I think I’m finally approaching a point where I might want kids and (more importantly) could be a decent father to them. However, I am now 41. I have heard that it is dangerous for women my age (in their forties) to have children. Is this true?
It is generally harder for women over 35 but before menopause to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term than younger females. The risks of some birth defects also increase somewhat but most women over 35 that carry to term have a healthy child.
You shouldn’t have to worry about the physical part so much for yourself being male. If you feel that you want kids and could be a good father then there should be no reason for you not to pursue it.
My FIL had my wife when he was 40 and she thinks that it has worked out great. I wouldn’t wait say 15 years though because having a parent in their 70’s is at the high school graduation may not be that great for the child.
Well the dangers rise with age, as do the availability of viable eggs. Women as I am sure you know have a finite amount of eggs they have to work with…whereas men can father well into old age.
Are you married or have an SO you want to have children with? Or are you currently on the prowl? This would play into the timing schema I would think…
I am 34 married with no children…however, we are actively trying right now…
I’m not so worried about my end of the actual conception process–Pierre Elliott Trudeau fathered a child in his fifties or sixties, I believe–but more about the woman’s.
I’m concerned that it may be too late for me to find a wife who can have kids, at least if I want to stay within five years of my age. I’m sorta kinda looking (but not too hard) right now. I have no objections to looking for a younger woman (or older, for that matter), but judging from the listings on LavaLife, most women younger than me in my area aren’t interested in older men.
However, before Things Get Serious, I have to get through to a new and better job.
I guess this means I need to get in better shape. Don’t want to die on any potential children before they’re out of high school…
Just find a younger woman, she’ll be the one to take care of the kid anyway. haha.
Not so easy here.
I have a close collegue who found his eventual wife from going to eharmony.com. He’s your a-typical professional academian, never really dated, slightly over weight, and just completely engrossed in his work. At 39, he was in the same position you basically are: His biological clock was ticking away and he wanted to have children.
He did not want to go the way of the personal ads and didn’t want to do anything really creepy online, and that is what led him to eharmony. It was developed my an MD who looks are 30 different traits in a potential mate, before pairing you up with your partner. Apparently it worked, because my friend is now married (after a year and a half courting) and will be expecting his son soon…It’s just a tip…
I became a father last year at the age of 40. My Daughter turned one last month and I have to say that I am completely in love with her. She makes me feel much younger.
GrizzWife and I had been trying for better than eight years and several IVF attempts before the birth of the GrizzCub in Oct2000.
Then, for no apparent reason, we seemed to “kick one through the uprights” with no medical intervention earlier this year while <ahem> celebrating my wife’s 42nd birthday. Our little girl should be born by Halloween this year.
It’s difficult as you get older. But we’re proof that it can happen.
You can visit www.fertilethoughts.com for more information and dozens of online support groups.
One of my girlfiends had her first at 40 - no medical intervention to concieve. And I know infertile people in their 20s.
I should tell you that my girlfriend did almost die giving birth - directly tied to “advanced maternal age.” Her tissues were just not elastic for delivery, and she shredded her birth canal and required long surgery and much blood. But I think its unusual. However, when the time comes, I’d recommend at least talking to an OB about complications from advanced maternal age - they might recommend a “high risk birth” specialist or hospital.
Birth defects do go up with maternal age. Fertility does go down.
Women in their early 20s do seem to bounce right back from birth - my “young mom” friends have fewer stretch marks, collected fewer pounds, have fewer issues with gestational diabetes (and subsequent Type II diabetes), and can jump in the superjump without needing a maxipad. They also seem better prepared for handling five hours of sleep a night, running after a five year old learning to ride a bike, and the other lifestyle changes that come with kids.
There are, however, a lot of other factors. Heavyset women often have a harder time, as do very small women. Of course, people who drink and smoke a lot, or have never watched their diets, often have difficult pregnancies - either because they put themselves and their baby at risk with continued behavior, or because its difficult to do an about face on your lifestyle.
Well, the good news is that your chances on the marriage-market might just have improved dramatically.
I’ve always heard that many, many women in the 33-38 age range feel their own biological clock ticking very loudly, and go looking for a guy who wants to father their kids, before it is too late. I’ve seen this a couple of times in my own circle of aqaintances.
Many such women, pushing the big 38, even break up their so-so or even ok-relationship, if they want kids and their SO, when pressed, finally admits he doesn’t want kids.
So be sure to mention that kids are an welcome option, when setting up a profile on a dating site.
Have you thought about dating a woman that already has kids?
Actually, Maastricht, that’s something I’ve been pondering. I get along fine with kids once they can talk. (It’s infants I know nothing about.)
:: Makes note to update LavaLife profile ::
I have decided that the best physical time to have kids is in your 20’s, as you have more energy. The best emotional/mental time is in your 30’s, when you have more patience!
Somewhere in there is a happy medium!
I think it’s great that you want kids and want to be a good dad. But hold that thought until you find a mate who feels the same way!
Well, EJsGirl, since I don’t have an SO and there are no prospects on the horizon, that’s about all I can do.
My mom was 39 when she had me, a surprise conception, a normal pregnancy and delivery. (Although they were very worried about Down’s syndrome, probably because that’s when a lot of research came out linking it to the age of the parents.) For what it’s worth, when I went to nerd-camps and such as a child, most of the other “too smart for their own good” kids were the products of older parents, either because they had more money for enrichment and such, because they had more time to spend on their children, or for some other reason you may discuss amongst yourselves. It was a very marked trend.
But now I’m 24 and I don’t want to leave town to get the job I need because my dad’s in his 70’s and not in the best of health and I want to spend as much time as possible with him while he’s still active. So there’s pros and cons. But, most of my friends haven’t been traveling to nearly as many places as I have, because my parents were at entirely different places in their careers than theirs.
There’s always adoption as well. I guess most people are dead-set on having a biological child, but I think adoption would be a great idea for someone who is past childbearing years or who is old enough that it’s a risk. After all, a child doesn’t have to be blood to be yours.
I ALMOST addressed the adoption angle.
Unfortunately, as you get older, your choices in adoption go down as well. Korea only allows birthparents with a maximum age of 42. Most of South America is around there as well. China and India and parts of Eastern Europe are better choices for older adoptive parents. Some programs are also very expensive. Some will allow older parents to adopt - but only older children. Some will allow older parents to adopt - but only special needs kids.
I saw someone assume they could adopt when ready, only to get very angry to learn parental age is an issue in adoption.
There is domestic adoption, but older parents don’t tend to do well on the open adoption market. There is the special needs domestic adoption, but not everyone is interested in special needs kids. Plus there is the whole “some people DO have a need for bio kids” thing.
Just to add some information, it’s not just the mother’s age that increases the risk to the baby. Increased risk of schizophrenia has been linked to the father’s age at conception: