40 Years Old? Party On!
I’m a birth doula. Last year, I attend three births in April. All three women were in their forties. All three women had conceived naturally. Two of the three women had natural, unmedicated vaginal births (one birth center and one hospital after laboring at home). The other woman labored for a bit and then had an elective cesarean (see Michel Odent’s latest research). All three women would tell you that they had an empowered birth experience.
Each of the three women had a different story. However, each of these women were established in their careers, lived the BIRTHFIT lifestyle prior to conceiving, and all had a beautiful, open mind for life in general.
Fast forward to early 2016, I just accepted another lovely forty-two year old as a doula client. And, I would describe her in the same way- established career, lives the BIRTHFIT lifestyle, and generally loves life.
There are many reasons why women choose to wait to have kids. Many women choose to focus on their career. Every year a woman delays motherhood, she makes about 9% more in lifetime earnings. That’s a significant amount especially in Los Angeles, where childcare and private schools cost more than a new car. Other reasons include not finding Mr. Right or wanting to have more life experiences before raising a child.
If a woman chooses to have a baby (or adopt) at 35 or 37 or 41 or 44, then more power to her! In my opinion, the legit concern is that the quality and quantity of our eggs start to diminish as we age. We are born with a finite number of eggs. A woman at 49 may have just as many viable eggs as a woman at 29. Every case is different. And there is no way of telling what’s in the cards for you. Yes, there are risks associated with getting older and actually being pregnant but there are risks with everything in life (see sitting). The most common risks associated with advanced maternal age and pregnancy, as Western Medicine likes to call it, are:
Looking at the list I see a lot that is lifestyle related. In the past two years, those women that were 35 years old and above that worked with us at BIRTHFIT here in Los Angeles had none of those complications. In fact, the women’s births that I attended were some of my most favorite births to date. Pure Magic!
On paper, the twenties may be ideal physically, but I can tell you that I did not know my ass from head at 25 years old. There is no ideal age or perfect time to have a baby. You just have to tune into you and know when you are ready. And, if “Oops” happens, then PARTY ON!