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Pregnancy -Age 20, 30 or 40

Updated on December 26, 2017
Pamela99 profile image

I have been writing about medical issues and all the new medical advances since spending 22 years in the nursing profession.


What is the best age for a woman to consider preganancy? Many woman wait until they are 30 because they think being a bit older and wiser is beneficial, and yet they still have the energy to keep up with a toddler. Some women feel 40 is a great age, as they believe they have the maturity and experience to be an ideal mom. Others feel like being in your 20’s is ideal, as you have the energy and youth to keep up with that little one and those sleepless nights.

Hillary Duff Pregnant

Pregnant in Your 20's

Two pregnant movie stars that are younger women are Kristin Cavallari, age 25, (and finance’ Jay Cutler) and Hillary Duff, age 24, (with hubby Michael Comrie) reflect the national average age for women to become first time mothers. Celebrities typically wait until they are at least 30.

Examples are Molly Sims, age 38, with hubby Scott Stuber. Beyonce, age 30, feels this is the perfect age, as she thinks she is young enough to deal with the lack of sleep but does not feel she missed out on all the fun of being carefree when you are in your 20’s. She recently had a baby girl on January 8th.

The attitude of many movie stars is focused on maintaining their bodies in excellent health. For instance, Hillary Duff has made a point of staying physically fit by working out with Piloxing sessions, which is a fitness program that includes Pilates, boxing and dance, but is ultimately a high-energy hour-long interval workout. Another star who continues to prepare her body for labor is Lizzie McGuire. She believes is working the core muscles intact to have an easier delivery. Being physically fit is obviously healthier for the pregnant woman, as well as the baby.

Kristin Cavallari


Becoming Pregnant - Fertility

Peak fertility for women begins at the age of 18 and they are the most fertile up until the age of about 25 when fertility starts to decline. The decline is gradual over the next 10 years and at the age of 35 the process of losing fertility begins to speed up more rapidly. When I women reaches the age of 40 she is exponentially more likely to have problems getting pregnant.

Approximately 2/3 of the women over 40 will have issues with infertility of some type. However, a woman can become pregnant until about the age of 50 or until the age she stops ovulating. Male fertility is generally high until they are near the end of their 30s and by the age of 50 about one third of man will experience a decrease in the amount or number of sperm produced. Still, two thirds of men will not experience any loss or fertility until they are even much older.

Now we know physically when men and women are most fertile, there are certainly many other things to consider before having a baby. There are pluses and minuses at any age. Maturity can certainly be a factor, as well as, your marital status, your career status, whether you own or want to own a home and what is your personal desire for your lifestyle. A younger body in its 20s has an easier time with pregnancy as it can deal with the added load on the bones, the back and muscles during pregnancy.

Basically your body is in its prime condition when you're in your 20s. Furthermore, your parents are younger, so you will have more energetic grandparents that will often help with babysitting. The risk of complications is generally low when you're in your 20s also. If however, you have continued some bad habits from your teen years your baby may have a risk of lower birth weight.

The bad habits include smoking, drugs, poor nutrition and risky sex, which may have led to sexually transmitted diseases.

Baby Development Over 36 Weeks

Baby connect
Baby connect

Pregnant in your 30's

Many women in their 30s have already made great strides professionally and personally, which make them more emotionally prepared for pregnancy. They are usually financially more secure, often married or in stable relationships. Typically a woman is born with a half-million available eggs, which continue to mature as women age. Those eggs most sensitive to ripening are released first, which leaves the slower specimens as you get older,

Therefore, it may take three or four months to get pregnant when you're in your 30s. If you are healthy and do not have any chronic illnesses, you will probably feel fit and healthy, just as someone would that's in their 20s. If however, if you have gained a lot of weight, have diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic illnesses, than the pregnancy will be a bit more difficult.

Even women who are in good shape starting at the age of 35 will have an increased risk for pregnancy specific conditions, including gestational diabetes and the odds of your having a baby with chromosomal problems such as Down syndrome increase.

Pregnancy in Your 40's

Medically speaking being in your 40s is the toughest decade for pregnancy. Conception is slower as at this point as you have already run through the highest quality of your eggs. The eggs that are present in your body during your 40s take longer to respond to the body’s cues for release and they don't function as well during fertilization, which further increases the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriage.

Even though it is more difficult to get pregnant, you are more likely to carry multiples even without medical intervention. It is probable that shifting hormone levels as you approach menopause may stimulate more than one egg inoculation. Miscarriages, C-sections, hypertension and gestational diabetes are more common in this age range.

Pregnancies also exacerbate chronic conditions, such as stiff and sore joints or varicose veins. Often the metabolism is slower so greater weight gain may be a problem. There are some pluses as usually in your 40s your more financially stable which may allow you to focus on motherhood without distractions. Generally life experiences may have made you more flexible and patient which is always a plus when dealing with babies and toddlers. Women have often already proved themselves professionally and are more content to stay home or they may have more confidence about melding of career with motherhood. Women are typically more savvy and able to negotiate better terms for employment and ask for family-friendly workplace arrangements.

Best Pregnancy Time

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Mom and Newborn

Physical Considerations Before Becoming Pregnant

There are several things you can do before getting pregnant and during your pregnancy for successful outcome. First get a complete physical and discuss any chronic medical conditions with your doctor. Discuss medications with your doctor to determine if they need to be altered or discontinued. Your doctor will probably do routine blood work, however, It is a good idea to determine your immunity to childhood diseases such as rubella and get vaccinated if necessary.

Stop smoking and drinking. Evaluate any job-related hazards that could pose a risk. Prenatal vitamins are a necessity; start taking them at least three months before you plan to conceive. Evaluate your eating habits and make simple changes, such as cutting back on fats and sweets. Keep caffeinated beverages to a minimum and drink a lot of liquid, at least eight glasses daily of water, juice or milk. Follow the FDA daily guidelines for good nutrition.

If you are currently exercising check with your physician to make sure it's safe to continue. If you are not exercising, ask your physician if it's safe to began exercises with low impact activities, such as swimming or walking. Making sure you are in optimal physical condition will help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

In Conclusion

Obviously deciding when to have your first child is a big decision, but many people also have unplanned pregnancies. Adhere to the medical suggestions listed above for the healthiest pregnancy. Regardless of whether your pregnancy is planned or not, most women are up to the task and adore their precious new baby.

© 2012 Pamela Oglesby


Submit a Comment

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Giselle, It was my intent not to pick a "perfect time" as what is perfect for one may not be for another. I think the pros and cons are important to know so you can make an informed decision. Thank you so much for your insightful comments.

  • profile image

    Giselle Maine 5 years ago

    A sensitively written article, and very informative. I really enjoyed this. There are all too many articles that seem to 'frown on' certain age groups becoming pregnant. Yours stood out by making it clear what the advantages and disadvantages are, as well as medical risks, but in a non-judgemental manner. Fantastic!

    This is truly a breath of fresh air compared to articles out there on the web which appear to endorse about a 5yr period from 23 to 28 or so for becoming pregnant (how ridiculous is such a precise expectation is that!!) It is up to each couple to weigh the pros and cons of pregnancy at various ages, and I really appreciate what a great job you did of conveying that, while still spelling out those pros and cons quite clearly.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    deannachase, I am very happy for you. I think there are many women that have success stories when they are in their 40's, but it is good to be informed. Thank you for your comments.

  • deannachase profile image

    deannachase 5 years ago from Bowling Green Ohio

    I didn't have a choice about getting pregnant before I was in my 40's. However, being with the right man made all the difference. I may not be bouncing through things physically as well as a 20 year old, but I'm so grateful and blessed that the back aches and heartburn are a minor inconvinience. My daughter is 1, beautiful and has patient parents that are in love and stable. She will be a big sister this fall, so for me, it all worked out perfectly. Thanks, Pamela, for your balanced approach to the pros and cons of each age.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Sunita-Sharma, I am glad you found the hub interesting and I appreciate your comments.

  • Sunita-Sharma profile image

    Sunita-Sharma 5 years ago from Los Angeles,California,US

    Very useful,interesting and educative hub!In today's world also there are lot of myths and beliefs about pregnancy age.Hubs,articles or blogs similar to yours are great source of information on pregancy wellness.I am happy to follow you!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    relawshe, Thank you for your comments.

  • relawshe profile image

    Rachel L 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Very informative! Thanks for this great hub!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    I'm not sure what you mean by that question. It is not that difficult to get pregnant if you are over 40, but your chances of having a baby with down's syndrome or possibly a heart defect are higher. More women are having babies over 40 than ever before; for instance Asian women have increased to 23% of births.

  • 4FoodSafety profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 5 years ago from Fontana, WI


    What are the odds of children over 40? One in a million?

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    prasetio, Thank you for your comments. I'm glad my hub was helpful.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I wish I could share this information to my future wife. Thank you very much for writing and I learn many things about pregnancy from you, Pamela. Great job and rated up!


  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    SubRon, Now that I have experienced being a grandmother I think that is the best of both worlds. You get to enjoy the, spoil them without the around the clock responsibility. I don't think "soft in your old age" is a bad thing anyway. I appreciate your comments.

  • SubRon7 profile image

    James W. Nelson 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

    Interesting hub, Pamela. Even at 67 I still think I would like a baby in my life. I don't know...maybe I'm getting "soft" in my old age...?

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    debbie roberts, I think many women feel the way you do. Thanks for your comment.

    drbj, Thank you for your comments but I must decline the role of PM as I think it might be better suited to someone like a Midwife.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

    Considering all this well-written, informative research you have performed, Pamela, I now anoint you as the P.M. of the U.S.

    I know P.M. stands for Prime Minster in Great Britain. But now it will stand for Pregnancy Maven. Voted Up!

  • debbie roberts profile image

    Debbie Roberts 5 years ago from Greece

    A well written hub and whilst the thought of becoming pregnant myself in my forties fills me with dread, there are many women that do. Your hub covers a range of things women should consider before and during pregnancy.

    A good hub I will be sharing.....

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Storytellersrus, I agree that there are many more considerations. Thank you for your comments.

    Minnetonka Twin, I would not opt to be pregnant in my 40's either but I think careers, difficulty getting pregnant and probably many more reasons impact that decision. I appreciate your comments.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Great hub Pamela and I see many of us voted that it doesn't matter what age you are as long as you feel ready. I do however believe that the younger, the more energy. There is no way I would want to be pregnant in the 40's although you are hearing more and more women doing it these days. I don't know how they can do it, especially during those initial sleepless nights.

  • Storytellersrus profile image

    Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

    I was absolutely not ready to have babies in my 20s but would have struggled in my 40s. There is so much at stake however. Family health meant my father never met my kids because hr died too young. And who knows if I will survive to meet my grandkids. There is more at stake than is presented here but you present good beginnings!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Anginwu, Thank you so much for your comments.

    always exploring, I think planned is best also but it didn't exactly work that way for me! I appreciate your comments.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Many things to consider and you covered them well. I think a planned pregnancy is the ideal way , but of course not all are planned. Great informative article Pam..Thank you..

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Interesting and detailed facts. Making sure your body is healthy before having a pregnancy is an important consideration. Thanks for sharing and rated up.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    blairtracy, I agree. Thank you for your comments.

  • blairtracy profile image

    blairtracy 5 years ago from Canada

    Very interesting an informative hub! I don't think I could put an age range on when is best to be pregnant. I guess it depends on where you are in life at that point.