More and more women are choosing to delay motherhood and some of the benefits are becoming clear, such as living longer than those who gave birth at a younger age. Today, the number of women having babies after age 40 has quadrupled. Why are women waiting longer? Some are in the throws of an expanding career, jump starting a business, attending universities or just have their hands full and aren’t quite ready. Some want to make sure they are financially stable, while others prefer to wait until they’ve met someone appropriate for co-parenting. In the 150’s, women were wedding at the age of 19, and although today’s median age is 25, many women are waiting even longer than that, and with technologies like egg freezing and other reproductive advances, women have more options now than ever.
Another benefit that’s getting talked about more and more is how it is easier to cope with being a mom, both financially and emotionally. Women are usually in more stable relationships, many aspects of their careers & goals have been met, and there is room for the new project of parenting and family building, not to mention sometimes a much larger and stronger support network.
Of course the down side is potential fertility issues, potentially more difficult pregnancies and higher chances of C-sections. All things considered there is more and more feedback from this cohort that the benefits outweigh the challenges. Later mothers who used IVF and other types of assisted reproductive technologies adjusted to pregnancy just the same as women who were younger and did not use assisted technologies. Moreover, an Australian study stated that mothers over the age of forty scored higher in ability to cope with and handle problems in parenting, including being more flexible and creative in approaches.
This is all great news for women who have decided to wait, for a variety of reasons. If you are planning on delaying motherhood or are currently trying to conceive (TTC) and are over the age of forty, you may want to consider checking in with a fertility specialist to make sure you are optimizing your chances of having a healthy, happy baby. Here at Santa Monica Fertility, we are happy to help.