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News to Me: Moms Over 40 Are the New Trend

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, times are changing for aging women. Not only is their age creeping up on them, but the desire to have kids is, too.

In this day and age, with better education and career opportunities for women, it's easier to delay pregnancy, sometimes without realizing it. While I'm all for women holding their careers near and dear to their hearts, putting off motherhood may not be the right decision. According to Dr. Ingrid A. Rodi, a Santa Monica fertility specialist, it's best to get pregnancy rolling when you reach your 30s, since women begin to have fertility problems about 10 to 15 years before experiencing menopause, which typically happens around 50 or 52. Older mothers are also more likely to develop high-blood pressure and gestational diabetes, and they have a higher risk of giving birth to a premature and low-birth-weight baby.

Even though we see celebrities having babies later in life (Marcia Cross, Geena Davis, and Nancy Grace to name a few), it can be harder and more dangerous than we may think, especially if assisted reproduction is used.

Dear's Advice: Although this article may alarm you, be sure you're emotionally and financially ready before jumping on the baby bandwagon.


Join The Conversation
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"women have babies up to a point (age 42) but after that it's very difficult." This is not a blanket statement or an absolute age. It's an average.
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
Juju, I am so with you. I am 30 and husband is 31..people say to me, "what are you waiting on?" "you better go ahead before you are too old", "you run the risk of birth defects the older you are". OMG! people are soooo freaking rude! You never know a person's maybe they "CANT" have children? If they are childless its for a reason...I personally plan to wait until I finish school..and IF we are ready then..then maybe....who says you have to have children once you are married?!
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
I agree with Caterpillargirl that when are you ever ready? It's just one of those questions/statements that don't really make sense to others the way it does to you. I have always wanted to be a young mother, and that's because my parents were young. However, I do want to be able to know that I am ok, financially and personally. This presents a problem, when it take a while for a person's career to take off. If I were in her situation, I would've done it the same way Kate Hudson did. They didn't plan the baby, but they were grateful for the pregnancy. Plus, she can afford to not plan pregnancy and be a young mother. Dreams...
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
women have babies up to a point (age 42) but after that it's very difficult. i don't believe that there are even stats kept on the number of women over 44 that have children because the number is so low. if you have money and don't mind a donor egg that makes it eaiser, but don't expect medical science to to bail you out because you were busy with other things and decided to wait to start a family. as for people calling you selfish for having a child, so what? and btw, wanting to be a mother is why every woman has a child. what other reason is there? being 40 now is not what being 40 was 25 years ago. 4o year old women work out, watch their diets and are educated. i don't think think any age is "better" to have a baby, just different. at least up till your late 40's.
Marci Marci 9 years
I don't actually think it's a *new* trend. My mother and both of my grandmothers had kids in their 40s. It's been going on forever; just no one paid that much attention to the stats before. And I know a woman who just had her first child naturally at age 51. I don't think age matters. As long as a child is wanted and loved; that's the key.
angelbaby2 angelbaby2 9 years
i know lots of successful career woman who have had kids in their 40's. No big deal. They are all fine and still succcessful and happy with healthy kids.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I'm 29, and have been married for a year. In the last year, I have heard so much of "girl, you better have kids while you can..." and I think it is awful. And this is from total strangers, or co-workers, mind you. I just think it is funny how people want to be so involved in other people's personal decisions.
CanadianInVA CanadianInVA 9 years
I agree that it is your own personal decision when to have kids. As long as you are ready for them who cares if you are 40? And as for the hospital bills, why doesn't this county have socialized medicine and maternity/paternity to help all families?
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 9 years
I am 40 and I wanted to have a baby for 3 years but now I just realized that the reason why I wanted to have a baby is just because for "myself"----to be a mother and raise a family. However, since pregnancy didn't occur and if I bear a baby in my 40's, not only it's risky, but I think I'd be termed as a "selfish mom" by others since I delayed my pregnancy and the more disturbing is the fact that I won't have the physical strength and stamina to raise young children. By the time I'm 50, my kid is only 10 yrs old. It would strike me guilty for not being able to raise kids when I was "fit" to raise them.
SummerBaby SummerBaby 9 years
i think it all depends on the person and where they are in life
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
When 50% of people in this country don't have health insurance (and it's not because they don't have jobs) it's not fair to expect those people to remain childless. In an ideal world health insurance would come with a job and it would pay for everything, but it doesn't. I've paid $2000 out of pocket with good health insurance for the most minor (non-optional!) surgery imaginable. If I had foregone that surgery, though, I might have had cancer. anyway, back to the topic at hand.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I just turned 34 my husband is 26, I am not ready for kids, but you know? when are you really. We are thinking of maybe to start to "talk" about it....I am just too selfish
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
I'm gonna pop out a ga-jillion kids...start a little league team... I hate being an adult. Sure, I'm responisible, independant and secure with cash. But kids are fkn great. My lifestyle right now is what? I work, go home to make dinner with my bf, go party on weekends, take trips to frisco...blahblah, it all becomes a blur. I can go here, there, bleh....It's upbeat and all, but shoot. At the end of the day, I'm a family-orienatated homebody and would rather have kids keepin me on the go rather than to be alone. Plus having risky pregnancies scare the fuhjeezeez outta me. It's bad enough to go thru normal labor, I couldn't imagine a complicated one.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
If you have insurance, it pays for your hospital stay. if you don't have insurance, then you DO NOT need to have kids. those little effers get sick at the drop of a hat, and you need to be able to take care of it. I'm not planning on having kids for the next 10 years. maybe then i'll get broody for them. you have to feed them, love them play with them make sure they aren't effed up in the head so they won't kill people when they become adults feed them again . . . . i am not ready to care about someone else right now. it may sound selfish, but it's the truth. I like to travel, and once your kids become school age, you can't just jump up and go to the Mexican Rivera for a week or two. you have to plan your life around theirs. did i mention you have to feed them???
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"even the hospital bills for childbirth!" Seriously, each time I see one of those, I thank God repeatedly that we're able to have such good insurance. We've never paid a dime. I cannot believe how much it costs just for the child to exit the body.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I think one point that needs to be pointed out is that people are waiting longer before they get married, and that may be the reason. I am 28 and not even engaged yet, so I will be in my mid-30s at least before children. That wasn't a choice, by the way....
Papaya Papaya 9 years
I'm definitely feeling that. I really want to have a great career and be completely financially secure before having kids. I don't see that happening until my mid-thirties. I'm mind boggled by people in their early 20s who have kids even though that used to be so normal not too long ago.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
My husband and I are child-free by choice. I agree that having children is a matter of personal choice. There are women, like myself, who do not want to be mothers. To clarify, my husband and I are not anti-children. We like children, but we don't really want them.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Wish I could have kids right now, but honestly I don't have a choice. It's so ridiculously expensive to have children (even the hospital bills for childbirth!) it's no wonder people are waiting.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I thought that, too bugness. But if the phrase is "Mom is over 40!" is the new trend, it's correct. ;) I do think it's a hugely personal choice. That's another reason I take issue with the statement of "be sure you're ready." Even that's personal, some people are surprised into being "ready." I've always thought it was really funny that my sister and I saw it so differently. She wanted to be done with kids by the time she turned 30, and was. I merely wanted to have one before I turned 30, then take it from there, and I did. *lol*
bugness bugness 9 years
But I really mean, I think it's a personal choice. Everyone is different. (And moms doesn't need an apostrophe. I thought I'd let you know ;))
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I actually do kind of take issue with "be sure you're ready" though. Two of my kids have been complete surprises, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
bugness bugness 9 years
I don't think I would be able to wait that long... All of the generations before me were young parents, and I love the fact that I met 3 of my great-grandmothers. And I would love to be able to have a relationship with my grandkids. I can't help but think that if you have the gift of being able to procreate, you should do it at a healthy age.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I think it's common for people not yet in the "increased risk" age to not know, but in my experience, doctors give almost too much information once you fall into the category. With my first two, I was 27 and 30. It was pretty run-of-the-mill. But being 35 this time, I moved into a much bigger risk group, and everyone's been on top of it from the very start. It actually made me feel really damn old when they immediately offered amnio rather than waiting for an indicated need. *lol*
Marseeah Marseeah 9 years
I've been married for 2 years, and been with my husband for 7 years, and I'm 26. And I'm not even thinking about having children for at least 10 years. I love the life that I have right now, and I want to be able to send my children to the private schools necessary - we live in NYC, so it's private schools from nursery school on. Plus, did I mention that I love the life I have now?
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