So you’ve spent your 20’s getting your college and post-graduate degrees and your 30’s in becoming a successful woman and force to be reckoned with in the business world. You’ve focused on your career and possibly put marriage and having a baby off until you found the “right” person but now you’re 40-something and you’re biological clock is ticking. So you ask yourself, can I get pregnant over 40 and have a healthy baby at this point in my life? Well, I am here to tell you that, no, it isn’t too late and I’m living proof of that. And obviously, I don’t think it’s selfish either.
I became an attorney in my 20’s and even though I desired to have more children (I had my daughter when I was 25 from a previous relationship), before I knew it I was almost 40 and realized that I wasted almost all of my 30’s in an unhealthy, back and forth “situationship” with someone who didn’t value me. Thankfully though, the lightbulb finally went off and I reconnected with my now husband, who I married at 41 and just recently had 2 healthy babies over the age of 40 years old.
So, yes, I can definitely attest to the fact that it’s possible. In fact, I am 43 years old and since I’ve turned 40, I’ve either been pregnant or nursing, currently nursing a 6 month old. I became pregnant at 40, delivered at 41, became pregnant again at 42, miscarried, and pregnant again at 42 and delivered at 43. A lot, right? Yes, but so totally worth it!
Many successful and professional women over the age of 40 who are trying to conceive either for the first time or again have asked me for tips and suggestions on how to conceive at this “geriatric age.” Well, I do have a few tips, which I will share later, but in response to that question, I initially started the “Pregnancy After Forty Private Group”, which now has thousands of members that have posted their natural pregnancy after 40 success stories. Additionally, many of our members share their tips and suggestions on getting pregnant since we all have different journeys and stories.
However, when I first learned that I was pregnant at 40, I googled myself almost into a depression. The risks, complications and genetic defects that are seemingly high for pregnant women over the age of 40 is daunting. However, after giving birth to a healthy baby boy at 41, I thought that I couldn’t be the only one. And I wasn’t. There are thousands of women having healthy babies ALL OF THE TIME! I want to continually encourage women who are or are thinking about having a baby over 40 years old that there is hope and there are thousands of other women to support you in your journey, even if your family and friends do not. Don’t settle in your 30’s and marry an unworthy man just so you can have a child – there’s still time to so do in your 40’s and you’ll be glad that you did.
So, in conjunction with my experience and the advice of other women who’ve delivered babies after 40, here are 5 tips and suggestions to increase your chances of getting and staying pregnant over 40 years old.
1) Progesterone Supplements – Having low progesterone is very common for women in their 40s, but it is vital for both becoming and staying pregnant. Many women have taken Vitex to increase their progesterone levels and stop taking it once they get pregnant. However, your OB should test your progesterone levels before you start your pregnancy after 40 journey, and if it is determined that your levels are low, they can prescribed you a progesterone supplement for you as well.
2) Exercise – For those of us who are not fitness fanatics, we need a little encouragement in this area. The good news is that you don’t need to overexert yourself, but simply committing to walk at least 30-60 minutes 4-5 days a week will do wonders for you mentally, emotionally and physically. My Fitbit Inspire (one of the cheaper models) allowed me to set minimal goals and achieve them as well. And if you have a spouse and/or other children already, then take them with you on your stroll – you all can use the fresh air!
3) Sleep – With work, meetings, spouses, parents, children, household chores, the list of commitments is endless. With the pressure of trying to do all of them is exhausting because oftentimes we stay up trying to finish them or toss and turn in the bed all night thinking about how much we have to do. Guess what? Those things will ALWAYS be a part of your life. The best way to mentally and physically prepare yourself for the never-ending rat race is to sleep. At least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep consistently will allow your body to reset and foster an environment in which conception can occur. Julie Chang, author of “Cracking the Egg Myth: Proven Ways to Improve Egg Quality” suggests that her clients get sleep first and foremost to get pregnant after 40 years old.
4) Release, De-Stress, Relax, Let It Go – all things you need to do to release the subconscious stress that is pent-up inside of you. For me personally, when I finally and truly released the negative emotions from my previous relationship that I thought I had already dealt with, I was immediately able to get pregnant. Deal with your anxiety, hurt, pain, anger, resentment, heartache, etc. and appreciate all of the positive and good things that you have going on in your life, your body will become a place of peace for you to conceive.
5) Healthy Diet – Many women have touted that changing their eating habits, be it going Keto, drinking an abundance of water (getting a motivational water bottle made it easy for me to drink at least a ½ gallon of water a day) or cutting out sugar for starters has led to them losing weight and being able to conceive naturally. When you rid your body of certain toxins as a result of unhealthy eating, then you’re supplying your body with all of the nutrients it needs to conceive and support a healthy pregnancy.