I turned 40 this past July and I am now seriously thinking of having a baby but I have some real concerns. Am I too old? Would I be putting a child at a high risk of mental impairments? Would deliverer be harder or riskier?
I had a scare that I was pregnant and the thought of it consumed me I was very disappointed that the test was negative. I just don't want to put a child at risk. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
It is true that at this point your eggs are older than the ideal. That said, there is still a better than even chance that your child would be perfectly normal. If this really concerns you, you might consider obtaining a younger egg and using your husband's sperm, which would substantially decrease the chance of problems for the child.
How risky a pregnancy would be otherwise depends on your general health and your willingness to go the extra mile to stay healthy during the pregnancy. I have had many clients over 40 who have had successful pregnancies, both with their own eggs and with others', including a 49 year-old who delivered wonderful twins who are now happy, healthy 3 year-olds.
-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.
Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.