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23 Truths About "Geriatric Pregnancies" From Women Who Had Them

"Everyone assumes I'm my kid's grandma."

We asked women who got pregnant over age 35 in the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they want people to know, and the responses were useful and eye-opening:

1. "You're considered 'high risk,' so you have to see both an obstetrician and a high-risk doctor, even if everything is fine."

2. "You have a higher chance of having 'spontaneous' twins than women under 35."


3. "There's a lot of testing for everything under the sun, but don't let that scare you โ€” what they never really tell you is that the chances of birth defects only go up ever so slightly."

4. "You get to see your babies more often during your pregnancy because you have weekly ultrasounds.

"That gave me a lot of comfort."


5. "My baby was not a 'mistake.' I was 41 years old with four grown kids when I started over with my son, and I was asked all the time if he was a 'mistake.' Even though my family may look different than many others, that doesn't make it weird."

6. "If anything feels off โ€” anything โ€” call your doctor. Being over 35 makes you more likely to develop preeclampsia. I developed it, spent weeks in the hospital, and gave birth nine weeks early. It scares me to think what might have happened if I didn't have my strange feelings checked out."


7. "Try to get in shape before pregnancy, because it's a marathon. Your body takes way longer to snap back, and the exhaustion is even worse."

8. "Everyone assumes I'm my kid's grandma."


9. "I was surprised at how easy it was to get pregnant after all I'd been hearing about fertility drop-off. We weren't even 'trying' โ€” we just weren't preventing."

10. "You'll be exhausted, but you'll have more patience."


11. "You get to find out the sex of your baby way earlier, because you automatically have to take a chromosome blood test that reveals it."

12. "For me it wasn't the pregnancy that was so tough โ€” it's being an older mom. Everything is exhausting. And all the other preschool moms are 10 years younger than me!"

โ€”Ashley Sheridan, Facebook

13. "Don't google. Seriously โ€” it will scare the crap out of you. Listen to your body and your doctors, and trust that your body will do what it needs to."

14. "I wish people talked more about how women can actually have good experiences being older and pregnant. Of course I'm exhausted and emotional, but I'm thrilled to bring my daughter into the world!"


15. "Don't take the term 'advanced maternal age' personally."

16. "It was good that we waited until we had well-paying jobs with decent hours and parental leave benefits. It would have been hard to add childcare to the mix when we were younger, working crazy hours, and struggling to balance rent and student loans."


17. "The worst part is all of the judgmental looks and comments I get when people find out how old I am."

18. "Because I was older when I had kids, I was more sure of myself, so I wasn't afraid to advocate for my own wants and needs."


19. "Accept help from wherever it comes. You're still going to need it."

20. "At 40 years old, my medical paperwork said I was 'advanced maternal age.' At 43 it said 'elderly.'

"I felt like I'd be a news story when I gave birth: 'Elderly woman gives birth to normal healthy boy. More at 6!'"


21. "Pregnancy backaches and heartburn on top of preexisting backaches and heartburn due to your age can make your third trimester especially miserable."

22. "I wasn't afraid to get stretch marks โ€” I was ready to wear them with pride because I was 36 years old and didn't think I would ever get to be a mother."


23. "Young parents have to grow up while they're raising a baby. We're already grown, so half their worries don't faze us.

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Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.