Thinking of having a baby now that you’re in your 60s? Is it even possible? Find your questions answered, here…
Being old doesn’t mean that your life has to stop. Arguably, reaching the age of 60 brings you into the prime of your life, where you have learnt so much, and may have plenty more free time on your hands. So, is having a baby during your golden years the answer for you?
Although you might think that having to claim compensation for a birth injury is inevitable after becoming pregnant over 60, that’s not always the case.
In this article, we’ll describe the number of ways someone over the age of 60 can have a baby. We’ll also discuss some of the risks involved, with some examples along the way, to show you what you’ll be in for. Take a look…
Can a 60 year old woman get pregnant? Contrary to popular belief, it is actually possible, in some cases, to conceive naturally after the age of 60. Although most women will have gone through menopause by this point in their lives, a small percentage do so between the ages of 60 and 65.
This might seem unusual – and it certainly is – but it’s not a bad thing. In fact, some studies have shown that there’s a link between late menopause and a lower risk of:
What’s also surprising is that a later menopause may even lead to a longer life expectancy due to prolonged exposure to oestrogen, which protects the heart and bones. Because of this, it is sometimes possible to conceive naturally during this time of your life. However, the chances of getting pregnant at 60 are not very high.
Despite the theoretical possibilities of conceiving and giving birth over this age, there are more risks to both mother and child. These include:
After the age of around 35, the percentage with which a miscarriage may occur grows. So, for someone over the age of 60, it is more common than not that conception – natural or not – will result in a miscarriage.
What’s more, although many doctors put the emphasis on older mothers, there are studies to show older fathers may also create problems for babies too. Dr. Eisenberg and Dr. Khandwala found that fathers older than 45 had a 14 percent more chance of their babies being born prematurely or at low birth weight. Some other issues that an older father may be more likely to cause in the baby include:
Studies show that older women (≥40 years old) who give birth have increased odds of obtaining mild preeclampsia. Also, foetal distress and poor foetal growth are more common too. On top of this, older mothers may also face an increased risk of gestational diabetes.
Society often looks down on mothers who choose to give birth at this age. This is usually down to the perceived physical capabilities of parents at this stage of their lives. After all, they may not be up to playing with their kids as much as younger parents.
What’s more, there are concerns that the parents may die before the kids become adults, and this can be seen as selfish. However, at the end of the day, it is your personal choice, and if you feel you’re up to it, then speaking to your doctor about your options should be your next step.
Now that we know it is possible to give birth over the age of 60, how can it be done? Well, there are a few ways:
There are a select few examples where women over the age of 60 have conceived naturally at this later life stage. For example, 60-year-old Claudette Cook had twins, and although the twins were premature, and were birthed through a c-section, she was absolutely thrilled after struggling to have children in the past. She said:
“Age is not a number with God. Plus, I was healthy and in good shape. And I was like, ‘God, I know I can do this. No matter how hard it was, it was like, he brought me through it all.’”
Considering the challenges many people face conceiving at this age, IVF is sometimes an option. IVF can go ahead even after the menopause, as it only requires a viable womb to grow the foetus. Whether you receive donor eggs, or have had your eggs frozen in the past, your egg can be inseminated outside of the womb and implanted into your uterus.
Psychotherapist Frieda Birnbaum, from New Jersey, was the oldest American woman to give birth to twins at the of age 60. She did so through IVF, as she had been dying to give birth again decades after her other children had been born. It was simply the next step for her in life, and it was completely possible for her.
Similar to IVF, surrogacy is a potential choice for some women over 60. Despite having already gone through the menopause, your womb may still be viable to carry a child. This means you won’t become a mother, but could carry a child for a hopeful parent who can’t conceive themselves.
61-year-old Cecile Eledge did just this for her son and his husband; offered to carry their child. The baby was conceived by her son’s sperm and an egg from Dougherty’s sister.
It’s clear to see that becoming a parent is completely possible, even after the age of 60. Although it is less likely to happen, it’s not impossible. Ultimately, you’re only as young as you feel, and if you have a healthy, long life ahead of you to look after your offspring, it can work.
If you feel this is something your body and lifestyle can handle, then be sure to speak to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.