Lady in her 40’s holds pregnant tummy in her hands


Becoming a mum later in life

Having a baby over the age of 30…should I worry?
Advices from our resident midwife Christina Altman

Today, the average age of a first-time mum is 30 years old. Although this is now normal, it is a noticeable shift from almost 50 years ago in 1970 when the average age was six years younger at just 24.

In 2018, many people will prioritise their professional career, travelling the world and enjoying their time as a ‘childfree’ person before making the decision to start a family. In addition, with the divorce rate increasing, many people will start having a family with their second partner, which means they may not become a parent until later in life. As the saying goes, in many areas of life, 40 is fast becoming the new 30!

However, what does this societal shift mean for pregnancy?

Many pregnant women will feel anxious if their doctor or gynaecologist has a conversation around the risks associated with having a later pregnancy. According to the Maternity Guideline*, a woman expecting her first child aged 35 or older is considered to be at risk, with statistics showing that Down’s Syndrome or malformations in children can rise slightly in mothers over the age of 35.

However, age alone does not mean that you can expect complications in your pregnancy. Clinicians will keep an even closer eye on women who become pregnant later in life, and modern technology and ultrasound can offer a range of options to help keep couple’s minds at ease.

Pregnant couple hold ultrasound image of baby towards whilst cuddling

Moreover, women who lead a healthy lifestyle, have a high-quality diet and exercise regularly should not worry about falling pregnant later in life. At any age, the priority is caring for yourself and your baby to ensure the greatest chance of a successful pregnancy.

Newborn baby booties in parents’ hands. Pregnant woman belly

Women of all ages should remember that a pregnancy is the most special and natural process for a woman’s body, and that the body is capable of amazing things. Prioritise keeping yourself healthy and make sure you visit your midwife or Clinician regularly to make sure everything is as it should be with your baby.

*Guidelines of the Joint Federal Committee about the medical care during pregnancy and after delivery (Maternity Guidelines). in the as amended on the 10.Dec 1985 (published in Federal Gazette/Bundesanzeiger No. 60 of 27.March 1986) last updated on 21.April 2016 (published in Federal Gazette/Bundesanzeiger AT 19.07.2016 B5 come into force on 20.July 2016