Pregnancy at 45, 44, 42, or 40: The Facts and Risks You Need to Know

pregnancy at 45

Pregnancy at 45 can be exciting and scary because it comes with some increased risks. What you need to know about getting pregnant at 45 or anytime in your 40s.

It is not uncommon these days for women to delay pregnancy until they are in their thirties or forties for a whole host of reasons, and pregnancy at 45 or older can come with a whole new set of issues. Women have control over their reproductive system and are able to make choices about when and if they want to have children.

While some may choose to wait on pregnancy until they have accomplished particular goals, others simply wait until the time feels right and their partner is the one they want to have children with.

Is Pregnancy at 45 Possible or Even Advised?

There is a medical precedence and cultural presumption that women should only be having their babies in their twenties and thirties. While those are the prime reproductive years for women, that does not mean that getting pregnant at 45 is abnormal or impossible. While some mothers of that age range have only been able to do so with the help of fertility treatments like IVF (in vitro fertilization), it is still biologically possible and safe for women in their forties to have babies.

In vitro fertilization takes place outside the body. In vivo fertilization takes place when an egg is fertilized by a sperm inside a women’s body. The fertilized egg begins to divide and then implants itself into the lining of the uterus. In IVF, the fertilized egg is injected into the uterus, where it then undergoes uterine wall implantation.

Pregnancy at 45 for First Time Moms

There are also women who have may have had their first pregnancies at a younger age and continue to have additional pregnancies in their thirties and forties. There are scores of celebrities who have welcomed their first baby when they were well past what is always touted as our prime child-bearing time: our twenties.

All of these women had their first child in their fourties:

  • Halle Berry
  • Jane Seymour
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Salma Hayak
  • Julia Roberts
  • Mariska Hargita
  • Brook Shields

The Risks of Pregnancy at 45

Forty-five is the cut-off date for older pregnancies because after that, age has been associated with higher risks of:

  • Having a baby with Down’s Syndrome
  • Placenta previa
  • Diabetes during pregnancy
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Shorter pregnancies
  • Caesarian sections
  • Longer hospital stays for both mother and child

A pregnancy at 44, 42, or 40 compared to 45 does carry lower risks, but with the advances in science, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices, a safe and viable pregnancy is possible at 45. The reasoning behind the higher incidences of risk factors is not due to the actual age of the mother. More likely it is the result of complications from other conditions that become prevalent as we get older.

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