- Women's Health
Bluemoongoddess-Over 40 Motherhood
Becoming a Mom after 40
This is my story of having a baby at 44 after raising 3 grown children and starting a career as a freelance writer. I am an older mom who has raised 3 grown children and recently became a new mom at 44. My little one is 10 months old and life is definately diffrent this time around. Many women my age say they would never think of raising a child at this age, but I am enjoying every minute of it. When my other children were young I worked a full time job and always wished I could be a stay at home mom. I regretted having to put my kids in daycare and go to a job I hated. So this time around I am determined to find ways to earn income from home so I can spend more time with my little one. I know I'm not alone in this, so I am trying to learn from the other women here who have done this. I work freelance as a writer and copywriter for a few online content mills such as Associated Content and Textbroker. I wrote for Demand Studios and eHow before they started the elimination rounds. I'll discuss this this more in detail later.
Fertility Changes for Women Over 40
Fertility lessens with age
I wanted to write and share my experiences of having a baby over 40. I had read that there were many women in their 40s that were desperately trying to have a baby and many were unsuccessful. These women had put off motherhood to have a career and now that they felt secure, many discovered that getting pregnant isn't as easy at 40 as it is at 20. I have always been extremely fertile all my life and getting pregnant with my son was purely by accident. It was only after reading everything I could about having a baby after 40 that I discovered that a woman's chances of concieving after 35 is considerably less. In fact it is the opinion of many experts that concieving in your 40s is nearly impossible for a woman using her own eggs. This is why egg donation is so popular and why the donation centers only accept donors age 21-34 because after that the eggs start to deteriorate from age. Women who recieve these donor eggs get pregnat more often than those using other fertility treatments because the eggs are from young, healthy donors.
Toxemia, also known as pre-eclampsia, is a dangerous pregnancy complication which can be life-threatening. The only cure is to deliver the baby, know the signs of toxemia!
Pregnancy Complications in Older Moms
There is one thing that older women do have to look out for and that is abnormal swelling in the legs. I developed Preeclampsia, also known as Toxemia, late in my pregnancy. My legs and ankles swelled up which I know is normal during pregnancy so I didn't think too much of it until the swelling continued up my thighs. I had read about the symptoms of toxemia and since I didn't have the swelling in the hands and face I didn't think I had it. The swelling got more intense in that I would wake up normal and within an hour of being up my legs would swell. I got concerned and family members convinced me to go to the E.R I was diagnosed with toxemia and pregnancy-related high blood pressure. The only cure for toxemia is to deliver the baby so that is what we did. My blood pressure was over 225 so I had to be induced and spent my labor time resting in a dark room. The doctor advised me that since my blood pressure had risen so high I was in danger of having a stroke during delivery and both of us could die as a result. So I was sedated and given Pitocin to induce contractions. I had a baby monitor to attached to the baby's head to alert the doctors to any signs of fetal distress. I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy a couple hours later. We stayed in the hospital for a week to get my blood pressure under control and during that time I got introduced to a lactation consultant to help me learn about correct latching for breastfeeding.
I have been pretty healthy all my life, my blood pressure is 120/80 and have a high tolerance to most germs and diseases. The only thing I have had medical care for in the past 5 years is gallbladder surgery. My immune system is healthy and I hardly ever get sick, so I tried to have as healthy a pregnancy as I possibly could. I ate healthy food, walked everyday and read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy and breastfeeding because I wanted to nurse my child for the first year of his life. I was very shocked that I was so close to possibly having a heart attack or stroke due to extremely high blood pressure.
Learning new things about breastfeeding
My other children were breastfed for the first few months but I had trouble getting them to latch and they didn't seem to be getting enough milk from me. They seemed like they were always hungry so I gave up and put them on the bottle. They are all perfectly healthy to this day, bottle feeding didn't hurt them at all, but I do wish I could have nuirsed longer. So when Aiden came along I made the decision to learn as much as I could and be successful at breastfeeding. We started trying to latch him on right after delivery but didn't have too much luck. I had to stay in L&D for 2 days after birth so I couldn't have the baby room in with me. They never listed him as breastfed in the record so he was being fed formula while in the nursery, which made it harder to get him used to the breast.I worked with 2 different lactation consultants to get him to latch correctly. He was a stubborn little guy; all he wanted to do was lay in mommy's arms and sleep.
Aiden finally learned to breastfeed and we were able to continue it until he was 9 months old. I was 3 months shy of my goal. After reading some information from the World Health Organization about their recommendation for women to breastfeed past a year, I thought about continuing it longer. New studies have shown that babies continue to receive the same nutrition and immunities past the first year and they now recommend breastfeeding until the child is 2 years old. This topic sparks a lot of controversy with people who think breastfeeding after a year is ridiculous. I agree that some people take it too far, like the woman who breastfeeds her 8 year old on YouTube. I have read the statistics and I agree that breastfeeding a child until he or she is 2 years old is perfectly acceptable and it is good for the baby.
Breastfed babies tend to have lower incidents of infections and also have a higher IQ and development than bottle-fed babies. I wish I could have continued our breastfeeding journey, but problems with maintaining a high milk supply prevented me from continuing. Aiden was taking in 6 oz of breastmilk every 3 hours round-the-clock and once he hit nine months I couldn't keep pumping that much. My supply started dwindling to nothing and I had to resort to formula. I started pumping his milk when he got teeth early and bit me a few times. After that he refused the breast and I had no choice but to pump.
It is very important to make sure your baby feeds at least every 2-3 hours. Their little bodies are small and need the energy to grow. Moms may not want to wake a sleeping infant to feed, but most babies lose a pound after delivery so they need to feed as much as possible.
Recommended reading for breastfeeding moms
Educate yourself on the proper techniques for breastfeeding to reduce the occurence of sore nipples. Breastfeeding does not hurt when the baby is properly positioned and latched on correctly. Learn the proper positioning and the most popular holds for baby and comfortable positioning for moms. Having a nursing pillow greatly reduces the strain on back muscles when nursing a child.
Proper latch-on technique ensures that the baby is getting enough milk and prevents sore and cracked nipples. Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt if done correctly. If you feel pain, release the suction and re-position the baby for better results.
Breast Pumps Help Maintain Milk Supply
Breast milk is the best food to nourish a growing baby. There are many things to help new moms be succesfful at breastfeeding. Breast pumps help maintain your milk supply in between feedings and nursing covers make nursing in public discreet. New nursing tops make breastfeeding easy and are designed to cover the mother's breast so no one will know your nursing the baby.
On Being a Mom Again
The joy of my life
This is my little one now, he's getting so big!
I have loved every minute of being a mom. I raised 3 beautiful children to adulthood and now they have families and kids of their own. My late-in-life baby, Aiden, is the joy of my life right now along with his brothers and sister. The older kid's love having a little brother who is the same age as their kids, and I find that being a mom now is no harder than it was when I was twenty. I do find that I have to work a little harder to keep up my energy for a toddler (he's crawling now) but I wouldn't change anything for the world. I know many women who would not choose to have a baby at this age, but for those who do want a baby, I wish you much luck and happiness! Never give up on the possibility of motherhood at any age.
He is eating solids and even had his first popsicle! If you'd like to keep up with the story and find out how we are doing now, visit us at http://over40motherhood.blogspot.com.
What do You Think - Share your opinion
What do you think about women in their 40s having a baby? For many women their only chance is IVF or using donor eggs to concieve. Have you had success concieving a baby after 40, if so let me know. I would love to hear your stories!
Do you agree or disagree with women over 40 wanting a baby
A word for those who want a baby - Nobody is too old to be a mother!
I wish you all the best in finding your opportunity to have a baby. Motherhood is not defined as concieving and carrying a child to term. Some mothers may have to use fertility treatments, some may use a surrogate and some may choose to adopt. However you choose to have your baby, know that being a mother means sharing your heart and love with a child, no matter what process got them there! Good wishes and luck to you all.
Please leave a comment and let me know how you liked this lens and if you are an over 40 mom, share your story!