How "real" are health risks for pregnant at 43 yr old?

Suzie - posted on 03/31/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am 43 and just found out I am Pregnant!!!! I have been experiencing peri-menopausal symptems for a while - night sweats, insomnia, irritablilty, irregular periods - so needless to say I am SHOCKED! I have a 15 yr. old step son, 16 yr old son, and a 19 yr old daughter (who has a 16 month old daughter). So I am a grandma faced with having a baby now. Wow. So I am concerned with the health risks. Are they as bad as what you read out there, or are the doc's just being safe and warning what COULD happpen? My half-sister had a Down Syndrome baby at 29. I am a non-smoker, rarely drink alcohol, am not overweight, but I know my late year conception does come with risks. Any women who have been thru this and have stories to share? Don't worry if they are "bad news" stories, I want to know all sides to be prepared!

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Carolyn - posted on 08/20/2012

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Ha, Suzie and Suzy, both pregnant and over 40. I just responded to Suzy, but I'll answer again!
I wish my name was Susie, but it's Carolyn lol. I had my first and only child at age 46 and the pregnancy was a complete surprise for me, too.

I'd started getting shorter and less regular periods at age 41 but no hot flashes until my boy was a year old and I let my milk dry up. So with all those perimenopausal symptoms, I can understand why you'd be shocked.

But as for the risks, sure, they're there. But the odds of nothing going wrong are quite good, especially if you take good care of yourself. The docs just don't want to over-promise and under-deliver (no pun intended) so they prepare you for the worst.

My OBGyn was very cautious with her enthusiasm until we got some good test results well into the pregnancy. Then she finally got excited.

I know you posted several months ago. I do hope all is well. I'm answering for your sake but also for others who might stumble upon your question.

To sum it up, I believe that women over 40 can have perfectly healthy pregnancies and healthy, happy babies. The most important factor is your own health and a healthy lifestyle. Eat right, exercise, relax, do pregnancy yoga and/or pregnancy massage. Get lots of sleep at the beginning of the pregnancy because it gets harder and harder to sleep later!

All the best to you...

Jen - posted on 11/05/2014

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I am 43 and just found out I am 5 almost 6 weeks pregnant. I go in for a doc visit in a few weeks, but I'm just hoping and praying that this baby is healthy, that it delivers to term and that all goes well. We hope to have one more after this too. But it is scary thinking about the risks. Even if the baby has something, we will deliver and hope for grace to get through anything. IT's encouraging to read here for healthy births to women in their 40's thanks for posting!

Suzy Lewis - posted on 07/19/2012

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Hey, I just found out I'm accidentally pregnant at 44 too. Holy cow! I am as shocked as you. When my period was late, I thought it was peri-menopausal too. Or that morning sickness was a stomach bug. So far, after 2 ultrasounds, everything looks good. I was told by our Dr. that 19 out of 20 women our age DO have healthy babies (without Down's Syndrome, or Edwards Syndrome, etc). So we are doing all the genetic tests we can, and a CVS or amnio, and fetal DNA blood tests, and also hoping for the best. Crazy times. Hang in there.

Suzie - posted on 07/28/2013

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Carolyn, Cathy, and Suzy, I just want to thank you for all your posts. I delivered a perfectly healthy, happy baby girl! She weighed 7.6 pounds with no abnormalities or delays! Now, at 8 months, she is babbling, eating solids with her 7 teeth, crawling all over the place and pulling herself up to stand already! I am still nursing her, so no peri-menopausal symptoms yet. My husband and I also decided to forego any intense testing for things like Downs, as we were not going to terminate if anything showed up. I wouldn't change a thing! She is such a blessing to our family!

Cathy - posted on 06/09/2012

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Gosh,I was hoping to read other people's experiences! Suzie,all I can tell you is I had my first at the age of 41 and had a very easy pregnancy. I too was worried about all the horror stories you hear about,but I wanted to be a mom! My sister-in-law had her babies pretty late too and both are happy,healthy boys. I have to wonder if the complications arise from not taking care of yourself? I don't know,I don't want to sound like I'm judging,because I'm not,just wondering. I was worried about Downs Syndrome,but my husband and I discussed it and decided that regardless we would not do anything different(if the test came back positive)so we did not even have the test as there is some risk to the baby involved. 'Am hoping to have another so I really hope others will post replies here as I too would like to know.

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Sophia - posted on 02/18/2014

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I have baby at 40 years old. I had 2 older sons. My son stop talking at 4 and start back 4years. He has some social problem , he gets ot,pt and speech. However when it comes to school my child is number one. But it take hard work, homework takes forever but he is the light of my life. Can you enjoy a child with needs if the Answer is yes then go for it my sister.

Sophia - posted on 04/27/2013

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my love you could have a baby that has no health programs.... and you could have a child with one or more health problems. I know at the end of 9 months... we all want that baby of our dream.. what if you don't get your dream can you be happy.... just having a baby. good luck...

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