The Pros and Cons of Later Life Motherhood

By Angel LaLiberte, BA (Hons) Psych Founder, FlowerPowerMom.com, The Truth About Motherhood After 40, an advocacy website for later life mothers Angel has been widely featured in US media, including several appearances on CNN, and an upcoming episode of “Inside E-Street” for AARP, to air on PBS.

Posted on | By Angel LaLiberte, BA | Comments ()

The Downside

 

Declining fertility

The hard facts about a woman’s chance of conceiving after 40 are gloomy at best. Not everyone realizes that women are born with all of their oocytes (eggs), of which roughly only 300 will be ovulated, up until menopause. Despite the presence of eggs, fertility really begins to drop off from 35 onward, and even more significantly from 40, due to age-related hormonal fluctuations.

Increased Risk Factors

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), married women between the ages of 40-44 have a 60% chance of remaining childless, and all women in this age group have a 34% risk of miscarriage. At 40, there’s a 1 in 106 risk of Down Syndrome. 

The IVF Miracle Myth

Studies have shown that IVF does not significantly increase fertility in older women. In other words, it’s not the magic panacea for maternal aging. In women 40 and older, success rates have been generally less than 15% per cycle.

Increasingly, fertility doctors are encouraging women over 40 to use donor eggs from younger women, although natural conception is still possible.

A Diminishing Support Network

Women having children in their 40s are more likely to be part of a “sandwich generation,” responsible for the care of elderly parents as well as children, or more likely to have deceased parents. They are less likely to have the support of their peers, who are facing retirement age and have different interests.

The Upside

 

Later Mothers Bring Abundant Benefits

Women over 40 bring many benefits and resources to motherhood that enable to them to make the most out of a longer life expectancy. Having waited so long, they are more likely to dedicate themselves to being healthy both during pregnancy and parenting in the long run.

Article written by Angel LaLiberte, BA
Psych Founder, FlowerPowerMom.com, The Truth About Motherhood After 40, an advocacy website for later life mothers Angel has been...