With pop icon Janet Jackson becoming pregnant just before her 50th birthday in May, many women are wondering if they too can become pregnant in their 40s. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, director of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital, tells us that many women are now safety delivering babies over age 40.
How common is it for women to give birth in their 40s?
Nurse Rose: It’s more common than you would think. With the growing popularity and success of fertility treatments, many women are waiting into their 30s or 40s to become pregnant.
Over the last couple of decades, the number of women giving birth in their 30s and 40s has increased significantly, while the number of women having babies in their 20s has dropped.
Isn’t it more risky to have a baby later in life?
Nurse Rose: There are some unique challenges to becoming a mother over the age of 40, but your OBGYN can help monitor your health to stay on top of these risks.
In pregnant women over the age of 40, your doctor should keep an eye out for these potential problems.
- Higher rates of miscarriage
- Genetic abnormalities
- High blood pressure
Do you have any advice for expecting mothers over 40?
Nurse Rose: Any women trying to become pregnant should consult her OBGYN and see her doctor regularly throughout the pregnancy. But women over age 35 will have to make more frequent appointments.
Here are a few more tips.
- Start taking prenatal vitamins three to four months before trying to conceive
- Do not drink alcohol
- Deliver in facility with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
Looking for an OBGYN? Find one near you and make an appointment today with Adventist HealthCare.
Additional Health Tips from Rose
Hear more health tips from Rose by tuning into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m.