In Vogue: Motherhood After 50?

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Celebrity births are big news.

All the more when the celebrity happens to be 50 years old, and having her first child – like Janet Jackson this week.

Even so, later life pregnancies seem to be more common today.

We checked statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm our suspicions. The birth rate for women age 40 to 44 more than doubled from 1990 to 2013. And births to women 50 and over increased from 600 in 2012 to 677 in 2013.
 
Plus, the mean age of first-time mothers is rising – from 24.9 years in 2000 to 26.3 years in 2014.
 
What does this mean for older mothers and their babies?

The upside: older mothers bring more maturity and life experience to the parent-child relationship.
However, pregnancy after age 40 has its challenges. First, fertility declines with age. That’s natural. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to slow down reproductive aging. Women are born with all the eggs they’re ever going to have. There are no methods or treatments to grow more eggs or preserve the quality of existing eggs.

Plus, conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis and tubal disease can hinder fertility.
And pregnancy after 40 increases miscarriage risk, complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, in babies.
To reduce these risks, women who are delaying pregnancy into their late 30s or beyond should talk with their health care provider. And, as always, our physicians recommend adopting healthy lifestyle practices – good nutrition, exercise, weight and stress control and smoke-free living.
But keep in mind that even good health cannot prevent the decline in fertility that comes naturally with age.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.