40 I was one of her "young pup" patients. I'd love to recommend her, but she left her practice to pursue research.

Good luck! Ignore the naysayers and surround yourself with supportive people. Our bodies were meant for bearing babies.

1 mom found this helpful

The older you are, the more chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome. If there are any problems during the pregnancy, your doctor will want to test you for that. My last child, I was 42. I had no complications, except that the pregnancy before that, I had gestational diabeties.

Just talk to your doctor about the questions you have. They should explain everything that could happen.

It's probably too late to do the CVS test but doing the amnio gave me peace of mind that my baby would be healthy AND it did not harm my baby one bit. It's extremely rare that it would if you have a doctor who has lots of experience performing amnio's...those were my doctors words. It's a statistical fact that older women have a higher chance of having babies with downs syndrome but that doesn't mean it will happen to you. My friend who's 42 just had a perfectly healthy baby.

As others have said, yes, at 46, you are high risk for genetic or maternal issues with your pregnancy, and you must be under the care of an OB with high risk experience. Because all the risk translates into the outcome for your child at birth and potentially later on. Nothing can happen and anything can happen. Some doctors recommend reading The Premature Baby Book. It is scary as hell, but prepares you to do everything you are directed to do to protect the life and health of your baby.
I was 43 when I was surprised to discover I was pregnant for the first time. I had an amnio at 17 weeks (and if you want one you need to do it asap) because it was important for me to know if my baby was OK genetically (she was.) My pregnancy was a piece of cake for the first 5 months. I worked fulltime and traveled extensively, including 2 weeks walking around Europe. Then I thought I had a stomache ache one day and called the doctor, who sent me immediately to the hospital. It was pre-term labor; I was already having contractions. The next 2 months were bedrest at home and mostly in the hospital as they worked to find a drug regimen that would minimize the contractions and not make me loopy or agitated. Despite all the precautions, as soon as the baby turned vertex, the contractions increased, my water broke and my baby was born... 2 months early. (Lesson learned here, be your own advocate, make sure the doctor -- not the nurse or the resident -- is aware of everything going on.) My daughter spent the next 3 months in the NICU, with one of those diseases in the book, and had 4 major surgeries by the age of 1. Thank God she has been fine since then (she is 17 now) and minimal residual effects.
Don't take chances. It is your child's life.
I wish you a delightful and easy pregnancy and birth.

Congratulations! Here's an article I saw this morning that might help. http://living.health.com/2009/05/18/health-risks-mid-life...

Take care!

I don't know the risk at 46, but I had a baby when I was three months shy of 41 and all was great. He was healthy and wonderful and joins his two brothers ages 4 and 6. Good luck! Do the first trimester screen and the ultrasound and blood work and take it easy and I am everything will go fine. Congratulations!

I was 42 when I was pregnant.Thank God I had a heathy baby boy. I would not take the amniocentesis test, because for me I would have my baby no matter what. The doctor told me the amniocentesis could cause a miscarriage. Even a little chance of having a miscarriage was to much for me. I had 4 before. Do not worry take care of you and baby. Congratulations!!!!!! Relax and enjoy. Do you know if baby is a boy or girl?

Hi Anne,
Congratulations! Anyone over the age of 40 and pregnant gets put in the "high risk" category. It just means that they are going to monitor your pregnancy more closely.
It means that statistically you are at an increased risk of several age-specific complications. These can include miscarriage, fetal distress, low birthweight (of the baby), Down Syndrome in your child, high blood pressure (throughout your pregnancy) and gestational diabetes, and placenta previa and more likely to have a c-section. Some of those complications are quite treatable. Most woman 35 to over 40 have healthy pregnancies. Keep your habits healthy to help reduce certain risks. Be sure to eat a healthy diet and moderately exercise and be sure to get prenatal care.
Again congratulations!

I don't intend for this to sound sarcastic or unsympathetic,but isn't this A question you might have asked,prior to getting pregnant? You obviously know there are risks,so why would you wait till 4 1/2 months into your pregnancy to ask what those were? I guess i'm a little baffled by your request.I certainly wish you the best outcome. J. M

I had my first baby at age 46 and the only issue was my blood pressure. Even so, my daughter was born only 4 days before her due date, less than 4 hours labor and no drugs. I worked up to the day before she was born. At age 50/51 and pregnant with twins, my blood pressure was also an issue and this time I also had protein in the urine, so a bit more serious. I work in law enforcement, but am in an office-type position. I was put off work at 6 months and the babies were delivered 5 weeks early via c-section due to an issue with my daughter's cord blood flow. Both are doing fine now. I thought I'd be exhausted, but after 4 months things are going really well. Congrats and good luck!

Hi A.,

Is this your first child? Have you seen a doctor yet? These are the first two important questions. I had my first full-term child when I was 39. I know I was considered a "High-Risk" Pregnancy as I had 4 miscarriages before my son. The doctor had to send me for genetic counseling, and lab work to rule out any possible issues there.

You may not have any problems. I just decided to not work after my first trimester. I had a normal pregnancy and delivered C-section. My son is now 13 and is perfectly healthy.

You do need to see and counsel with a doctor. I will say, because I was an older Mom, I Loved being pregnant and now being a Mom. I hope this helps.

My friend, was 47 yrs. old when she was pregnant with her son... who is now 4 years old and healthy and normal. During her pregnancy, she worked (she's a Teacher) up until 2-weeks before her due date. She had a normal pregnancy, she had a normal vaginal birth and it went fine.

EVERY woman is different... there are statistics on Down's for example, but it cannot "predict" your outcome.
At any age exceeding 35 years old, they recommend an Amniocentesis... if the woman wants to. This determines genetic conditions of the baby. This is what I had, twice, because I was over 35 when I was pregnant with both my kids.

You MUST go according to your Doctor, and your own health... which only your Doctor would know.
At this age, your Doctor should have discussed genetic testing... as an option.

If your pregnancy is normal thus far, and you are in normal good health... then I wouldn't worry. And, tell your Doctor anytime you have concerns.... or questions or if you have any pains/symptoms for anything you are wondering about.

The "risk" for a pregnant woman at this age... varies. And it varies per her health and the condition of her pregnancy etc.
Speak to your Doctor... this is the only concrete answer you will get.

All the best,

Congratulations!!!! I had my baby at 43 (invitro), was very fortunate that I had no health issues. We did all of the tests, amnio etc. My daughter is healthy as well. They do monitor you a lot at the Dr.'s office, so keep that up!

A woman I met while considering an au pair, was 50 and had a 10 month old. It was her 4th, her husband was a week away from a vasectomy when she conceived (to everyone's shock) their youngest daughter was 10 at the time. All went well for her and the boy was adorable! I have another friend who had a baby at 45, all are doing well.

You will hear a lot of scary stories. Don't listen. There are a lot of really good ones. I highly, highly recommend acupuncture. I was a complete skeptic, but had one of the easiest pregnancies of anyone I know (lot's of energy, felt more beautiful, emotions were stable, etc) and believe it was from that.

God bless you and your little miracle!

None, I got pregnant with twins at 44 and I think other than maybe being more tired than my younger friends (pregnant at the same time), my pregancy was great. Enjoy it but make sure you take care of yourself. Rest as much as you can and keep and as you get bigger keep you feet up as much as possible.



Congratulations to you! I have seen moms have healthy babies at age 46. As others have said, the most important thing is to be sure you have a high-risk OB and perinatologist who is following you closely.

I wanted to respond to the "advice" from Caprice, re: Juice Plus. It appears that Caprice is selling this multi-level marketed, pyramid-type product and I think that a sales pitch like that has no place on a mom-to-mom advice board, unless it is under the ad section. I am concerned about her advice because Juice Plus does indeed have added vitamins. Perhaps Caprice doesn't read the labels of the product she sells. Juice Plus used to try to get away with saying "it's just fruits and vegetables",but they were lying on their labels and not listing the added synthetic vitamins. They quietly changed their packaging recently and added the vitamins to the ingredients list without mentioned it -- probably because they got in trouble with the FDA for false labelling.

A prenatal vitamin with folic acid, as someone mentioned, is essential to take while you are pregnant. I would NOT recommend taking a prenatal AND Juice Plus, because that will give you an overdose of some of the vitamins. Taking Juice Plus alone is not a good idea, either, as it is not a prenatal and does not have vitamins in the appropriate proportions. A prenatal vitamin is a superior choice.

As far as this "study" by Dr. Odom -- there are MANY problems with this study. Most of what was posted her reads like an ad for Juice Plus, and that is in fact what is on the advertising brochure from Dr. Odom.

One huge problem is that Dr. Doug Odom is a Juice Plus distributor/salesperson. A direct quote from him:
Doug Odom, MD (Juice Plus distributor/spokesperson)
“I cannot convince all of my patients to spend a little over $40 a month for Juice Plus. Over the past year I have almost come to the point that if they don't take it that they need to go find another physician."

[So in other words, if you are not a gullible idiot with deep pockets, go find another physician!]

Someone posted about this study and its MAJOR flaws on Mothering.com:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/archive/index.php/t-... Scroll down to the comments from Brenda Damachuk.

Also Vickii Gervais, a midwife in the San Diego area, said the study is flawed. Here is what she said in part:
It's not really a great "study" since it's retrospective and documented by someone who appears to be a distributor of Juice Plus. Honestly, this does not show that Juice Plus prevents pre-eclampsia, so it's important that readers don't run out and purchase the product just for
this purpose alone. The numbers of women he included in the study are not significant, and since it was not independently done, there was no oversight as to exclusions. It was not a double-blind study, and it
hasn't yet been replicated, so it's not considered gold standard. That does not mean that anecdotal information isn't valuable, because
it is and does spur us on to consider further investigation. It just
isn't significant enough to change practices, but it may be
interesting enough to warrant further study as they seem to be doing at the U of Miss.

Dr Odom states that in the Juice Plus group, the C-Section rate was significantly lower at 47% vs 66% in the control group. I'd like to know what the
heck is up with his birth practices that he has that rate in EITHER group. His control group has a more than DOUBLE C-Section rate than the national average.

He states a zero pre-eclampsia rate in the Juice Plus group but a 21% rate in his control group. That is awfully high, much higher than the average...so I have to say that alone brings me pause and makes me question his methods of "study" or at least his birth practices. His
premie rate among the Juice Plus group was zero, but it was 20% among the control group. That, too, is really high. Considering there were only 170-some people in each group, then his non-Juice Plus group fared quite poorly even compared to the general population of medically-attended
births: 21% had pre-eclampsia and 20% had premature births. Did any of those overlap, I wonder.

Pre-eclampsia is very highly-studied by some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, and it's still quite a mystery. It's NOT just related to protein intake, and the Brewer diet does not prevent it or reverse it 100% of the time. I do believe diet has a lot to do with it, but it's not the only answer. The latest research is that it
begins in the placenta in the very early weeks after conception, and the information they've garnered from that research is pretty
convincing--but nobody's certain, of course, until they start being able to reverse or stop it. And they haven't so far. I would love it if something as simple as Juice Plus supplements were able to stave it off when the medical research of the last few decades have not been able
to, but I just don't buy it--or at least, this information doesn't demonstrate that."

Additional information about Juice Plus and how it is deceptively and dishonestly marketed can be found at

I'm 42 and just had my second little dude! Happy and healthy little guy...my first came when I was 38! I loved being pregnant and both boys are amazing. Get yourself a good Perinatologist and go from there.

Congratulations!!!! I can't say that enough! You are blessed!

hi A.,

i am no expert, but i just wanted to say that i think it is great that you are pregnant at 46. a friend of mine had her first baby at 40 and her second at 43. she said she is looking for her 3rd at 45. her two daughters are healthy and thriving. the best thing you can do is ask your doctor what the incresed risks are and to take care of yourself by eating healthy and doing light exercise.

i wish you good health!!!!

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