10 Things You Should Not Say to a Mum Trying to Conceive After 35

Although waiting to have a child after 35 or 40 is more and more common in our society, the concept still seems to be a little unusual for some people. Unfortunately, these mums-to-be are often the recipients of bad jokes or indelicate questions. Here are some things you should not say in the company of a woman trying to have a baby after 35.

  1. “I read that after 35 chances of conception drop.” Yes, fertility rates reduce with age. However, at 35 or 40, many women do still conceive naturally. At 35, the odds of becoming pregnant are 15 to 20 percent in any given month, which could mean that the chances of conceiving within the year are approximately 78 percent. However, you are not a number and you don’t need to constantly consider the statistics. You already have your doctor and the Internet repeating them to you all the time.
  1. “Aren’t you afraid of having a miscarriage”? (or pinpointing other facts about how late pregnancy can be risky after 35). It’s true that women who have a baby later in life are more at risk of gestational diabetes, miscarriages or chromosomal abnormalities. The Internet and your doctor are already reminding you of these facts and you don’t need someone else (who isn’t a professional doctor) to repeat them to you too. Nonetheless, being pregnant later in life also has its benefits. According to a study, women who have a baby after 35 may be smarter. Another study shows that late pregnancy could reduce risks of ovarian cancer.


portrait attractive 35 years old woman


  1. “How old will you be when he or she will be in high school?” or “Aren’t you afraid people will think you’re his or her grandmother?”. These questions are completely unnecessary and even hurtful.
  1. “Do you think you will have enough energy?”. Let’s face it, pregnancy can be tiring, and so can breastfeeding or soothing your baby at night. However, motherhood can be exhausting at any age, even at 25. Moreover, at 35, 40 or 45, you are far from being old!
  1. “I would not eat that if I were you…”, “When I was pregnant with my first, I was doing this…” In the UK, first-time mums were on average 28.6-years-old in 2015 and women giving birth, 30.3, according to the ONS. Therefore, when you try to conceive after 35 or 40, some of your friends might already be parents. And, because they had a baby before you, they seem to think it’s their duty to give you advice all the time about anything and everything: what you should eat before conception, as well as during pregnancy, how to prepare your baby nursery or what toys not to buy. Although it’s great to receive some support and useful tips, they don’t need to constantly tell you they had kids before you: you get it.
  1. “Why didn’t you try to have a baby when you were younger?”. Waiting to have a baby after 35 has many advantages. You’ve had time to see the world, you are more self-confident, more emotionally stable and financially secure enough to ensure your child’s welfare. In fact, in the UK, the cost of raising a child up to the age of 21 is estimated to be about £230,000. Additionally, you are also more likely to make wiser parenting decisions.
  1. “Don’t you think it’s a bit selfish to have a baby at your age”? Meaning: you might not be there anymore when your child will go to college and need you. No, having a baby after 35 is not selfish at all, and certainly not more so than having a baby at 25 when you’re not sufficiently financially secure.
  1. “I have heard that there are lots of people doing it these days”. Yes, in the UK, there are many men and women who believe they have the right to decide when is the best time for them to have their baby.
  1. “Don’t you think it’s going to be harder to lose your baby weight at your age?”. You’ll do like everyone else does to lose their post-baby belly – performing exercises and having a healthy diet – and only if you want to.
  1. “Are you undergoing fertility treatment?”. Although some women may try to have a baby through IVF or artificial insemination, becoming pregnant after 35 doesn’t necessary mean that you must undergo fertility treatment. Many women can still get pregnant naturally after 35. According to the average annual rate of pregnancy per cycle, the chances of conceiving at 40 are about 20%. However, by the mid-40s, the rate drops to less than 5%.



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