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"Parenting is hard regardless of age": Advice from 7 women who had kids over 40.

There's a growing demographic of women getting pregnant and have children over 40.

Whether it was a planned decision or an unexpected surprise, these women are embracing becoming mums later in life.

We asked seven women who had children over 40 to share advice from their experience. Here's what they had to say.

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Andrea

"My best advice for having children in your 40s would be not to stress about being an older parent but instead, look at the positives. As an older parent, having a well-established career meant it was easy to negotiate flexible working arrangements and I am financially in a position to take as much or little maternity leave as I wanted. 

"Being older (and especially having a large gap between children) meant I was able to really enjoy baby number three and not wish away the time because it’s such a short period in the big picture of life. I would also say that if you keep fit and healthy having a baby at 43 was no harder than at 29. We got married a week after number three was born which shows that you can bounce back quickly from having a baby at any age."

Natarscha

"I had baby number one at 40 and number two at 45, so over 40 is all I know! You get tired - so do all mums. You have days you miss your kid-free life - so do all mums. Over 40 you’ve just lived more life! Doctor's appointments involve words like 'geriatric'. Parenting is hard regardless of age, waiting until 40 gave me the chance to establish my career and be able to have clear goals and boundaries about work-life balance moving forward."

Stacey

"I had my son (first and only!) last year at 41. I know I was lucky to be able to conceive and have a healthy bub after 40, but for me, it's the exact right age. I'm in a great place mentally, emotionally and financially, and most importantly, I have the right partner and co-parent. 

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"I didn't meet my husband until I was almost 40 and I cannot imagine doing it with anyone else. Yes, some days I feel about 100 trying to get up from the play mat with the baby, but hey, that's what they invented Clinical Pilates for right?!"

Kathy

"I had an easy pregnancy. I didn't get stretch marks or morning sickness but after my beautiful boy was born, my pelvic floor was non-existent. So my number one advice would be to do your pelvic floor exercises throughout your whole pregnancy! It took a lot of physiotherapy and over six months to get mine back!

"I wish I could take this advice myself but also try not to worry about your age. It is hard when your friends have kids that have left school and you have a newborn, and everyone in your mother's group is half your age!"

Felicity

"I had my first son at 28, second son at 30, and a beautiful surprise blessing of a precious daughter at 43. Motherhood in my 40s has been less stressful. I’m definitely more relaxed, and have learned to not sweat the small stuff, and enjoy every moment because they grow up far too quickly."

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Beata

"I have four incredible sons. My firstborn was when I was 24, my second son I was 28, and then my third one when I was 29. I always knew that I wanted to have four kids I just didn’t think that I will leave such a big age gap. I think having two kids in two years had something to do with it. As I had three kids under the age of five, I wanted to have a break and of course, devote my time with my kids. 

"As the years went on, I knew something was still missing. I didn’t feel complete. I didn’t realise how fast the years past and before I knew it I was in my late 30s. So we decided to go for it. It didn’t take me long to get pregnant but unfortunately, I lost the baby. All sorts of emotions were running through me. Did I leave it too late? Is my body went through enough? It took me a while to get over it of course. Anyway, I tried not to stress over it too much and before I knew it I was pregnant at 39. I was over the moon.

"Everything was fine. Although I had to go through a lot more tests as I had fallen into the category of high-risk pregnancy. I had a fairly easy pregnancy, and I worked till I was 35 weeks. I had my little boy naturally, right on the due date and my labour was only six and a half hours. I think what I’m trying to say is not to be scared to have kids at 40 and plus. 

"My experience was amazing, and it has been the most incredible journey for us. My little one has completed us as a family and we haven’t stopped smiling. He keeps me busy which is great as I am 46 now. We go riding bikes, scooters and everything else he wants to do. Honestly, the most amazing moments in my life are watching my older sons being with him and loving him the way they do. So I say go for it. If you feel it in you, that is what you want, do it. People always try to talk you out of it but I have always listened to my instinct and my heart."

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Ninette

"After three consecutive miscarriages, the first trimester of my one and only pregnancy at almost 40 started with a lot of anxiety. Fortunately, Repromed IVF in Adelaide provided a lot of extra support including unscheduled ultrasounds to reassure me and settle my frayed nerves that all was okay. Once I was in the second trimester, I relaxed a bit more as I’d progressed further in this pregnancy than before. I didn’t stress about a delivery plan, I just wanted my baby girl to arrive safe and healthy. I also had amniocentesis (another very nervous time). 

"The delivery was not ideal without going into detail but I don't believe any of the difficulties were age-related at all. She arrived safely which was all I was focused on. Now 21, my daughter is the light of my life and as early menopause hit me only a couple of years after her birth, I often like to tell her that she was my last best egg."

Have you had kids over 40? Share your advice in the comments below.

Feature image: Getty and Mamamia.

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