Getting Pregnant After 40

Getting Pregnant After 40

Most women understand that any form of pregnancy is a risk. Whether having a baby early in life or later, there can always be complications. But for those wishing to have a baby later in life, achieving pregnancy after 40 is difficult, and comes with increased risk of complications.  After age 40, there is a 26% chance that the women will miscarry; compared to a 12% chance of miscarriage for women under 20.   The risk of Down syndrome also increases after age 40.

Risks Of Pregnancy after 40

Medical risks for older women during pregnancy include gestational diabetes and hypertension. These medical conditions may increase the odds of needing C-section for safe delivery.

Pregnancy complications for women over 40 are even more likely for obese women or women with other health issues.

Getting pregnant may be more difficult for an older woman, and even if she does conceive, there is a greater chance of the baby having a genetic disorder.


Even with the increased risks associated with pregnancy later in life, many woman choose to get pregnant and have a baby after 40.

To increase the chances of a healthy, positive pregnancy experience, be aware of all of the risks and regularly visit an obstetrician or midwife throughout the pregnancy.

A health history test will help assess potential problems with the pregnancy.  The obstetrician or midwife will likely do blood tests for rubella and other diseases that can increase the likelihood of complications.

Personal lifestyle also plays a role in the health risks of pregnancy. Women who smoke or drink alcohol have elevated risks during pregnancy at any age, and these habits only compound the risks of pregnancy later in life. Women who are thinking of conceiving are strongly advised to stop drinking and smoking.

Diet is important for pregnancy health, particularly for older women who want to do anything and everything to reduce their already elevated risk.  Women should eat a healthy, balanced diet as well as take a prenatal vitamin. Obese or overweight women may be advised to lose weight before trying to conceive. Having a good sense of overall health and wellbeing is important for any pregnancy.

In general, to have a baby at 40 or early 40′s is safe and uncomplicated with appropriate medical care. Women should be aware that there are more risks, but most will give birth to healthy babies.