Advantages and Disadvantages to having a Baby in your 40s

Having a baby after age 40 can be very worrisome or a truly blessed family event. In some cases, it can be both. Some of the advantages and disadvantages are worth considering for women who may be considering taking that life-changing step.

Advantage: Living in today’s advanced society

With quality medical facilities and advancement in care during and after pregnancy, women of any age bearing children have access to the best of contemporary treatment. An older mother-to-be can avail herself of qualified specialists who will guide her through the birth process and beyond.

Advantage: Today’s mature mother-to-be is well-prepared 

She has already lived as many as two decades as a responsible adult, and has the maturity to properly care for and nurture a new baby. Unlike some very young women who are not prepared emotionally and otherwise to become mothers, the 40-plus mother-to-be has usually thought out intelligently and accepting every step of the way to giving birth and caring for the newborn.

Advantage: The older new mother has more experience  

She has already enjoyed many years of freedom and learning, permitting her to settle down to raising the child. At age 40 instead of 20, she isn’t likely to have regrets about missing anything those years may offer younger women. It could make it easier for her to accept all the responsibilities of motherhood, with a more calm, mature attitude.

Advantage: The older woman can concentrate her love

In her 20s and 30s, many women believe their first responsibility is to love their husbands, both physically and in other priority ways. In such situations, when children arrive while a wife is very young, her emotions and heavy day-to-day responsibilities may leave her exhausted. She could feel guilty when she must spend more time with the children and less alone with her young husband.

The wife who is past 40, as well as her more mature husband,  usually have evolved over the years beyond the needs for their own intense relationship. Concentrating on baby care at that stage in their relationship may be compatible with long-held feelings for each other.  

Advantage: With older parents, finances may be less of a worry
 
With as many as 20 years in the workforce by the father, as it may also be with the mother, family income is usually more stable. A permanent home is also more likely to happen in a financially-stable family with a late-arriving baby. This will be a continuing advantage to the child through school years and beyond.

Disadvantage: Possible health and fitness problems

A woman in her 40s is typically less active than she was when younger, and not in the top physical shape of those decades younger. This could make her more susceptible to health problems during pregnancy, through the birth process and in the recovery stages. 

Disadvantage: Wide age gap between parents and child

When the child is very young, the relationship with parents can be typically loving and satisfying for the entire family. However, when the child becomes a teenager with parents in their late 50s or 60s, there could be age gap problems.

Older parents tend to be more set in their ways, while less tolerant of the contemporary social attitudes. It could not only cause conflicts in the home, but embarrassment for the teenager whose peers all have active, contemporary parents still in their 40s.
 
The wide age gap could also affect useful participation by the grandparents. In their 80s, they’ll be less likely to be reliable babysitters. Further, in some families, when a woman has children in her 40s, she may find herself committed to combine childcare with eldercare responsibilities.