Study examines advantages and disadvantages of first-time parenting after age 40

A recent study conducted at the University of California offers some information about what first-time parents see as advantages and disadvantages of having children after age 40. The researchers conducted interviews with 46 couples and 15 individual men and women.

Most of the men and women identified advantages to later childbearing such as having established their careers, having more financial stability, being emotionally ready, and having established a committed relationship. The biggest disadvantage identified by many of these older parents was that they had to resort to IVF to conceive – which they found emotionally and financially challenging. They also reported that because they waited until they were in their late 30s and 40s to start having children, they ended up having smaller families than they had hoped for. They also felt they had less energy at this stage in life, than they would have had, if they had elected to have children when they were in their 20s. A major regret for these parents is that they will have less time to spend with their children and grandchildren.

The participants said that in hindsight, it would have been ideal to have conceived 5 to 10 years earlier.

Read an article outlining the study here:

We wish we’d had babies in our thirties, admit 80 per cent of first-time parents in their forties [Daily Mail Online]

Read the study abstract here.

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One Response to “Study examines advantages and disadvantages of first-time parenting after age 40”

  1. older mom says:

    This is totally my reality. I thought that if we waited we’d be able to give our children a better life because we’d have more money and we wouldn’t be trying to build our careers. It’s definitely great to have some financial stability, but I find myself feeling SO tired and thinking about all of the years of parenting ahead is pretty overwhelming. Looking back, we likely could have made it work in our late 20s, early 30s and we’d have had the energy we needed to run around after the kids. We likely wouldn’t have had to resort to IVF either. But hindsight is 20/20… for now, we’re embracing the positives of older parenthood and hoping that the benefits outweigh the costs!

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