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Mother and Baby

The Truth About Being Pregnant In Your 40s

There is no right or wrong age to have a baby – different decades have their benefits, with ways to keep you and your little one healthy

Your fertility

Low. ‘The number of eggs you have at this age can vary – some women have a better reserve,’ says Penelope. ‘Your eggs will have a higher risk of chromosome defects, which could lead to development problems, such as Downs syndrome.’

'The number of eggs you have at this age can vary'

You’re most likely to

Be prepared for motherhood. ‘You know what you want and how to ask for it,’ says Zita. This can impact on everything from birth choices to breastfeeding, which statistically has a higher uptake among women in their 40s than in their 20s.


You’re least likely to

Avoid pregnancy health problems. ‘Your vascular system (heart, lungs, arteries and veins) is less strong, and this influences the risk of high blood pressure,’ says Penelope. ‘Pregnant women in their 40s often have consultant-led care.’

What the experts say

You can have a straightforward pregnancy, so don’t stress. ‘Running a marathon is easier when you’re younger but it’s not only people in their 20s who run them,’ says Mia.

'You can have a straightforward pregnancy, so don’t stress'

What can you do?

Rely on your support network. ‘Women in their 40s are more prone to postnatal depression, so talk to friends who’ve had babies later,’ says Mia.


One mum reports back

Nicky Rudd, 43, from Surrey, runs a PR firm, is 36 weeks pregnant

‘For most of my 30s, my husband and I were setting up my company. When we realised we wanted a family, I was nearing 40. We had three years of infertility problems with two rounds of IVF and even considered egg donation. Then, after taking a break to relax, I fell pregnant naturally. It was a huge shock. I haven’t had any health problems but it’s been tiring – especially my final trimester. But I feel ready to cope with the sleepless nights – I feel so lucky.’

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