Having a Baby at 41 - Clinton Township,MI

Updated on April 02, 2012
J.B. asks from Clinton Township, MI
33 answers

hi all,

thanks for your answers to my questions in the past. today my question is quite serious: does anyone have any information or know anything about having a baby at 41? i am thinking of getting pregnant for our 2nd child because i just want our daughter to have a sibling like i have and i love all mine, anyhow, i am really scared at the stats and people tell me things about how the older you get the more possibilty of downs syndrome and disabilities when you have a baby at and older age. can anyone share any life experiences or knowledge of this, i am just scared.
thanks...

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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, I had my son at 39 and my very good friend has her son at 40.
No horror stories to report. (Unless you want me to include the O. where they referred to "advanced maternal age" in my first OB visit!)
Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful
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R.R.

answers from Dallas on

I had my 4th at age 39 - on one hand, because I was older and experienced, I was much more patient and laid back with him. On the other hand, man do I tire easier. I'm now 50 and I have a hard time finding the energy to go to school and athletic functions, but I still do it. My quad screening came back with a fairly high possibility of downs, but I had an amnio and the boy is smart as a whip and normal as can be!

2 moms found this helpful

T.K.

answers from Dallas on

I got pregnant at 36 and 38. All systems work beautifully.

You've seen how the stats go up, and that sounds so scary. But the percentage of babies are actually born with Downs is very low in the early 40s.

I found this.
Mother's age 35 -- incidence 0.25% (1 in 400)

Mother's age 40 -- incidence 0.95% (1 in 105)

Mother's age 42 -- incidence 1.7% (1 in 60)

Mother's age 44 -- incidence 2.9% (1 in 35)

Mother's age 46 -- incidence 5.0% (1 in 20)

Mother's age 48 -- incidence 6.3% (1 in 16)

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I had my daughter, my only bio child, at 41. I had a normal textbook pregnancy and a natural delivery. I got pregnant easily, also. I did have an amnio because I needed to know, no earlier tests because they aren't accurate. I was in excellent physical condition, and ran into my seventh month. I only saw midwives, not a doctor because I didn't want to hear the stuff about a geriatric pregnancy...

Now at 51 I still feel perfectly capableof being a parent to an elementary school child. And I can still run faster than her!

5 moms found this helpful

V.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

Yes, the risks do increase. But that doesn't guarantee those outcomes. My SIL got pregnant around your age, and her fourth child, my nephew, has Downs Syndrome. My best friend, at 43 last winter, had a perfectly normal/healthy baby girl.

So, it isn't something to take lightly, but having a child never is. You will get stories of both perfectly normal/healthy babies and stories of heartbreak at all ranges of age for the birth mother. Don't go into it blindly. Educate yourself and become familiar with exactly what the risks are, and then make your decision.

4 moms found this helpful
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E.E.

answers from Denver on

First bio kid, I was 39, second bio child, I was 45. Both were unplanned and incredible blessings. Neither child has developmental disabilities.
We do have some endocrine issues, but those are likely genetic and are unrelated to my old eggs. : )

The odds of Downs go up, but not as much as you are led to believe.

Now - the impact to *your* health is bigger. I am now pre-diabetic - and it was most likely triggered from having gestational diabetes when pregant at age 45. But you do have some control over that.

We have adopted as well. Go with your heart. And good luck!

4 moms found this helpful
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K.P.

answers from New York on

Well, statistics mean very little to an individual.

My aunt was told that she could not have children. At 43 (ish), she went to her OBGYN because she was certain that she was starting menopause... missed periods, emotional, changes in sleeping/eating, etc. Guess what? Pregnant! My cousin was born a month premature, but healthy and a great kid!

2 moms found this helpful
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K.F.

answers from New York on

I'm 45 and working on getting pregnant with my husband. You really should not be scared and/or frightened. Having a baby at any age you should consider being healthy and physically fit. Pregnancy changes your body. Keeping moving and working on your cardio as well as flexibility is a great idea. Nutrition is also important. Hubby and I have ran into a snag in this process and have decided to use some alternative medical practices to help. The jury is still out on the success of this process but trying is still fun.

Having a baby is a 25 year to life sentence. So if you get pregnant now you may be on the hook with this kid for the next 25 years which would make you 66 years old. This is why it is so important you take care of yourself, your emotional, physical and mental health.

I say prepare your body and mind for it and go for it. Babies are beautiful and raising them is challenging but the rewards outweigh the troubles.

2 moms found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Atlanta on

Tons of people have babies in their early 40s. I had mine at 36 and 38 and there were several moms in our first playgroup who had their first babies after age 40. My grandmother had my mother at 43. My SIL had her second child at 44!

It can be harder to get pregnant (but not always -lots of after 40 babies are "oops" babies), and there is an increased risk of genetic issues, but I don't know one person (and I know a lot) who has had a baby after 40 that had anything wrong with it. Talk with your doctor and have CVS testing (earlier than an amnio) or wait for the amnio.

One thing you said that troubles me -please don't have a baby just so your daughter has a sibling and you love all of yours. Have a baby because YOU and your husband REALLY want another child. There are no guarantees your daughter and a sibling will even speak as adults or be close at all. I'm a very happy only child and I always have been -and I know a lot of us too. Many of my good friends with siblings have often remarked they wished they were only children.

2 moms found this helpful
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R.M.

answers from Cumberland on

They're just stats-I knew a gal under 28 that had a baby born with Downs Syndrome-and then had three additional children without Downs Syndrome-whatever you decide, God bless you!

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J.G.

answers from New York on

Don't let the stats freak you out! Especially if you've already conceived and carried child. So much depends on your individual body. You may have "young eggs." That's what they told me! I had my two at 37 and 39. My sister had her third, perfectly healthy baby at 41. Talk to your doctor about it.
Best wishes to you!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.W.

answers from Seattle on

Kiddos at 41 and 43yo. No problems.

1 mom found this helpful
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B.E.

answers from New York on

I got pregnant at 40 and had my son when I was almost 41. No problems, but I was very aware and nervous of the risks. You just have to go in with your eyes open.

BTW, I got pregnant immediately at 40. It tried again at 42-43 and finally had to put the idea to rest because it wasn't going to happen. If you want to have a second, get moving and you might want to go straight to a fertility specialist to help out. At the very least, have them run some tests.

p.s. my grandmother had my uncle at 43 and I have a cousin who had one son at 43 and another at 45. No problems with any.

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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I had my one and only at 40. Yes, the risk of chromosomal anomalies is higher - I had an amnio and would have aborted the pregnancy if anything was wrong. Happily nothing was. I had an easy pregnancy, no morning sickness and an easy delivery. It takes many older women a while to get pregnant but not always. I was pregnant two weeks after I went off the pill. I would never have a second child so my son could have a sibling. I would feel really guilty about taking away so much of the time DH and I spend with him and having him need to share us with an intruder/infant.

The reason most people do not know many/any people of this age who have Downs babies is that over 90% of trisomy 21 fetuses are aborted. Most people do not go out of their way to discuss their abortions - especially when they actually wanted the pregnancy.

BTW a 2% possibility of something life changing like Downs doesn't sound like that much? Think about how you would feel if your child needed surgery with a 2% chance of dying - sounds really high, doesn't it? Having a trisomy baby at age 41 likely means your daughter will be responsible for his/her care when you die or become too old to care for another adult.

1 mom found this helpful

S.L.

answers from Kansas City on

My doctor told me the only babies he delivered with Downs were to younger teens and yet they had to ask me when I was pregnant at age 34, and 36 and 38....but all were born fine. Of course I had other kids and I think the risks are supposed to be less if you have other births before the older age. I have a friend who had her last at age 42 and he's fine, now married. All the stats and what 'they' say are not always accurate.

1 mom found this helpful

M.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

had my 3 kids at 30, 32, and 34\35. I am 36 and I think if I wanted kids, I wouldnt hesitate in my 40's. I know several women that did, no bad stories. I also know a young woman that should have quit at 23. Her first at 19 was Downs. Her second had severe developmental delays, and now her 3rd is severely Autistic. I think it more genetic than anything. If you have a history of issues, or your husbands family does. I would serious re-think it. Though if you have nothing serious for both of you, go for it!!!!

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

I'm almost 40 and we are trying for our third. I'm petrified, but I want my kids to have another sibling.

I just remind myself that the stats really aren't that bad, if you look at them in reverse as Sarah pointed out.

1 mom found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I had my 2nd at age 39 (she is 2 now), which is close to 41. I was nervous about it too...and the doctor did show me the statistics for problems happening as you get older. But everything went very well and we have a gorgeous healthy daughter who we think the world of. I think you should think positively and chances are high that everything will be just fine.

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M.P.

answers from Raleigh on

My mother had me at 41 in 1975. Get yourself all checked out by the doctor, and if things look good, go for it! Don't listen the stats. They are just that- statistics. It just depends on how you look at it.
Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Chicago on

I understand the stats can be scary, the incidence of down syndrome does increase with age. But a woman your age has a 98.6% chance of conceiving a baby WITHOUT DS and a 98.9% chance of delivering a baby WITHOUT DS (the rate goes up a little due to the increased incidence of a baby with down syndrome not making it to term). From here those look like pretty good odds, but of course numbers mean nothing when it is your baby that falls in the 1%. It is not something to take lightly, but I do not think it would be enough to stop me from trying to have another baby at 41. I wish you the very best.

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H.P.

answers from Houston on

I think that as long as you have been good to your body your chances are good for a healthy baby at 41. For peace of mind, work with a fertility specialist. They do automatic screenings. I had an ultrasound every other week or so, every week for some periods. I could tell anybody what was going on inside my body at any given moment. It kinda spoiled me.

Good luck!

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

I had mine at 39 and 41.. and my mother had me at 44.. I guess my family is fertile in our 40s..

both kids are normal healthy and smart. my second pregnancy when I was older .. was actually easier in every respect.

I did have amnios both times.. a genetic counselor told me... no matter how old you are when you are pregnant.. there is a 95% chance that the baby is chromosomally normal. .. there is a higher likelyhood of miscarriage.. but if the pregnancy is progressing normally the baby is probably ok.. good luck.

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

You are not too old. Complications can happen at any age - and although they are higher when we get older, they overstress the stats (in my opinion). My cousin has 3 children. The first was born at 41!!! One was a premie, but that was b/c of placenta previa (happens at any age) and is doing just fine at 6 years old :). Like any pregnancy you do have to be aware of the risks and know what they are... I say if you feel you want another go for it. I wish you the very best :)

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M.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I had my youngest 2 wks after I turned 41. I admit delivery wasn't as easy as my other 3 but none are ever the same anyway. They wanted an amnio done but I chose not to, said I would take whatever I got. I say as long as you know what risks there may or may not be, and you are in good health, it is up to you. I have a beautiful girl who is turning 9 next mth. She has issues but there is no proof that they are caused by my being older. I have known younger moms having kids with worse issues. Go with what you feel in your heart that you can handle. Feel free to give me a yell if you want at [email protected]____.com

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A.R.

answers from Chicago on

You should definitely consult your doctor. It really does depend on your health as well. Good Luck! :-)

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K.O.

answers from Detroit on

I had my son at age 43 and had a wonderful pregnancy. No morning sickness, lots of energy all the way through and had an easy delivery too. Such a great experience all the way around. I'm 48 now and would get pregnant in a minute if it were possible. We are trying, so we'll see.

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J.T.

answers from New York on

If I hadn't had my second by 41, I wouldn't have hesitated. My sister did, lots of friends have etc. They did have screening for Downs etc if that makes a difference to you. And like someone said, it can be a bit harder on the mother but if you've been healthy and get pregnant easily, likely it'll be fine. And it's usually something that can be treated and controlled etc. I really wouldn't hesitate. At 45 maybe but even then...

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S.E.

answers from Salinas on

I think the stats are scary and misleading. If you have the combined screening test at 11-13 weeks and your odds are 1 in 50 for downs that means 98% chance not and 2% chance with downs. 1in 2 means a 50% chance of downs. Many women your age will test positive in the combined screening because age is factored into the equation. I know several who have stressed when they got the positive and went on to have healthy babies. The anmio or CVS gave them peace of mind, but I also know some people do not want to risk the pregnancy with these invasive tests.
This is from a website:
"If the test indicates the chance for Down syndrome is greater than 1/350, the result is called screen positive. The test will also indicate a screen positive for Trisomy 18/13 if the chance of chromosome abnormalities Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13 is greater than 1/100."

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

How valid are these 'facts' anymore? I mean yeah back in the 60s, even, my mom was past the age that it's safe to be preggers, but found herself preggers anyway. She was scared. That was then. I mean she's still of the old school that unpasteurized, raw milk will cause rheumatic fever.
And the bottom line is that technology has drastically changed.
How healthy are you? I mean there's the humorous line going around that 50 is the new 30. If you're a 50 year old in a 50 year old body, i.e., it might not be a wise choice. If you keep healthy and people mistake you for being a lot younger than you are, and you take good quality vitamins and such, why should 40 be a problem?
Think also tho that in 20 years, you'll be 60 when your baby is in its second year of college. How much older do you want to be? I mean age creeps up on us and sometimes we just aren't what we used to be. So if you're in great health, go for it. That's a plus on your side. If you don't have a good health routine now, I would pass it up. And take your hubby into consideration too. For the same reasons: health and fitness. Also, the more we head into our mid life years, we start thinking in terms of the empty nest and doing things again with our other half, w/out the kids. Well there goes those plans. So consider not only yourself, but your hubby as well. I did try sex selection in my late 30s. And at 38 found myself preggers unexpectedly. And by that time I'd already had 2 miscarriages and the unexpected pregnancy would be number 3. So regardless of age, miscarriages happen w/out rhyme or reason. Best wishes whatever you decide. And if you go for it, my warmest congratulations!

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't really know anyone that has had kids later in life that has any type problems at all. I know there are risks. BUT I also think that there are joys unlimited. If you want to have another child then do it.

I think it's a risk each and every time a woman gets pregnant. It does not matter if she is older or younger. The outcome is not very common in my little neck of the woods. Most of my friends were still having children in their 40's.

My husbands grandmother had her last child in her 50's or 60's. I can't wake him up and ask but I am almost certain it was in her 60's. She had a daughter the same age and her granddaughter's daughter. She was my MIL's Great Aunt and they were nearly to the day the same age. Maybe it was his mothers grandmother....I can't remember but she was a great aunt and the same age.

The personal ancestry file always kicks out the date when checking for errors and tells him it's an error. He has to go back in and manually add it again.

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A.L.

answers from Atlanta on

Well, I had my first at 37 and second at 40, so it's very similar to your situation. Both my kids and the child of a friend (also born when her mother was 40) are happy, healthy, and genetically normal. As the others have said, stats are percentage possibilities, not inevitable. It may take longer to conceive and the pregnancy may be a bit harder on YOU, however I don't think you should let the percentage risk of a birth defect unreasonably determine what you do. Good luck!

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R.D.

answers from Detroit on

I had my first child and our only one at 41. He is beautiful and perfect. I never even had the down's test. You do what feels right to you and for your family. I believe being a more mature and stable family has been a blessing. If I would have had a child in my 20s, I would not have had the resources and knowledge etc that I have now. We feel we are better parents being a big older. Hopefully our son will feel the same as he gets older and we get (much) older. 8-)

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K.C.

answers from Texarkana on

Hello i have a close friend that is 40 and having her 3rd baby shes 20 wks and everything seems great at around 14wks they did send her to dallas for a sonogram (2 1/2hrs away) not really sure why she said it had to do with her age but everything was great so far she hasnt had any issues just a good pregnancy. also my sister is 37 yrs old and is having her 1st child she is currently 15wks pregnant and she has high blood pressure, gout in both feet and some kind of thyroid problem but none of these issues has affected her pregnancy at all. i know shes not in her 40's but i believe that as long as you take care of yourself no matter ur age ur gonna have a healthy happy baby :) good luck and i hope you get to add to ur family

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