Special to the NNPA from the New Pittsburgh Courier
Having children is a big decision in anyone’s life. There are so many factors to consider, such as the health of the mother, economic preparedness, and the age of the mother. Today, one in ten babies are born to women over 35. One example is the recent announcement by Halle Berry that she is 46 and expecting her second child.
There is no magical number when it comes to age, but there are statistics to keep in mind if you are considering having a baby over 35.
- Older mothers are generally more settled in their careers and ready to take on the responsibility of having a child.
- Older women have more maturity to cope with the stress of raising a child.
- Older women are less prone to post-natal depression.
- Children born to older mothers tend to do better in ability tests.
- More older women breastfeed their babies than younger mothers; breastfed babies receive greater nutrition and are more protected against illnesses.
- A child born to a 45-year-old mother is three times more likely to develop diabetes than a baby born to a 20-year-old.
- Women age 35 and above have a 1 in 440 chance of their child being stillborn, compared to 1 in 1,000 for younger women.
- Women over 35 are at higher risk for developing high blood pressure and gestational diabetes.
- Older women have a higher rate of cesarean sections.
- Women 35 and older have an increased chance of giving birth to a child with a genetic defect, such as Down Syndrome.
What’s The Good News?
The good news is that 80 percent of babies born are perfectly healthy. There is also no greater risk to a woman who gives birth to her very first child at age 45 than at age 35. Older women may require more visits to the doctor, but their chances of delivering a normal, healthy baby are good as long as they eat healthy, exercise (yoga is good), watch the stress, and get plenty of rest. This is good advice for mothers-to-be of any age.