Janet Jackson recently gave birth to her first child and has been criticised by people – including Piers Morgan – because at 50 years old, she is an older mum.
However, despite what Morgan and others may think, giving birth at an older age is no longer such a big deal, according to Mervi Jokinen, Royal College of Midwives’ practice and standards professional advisor.
“In general, women are much more healthier in late age than they used to be,” she told The Huffington Post UK. “Whereas before having a baby at this age would be seen as later on in life, now women plan their life very differently.”
We spoke to midwives and mums to find out the five things people need to know about pregnancy after 40.
1. You May Have Trouble Conceiving
“If you suddenly decide to embark on this journey in your 40s or 50s, you might not fall pregnant just like that,” said Jokinen.
“You need to be realistic about your chances of getting pregnant because it is harder when you get older. This can become a big mental issue.”
Anna Nella, a midwife at Tommy’s charity said an older mum should ideally have some pre-conceptual care.
“Check rubella status, commence folic acid three months prior to pregnancy and ensure blood pressure or existing medical problems are well controlled and you are at a healthy weight,” she said.
2. Women Aren’t All Lumped Into The Same Category As Being ‘Older’
Just because you’re giving birth in your 40s or 50s, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be treated differently to younger mums-to-be throughout your whole pregnancy. What really matters is your individual health.
“Every midwife needs to approach women on an individual basis, no matter their age,” said Jokinen.
“Women often tell me messages about high risk of blood pressure and diabetes are really frightening. But some women are fitter in their 40s than other women in their 20s.
“So we take it on personal level, discuss their health and make a realistic…