Having a baby is a joy. But having a baby after the age of 40 – are there more pros or cons? A woman is normally considered past her prime after the age of 40, so to be a mother again after the age of 40 is unthinkable to many people, although not impossible.
In 2008, an Indian woman named Rajo Devi, aged 70, had her first baby girl after years of artificial means to conceiving one failed. Another Indian lady Omkari Panwar made medical history by becoming the first woman at 70 years to have twin babies via Caesarean birth, the reason being that both she and her husband wanted a son.
What made the ladies take the risk of pregnancy at such an old age? Yet, many centuries earlier, the Bible records Abraham’s wife giving birth at the ripe old age of a hundred years. Hence although uncommon, as long as the womb is able, having a baby after the age of 40 is not impossible, and hence something worth considering perhaps for couples who marry in their late thirties or forties.
Indeed, in today’s world whereby man and woman have near equality in almost all aspects of life, and whereby being a househusband is nothing to be shy over, having a baby after the age of 40 may carry more positive than negative consequences. A lot of it has to do with the economic, emotional and medical health of the couple. In vitro fertilization is no longer an issue of religion or morale but the answer to go forth and populate the earth.
When couples are financially established and emotionally mature after the age of 40, they may make better parents than teens who still need parental guidance in the following ways:
Financial stability for those who can afford it
Being established in their careers means that parenting after the age of 40 is reduced to finding suitable childcare for their offspring, and life carries on as usual. Stay-in maids are affordable helps for parents who are patient and fortunate to have reliable ones who not only take care of the little one but also the household chores. Mature stay-in maids who need the cash back home may make better child minders than the real parents as they are home-bound, unlike the parents who are at work the whole day.
Emotional stability for the parents who do not mind sharing the parenting with others
Being in their 40s means that mature parents would have thought long and hard about having a baby invade their two-person lives. Although many adults who become parents after 40 also married late in their lives, some do so out of religious obligations or a second chance at marriage. Whichever the case, these parents would have worked out the necessary adjustments so that when the little ones finally arrive, they are more than ready to receive the little ones.
Ability to adjust to changes to accommodate the newest member in the family
If they needed help and advice, they would have turned to the right people for them without feeling inadequate. Because they know their limitations by 40, they would also know how to strike a balance between their family, their work and other areas. If either parents feel the need to, they would also have made adjustments to work and home arrangements to accommodate the newest member in the family.
It sounds so simple to have a baby after 40. Nonetheless, there are cons to be considered for parents who are not financially stable, or who choose to sacrifice career to spend more time with the dream of their lives. Moreover, if suitable childcare is not to be had, both parents may have to make adjustments to their lifestyle that compromise their pre-baby standards of living.
Compromising health of the mother
Being pregnant after 35 is certainly no advantage, even with the advancement in medical history. Not only is the health of the mother compromised, children conceived after 35 also have a higher chance of abnormal defects such as Down Syndrome. Indeed, even if the children are born healthy, their parents may not live long enough to see them grow into adulthood. A sad example is Maria Carmen del Bousada who died just three years after the birth of her twin boys. Sadly so, illness or death can strike any mother, however, the risks are higher for older mothers.
Compromising the happiness of other family members
A baby in the family can mean discomfort for older siblings who can be mistaken as the parents, as in the case of step-siblings. The parents themselves can be mistaken for the grandparents. How the whole family works through the teething issues depends very much on the level of preparedness of all the family members.
Inability to cope with a young and robust child
Having a child after 40 would be that parents will be at least half a century old when their child is a lively ten-year-old. Will parents be able to run after their curious two year old or pick up a spoilt child who is bawling and kicking away?
There are always two sides to a coin. Parenting after 40 is as much a balancing act as parenting any other age. How things work to the advantage of the older parents depends very much on how prepared they are in having the child and how much they are willing to work through in raising a child past their prime.