Is Pregnancy More Difficult When You Re Older

11 Replies
Perl - March 22

My cousin knows that I'm over 35 and have been TTC for a while now (I've never had any children before). My cousin had her first child when she was 26 years old. She's now 34 and recently gave birth to her 2nd child She told me that her first pregnancy was so easy because she was younger and that her second pregnancy was so much more difficult because she is "so much older" now that she is 34. It felt like a slap in the face and as if she was guaranteeing that my pregnancy (if/when it happens) would be difficult too because if she's so much older at 34 then I must be ancient at 35+. Are there any mommies out there over 35 who can tell me that their earlier pregnancies were harder or that a current pregnancy whether it's your first or not is not causing too many problems (such as fatigue or nausea, etc.) ??


in the woods - March 22

I believe how you feel during pregnancy corresponds to how you felt before pregnancy. If you are fit and healthy before pregnancy, the pregnancy would be as easy as for people in their 20s (granted that there's nothing wrong medically during pregnancy). Biologically, people start together but age differently. One 35 year old woman may be years older than another 35 year old woman, so comparing ages is getting more pointless with time, but comparing fitness levels is more appropriate. I was 38 and 39 years old with my first child, felt like a spring chicken, had a very hard muscled "bump" because I had lifted weights before that pregnancy. When the baby was 9 mo old, I got pregnant again, not quite restoring my fitness level. The second pregnancy was harder, but I think not because of the measly difference in age (38 vs. 40 years old), but because of different fitness level. Hope this helps.


Toni1 - March 23

Perl: I am pregnant with my first at 36. The most difficult part, I've found, is the worry that comes with abnormal screening tests because most of the test factor in age. As long as you educate yourself on false positives, etc. the rest will depend on how you, personal, are when pregnant. Look at is this will you know if it is more or less difficult than it would have been when you were younger when you don't personally have a prior pregnancy to compare it to? My opinion is to not worry about it and take things as they only have to be pregnant for 9 months - good or bad - but the payoff after that is for the rest of your life. Good luck and lots of baby dust to you!!


Elle - March 26

Hi Perl, I just delivered my second baby and I'm 38. My first was born when I was 28, and that pregnancy, labor and delivery was BY FAR more difficult than this one. I have no idea why. This time around I only gained 21 pounds and had an 8 lb. 13 oz. perfect baby. I stayed active but was not fanatically working out or watching every little thing I ate. I gained 50 pounds during my first pregnancy even though I was so careful about what I ate and I exercised five days a week. I think age is a load of bunk! I worried more during my first pregnancy than this one, and even though I too had all the screening tests, somehow being more mature and maybe wiser helped me get through it all. I say go for it, ignore your cousin and her ignorant remarks, remember that EVERY pregnancy is different (look at my story for example), and much baby dust to you!! Take care!


Leeanne - March 27

Hi Perl, I am due next month and I am 42 yrs. My last birth was 23 years ago, a daughter. I re married and we wanted a child together. I have found it difficult and uncomfortable at times, and I thought how easy it was when I had my children before. I was discussing this with my mother and she reminded me that I was just as uncomfortable at times. I realy dont think their is any difference now. You are just more mature and question more of the emotions that come with pregnancy. I wish you all the best, This has been a fabulous journey for me to revisit.


K - March 27

I turned 39 about three weeks before my healthy daughter (my first child) was born. I had an extremely easy pregnancy, easier than the people I know in their 20s who have recently been pregnant. I was nauseous 1st trimester, but never once threw up and had no fatigue. I never had any back pain and had no swelling until after week 30 when I had a little bit in my feet. My doctor advised against the AFP screening test because she said at my age it would not come back completely normal and would just cause unnecessary worry as most of her patients my age have perfectly normal pregnancies and healthy children. Instead, I got a level 2 ultrasound at weeks 17 and 30, which included a 3-d ultrasound which was wonderful. Everyone is different, and whether your pregnancy will be easy or hard doesn't depend on your age. I did do pre-natal yoga DVDs about twice a week and drank a ton of water which I think is probably what kept me from swelling up or having back pain.


Perl - March 28

Thanks to every one of you ladies, your comments are all helpful and gave me the encouragement I needed. I wish all women could be as encouraging as you are. Since my first post it is now a definite that I am pregnant. This will be my first child. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage--all the more reason that cousins comments were hurtful to me. I refuse to feel as if I'm doomed to having a difficult pregnancy just because I'm 37. And I plan to have another child after this one so it's good to know that there are others out there making the same choices as me. Good luck to everyone of us on this board!!


marranie - March 28

My first baby was born at 34, next at 38 and this one will arrive beginning september and i will be 45. Feeling pretty good, not much tiredness or nausea, pretty tired with the second but that was due to running around after a 3yo... everyone but me seems to be concerned... i feel fantastic.


Debi - March 28

Hi Perl, congratulations!!! I had my 4th baby almost 7 weeks ago (my last pregnancy ended in m/c too) and I will say that this really was the hardest pregnancy, but I also had other children at home to care for plus all the concerns of being "older" or as the doctors love to say being of "advanced maternal age" also getting pregnant again straight off of a m/c. I was 34 when I concieved and 35 when I delivered, my first I was 24. Being over 35 in no way means that you will have a miserable pregnancy, especially since it will be your first, you can lay down and nap when you want and you don't have other children needed to be ran to Girl Scouts or soccer. ENJOY your pregnancy, take walks, relax, eat good and you will be fine. My SIL is trying for thier first at 42 and she is excited about it. I think that when you are older and more "established" you can enjoy it more then when you are younger. Best of luck to you and try not to worry too much either, I also know being pregnant after a m/c is scary, but I have 7 weeks old proof that it can work out great too!!! Be good to yourself and take care!!!!


Shelby - March 30

I am 38 years old and 37 weeks pregnant with my third child. I had my other two when I was 22 and 24 and they were both relatively easy pregnancies. This one, on the other hand, has been incredibly difficult for me. I am absolutely miserable!! Ioften breakdown and cry because I'm so uncomfortable and can't seem to get any relief, but I have a friend who is 43 who just had her third child and she didn't have any problems at all with her pregnancy. I would also like to add that I was in pretty good shape when I got pregnant and wore a size 4 and have remained fairly active, in spite of the way I feel, so who knows what causes one woman to have a bad pregnancy experience after the age of 30 or 35 and not the next? All I know is that I won't be having any more children after this one! One advantage you will have, however is that If you've never been pregnant before, you won't have that basis for comparison and will never know if it would have been easier if you had started younger. At least, that's one way of looking at it, but I believe that every woman should experience pregnancy and childbirth at least once in their life, because no matter how difficult it may be, the end result is well worth it! That's what keeps me going.


marranie - March 30

and congratulations perl, you are really quite young, my girlfriend had her first at 42 and had only 5 hour labour (pretty good for a lady only 5'1" and bulging like crazy at the end) and a trouble free pregnancy.


GraceRenee - March 30

Honestly I think everyone is different. I was pregnant at 21 and 23 and felt great. I have also been pregnant at 33, 34(miscarried both at 10 weeks) and now at 35. The biggest difference for me was ENERGY, I feel a lot more fatigue being pregnant at this age. I am in fairly active and at my ideal weight, so the only difference I can see is age. But I do think that everyone is different!



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