Today we are seeing more and more women becoming mothers later in life. Maybe we were trying to find “Mr. Right” or “Ms. Right”; or maybe we chose our career over motherhood; or maybe we just didn’t feel our biological clock until now. Some of us were not ready to have children before, but now that we are wiser, we are ready. As we are approaching our forties and beyond, we suddenly have that maternal feeling we just can’t ignore. Older women are often more financially secure and can put their careers on hold at this point in their life, and they tend to be in more stable relationships.
So, is there really a problem with later age and motherhood? When does it become too late to become a mother? According to the CDC, the likelihood of having a live birth at 40 is 18.7%, at 42 is 10% and at 44 it’s only 2.9%. With Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), women over the age of 40 have been showing an increase in fertility the last few years, compared to women who are younger ages. This is supported by technology and medicine and other options that women have today to help us become mothers later in life.
However, later motherhood also has a stigma in today’s society which has associated the term “granny moms” as older women who have children due to assistance with technology and medicine. This stigma has been around since 1950 when pregnancy was considered to be a risk for first-time mothers over the age of 35. Today, we still use this medical terminology treating pregnancy over the age of 35 as “advanced maternal age,” similar to “granny moms”. Because of this term, later mothers have had to endure more invasive prenatal testing and genetic counseling.
The truth of the matter is that later motherhood is becoming more common and will continue to occur as technology and medicine advances and as life expectancy increases. The risks to the health and welfare of the babies is still of concern, but with improved prenatal screenings and testing, older women are having healthy, live births.
We are here to discuss the options for motherhood for women of all ages. We have professionals who are understanding of circumstances that may have affected your journey to motherhood. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have.