Motherhood in later years.
Updated: Feb 20
A lot of women are very enthusiastic about the motherhood journey. To them, the essence of their living and life makes no sense without kids of their own. While a lot of people jump into it very early in life, others think motherhood in later years is a much better option.
No doubt, motherhood comes with a lot of fun as well as responsibilities, and you need to be physically, mentally, emotionally and financially ready. Society frowns at women having kids above 40 (due to the health risks associated as well as the challenges they may have to face while parenting at an old age) making it difficult for women to make choices that they may consider favourable to them.
Today, more women are becoming mothers later in life as they have come to realize that what matters most is their comfort and happiness and that motherhood has no age limit, as it can come at any point in life no matter one’s age. Rather than allow societal pressure push them to have babies at a time they may not be ready (maybe because they haven’t yet found their soulmate or because they chose career over motherhood) women are beginning to make choices for themselves. They decide to have kids when they are approaching 40 as this is the time the maternal feelings, they cannot ignore, and the pressure from society starts.
It is no lie that we all have a biological clock.
The number of eggs women have reduces as they age and chances of pregnancy lower too; This is the problem associated with motherhood at later age. According to the CDC, the likelihood of having children decreases with age. At the age of 40, it is 18.7%, 10% at the age of 42 and 2.9% at the age of 44. With recent technological advancements, women who are over 40 can have an increase in fertility through the Assisted Reproductive Technology and medicine.
There are several options available to women who choose motherhood later in life. Natural birth is always the first option. If they are above the child-bearing age, there are several other available options. Women do not have to rush into child-bearing when they are not ready. One of the possibilities is In-vitro fertilization; the egg is extracted from the woman’s ovaries and then fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, the embryo is then implanted into the womb.
A woman can choose to freeze her eggs when she is younger and then have them fertilized later on in life. This allows her to store her eggs until she needs them then they are fertilized at a later date. After fertilization, you can choose to introduce the assistance of a surrogate mother, if you do not wish to carry the baby in your womb.
Surrogacy is another option available to women, and this is a legal agreement whereby a surrogate mother agrees to carry and bear a child for another couple who would become the parents of the child after birth. This comes with a lot of legal issues, which is why you should seek appropriate legal counselling before you proceed with it. A surrogate mother can either be gestational or traditional. A gestational surrogate mother carries an embryo that is fertilized using a donor egg and the intended father’s sperm. The embryo is placed into the uterus of the gestational carrier. This option is used when the intended mother cannot carry a baby in her womb due to some personal reasons or health complications.
A traditional surrogate differs from gestational surrogate as the surrogate mother is the biological mother of the child while the sperm is from a sperm donor. Gestational Surrogacy is more popular as it allows the intended parents to be biologically related to their child.
The options for women who chose to be mothers later in life are endless, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a mother at an older age. The option you choose is dependent on what you are comfortable with as well as your perspective. The best mothers are always the ones who started the motherhood journey well prepared. Besides, nothing beats being financially and mentally fit before being a mother. If yours comes when you are older, it is still a perfect time as long as you give it your best.