They say every pregnancy is different and comes with their own risks; Having a baby in your 40s is a joyous, exhausting and unique experience but the health risks of having a baby in your 40s could be twice than those women in their 20s or 30s.
Over the years, the number of women giving birth into their 40s and 50s have steadily increased.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 105,000 women aged 40 to 44 gave birth in 2007, which is a record-high since 1968.
This is due to many women delaying marriage or pregnancy later in life so they can focus on their careers.
But having a baby in your 40s or 50s could mean more complications and long-term implications, according to studies.
Prone To Preeclampsia
A study conducted by the University of Southern California in 2002 found that 26% of pregnant women aged 50 to 54 suffered from a life-threatening condition called preeclampsia, characterized by high blood pressure and may signal that there is damage in your organs. This could also prompt doctors to advise mothers to abort their baby or deliver them prematurely.
According to St. Louis psychologist, Diane Sanford, PhD older mothers are more likely to have postpartum depression.
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“It makes sense that older moms could be more vulnerable to this, as they may be more set in their ways and used to more personal freedom than younger women,” she told Health.com.
Postpartum depression, if not cured, could lead to violent and suicidal tendencies.
A study conducted at the University of Minnesota suggested that women who gave birth at age 40 were 40 to 70 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular diseases, the Daily Mail reported.
In addition, they are also reportedly likely to have a stroke, as compared to women who gave birth earlier in life.
Gestational diabetes or diabetes developed during a pregnancy is more likely to happen to women in their 40s. This is developed due to high levels of glucose or blood sugar. This makes the pregnancy even more risky and difficult for expecting mothers. Gestational diabetes could later on develop into type 2 diabetes, which could have adverse implications on your life.
So what can you do to avoid these health risks when you’re having a baby in your 40s? The answer is really quite simple: Stay on a strictly healthy, all-natural diet and increase your physical activity.
Unfortunately, it could prove very difficult to lose extra weight or do intense workouts when you’re pregnant, especially when you’re not used to it. The best thing to do, still, is to consult your physician.