Is having children later in life risky for a woman and her baby? One of UK’s top midwives says no, and blames experts who discourage older women from becoming mothers. She claims they usually overstate the problems a woman can suffer, and the risk increase is small if she is in good health.
Women have started having babies later in life, as they concentrate more on their careers first. As compared to 47 years ago, the age at which women give birth to their first child increased by five years. Now, the average age is about 28.6, as compared 23.5 during the 1970s.
Also, in only three decades, the number of older women having babies increased as well. The percentage of new mothers over 40 was 4.9 per 1,000 in 1984. In 2014, it reached 23.5 percent per 1,000.
The risks for older women are real, but they might not be that big
Usually, doctors encourage women to have babies earlier in life. They say that fertility drops with age, and this is associated with a number of complications they and their babies might suffer, and plenty of risks on both sides. However, Professor Cathy Warwick, from the Royal College of Midwives, says these risks have been overstated.
“Even if you have your baby at 42 or 45, it’s a relatively small increase in risk to you if you’re otherwise healthy.”
Therefore, she disagrees with this practice to discourage older women from having babies. However, these views are opposing to those promoted by most doctors. They blame mothers for having babies later in life, and say they are not aware of the risks they put themselves to.
These experts also blame celebrities who are having babies over the age of 40 for encouraging other women to do the same. Most of these women have usually used donor eggs or in vitro fertilization to get pregnant, and they often don’t make the issues they are facing public.
Society discourages older women from having babies, but it tends to glorify men who become fathers later in life. The risks are real, but they might not be that big as some doctors say. What we might have to change would be the mentality of the population regarding this issue.
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