What are the Risks to the Baby for a Mother Over 40 Years Old


More and more women are preparing to become a mother after 30 or more. In fact, compared to 1970 (when 1 out of 100 moms was over the age of 35), today’s number is 1 in 7. If your life focused on your career or you didn’t feel until now that it was time to have a baby, here are some information that you may be interested in.

There’s some level of risk in all pregnancies even if you’re 20, 30 or over 40; but certain risks are increased when you’re older. It’s not all bad news – there are plenty of mothers who have great things to say about being a parent later in life.

The risks for the baby are increasing with the increasing age of the mother, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream to become a parent. Still, you should be aware of the risks and here you can find some of them.

  1. Chromosomal conditions. Chromosomal abnormalities occur when there are fewer or more chromosomes than usual, or when the sets of chromosomes become altered and here we mention Patau’s syndrome or Down syndrome.

The statistical likelihood of your baby having Down syndrome based on maternal age is:

  • 20 years – 1 in 1.500
  • 25 years – 1 in 1.300
  • 30 years – 1 in 900
  • 35 years – 1 in 350
  • 40 years – 1 in 100
  • 45 years – 1 in 30

All pregnant women no matter their age are offered screening tests for chromosomal abnormalities. Your age will be taken into account when working out the risk of your baby having a problem.

  1. Diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Babies can be affected by these conditions that are more likely in older mums-to-be. Problems with the placenta, such as placental abruption, are also more likely.
  2. On average, one in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage, and the rate does increase with age. From a risk of around one in 10 for those under 30 years of age, to one in four at the age of 35 to 39, rising to one in two at 40 plus.

Age by itself is not a major criteria for a high-risk pregnancy. The bottom line is that there is never any guarantee in life, but with a few extra tests and a positive way of thinking, you should already think about baby names.


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