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  1. #1

    concerning mental development of babies conceived at late thirties

    I've read that the best age for conceiving a baby are the twenties. Are there really any difference in the mental development of the baby if a woman conceives at age thirties? A 39-year-old woman perhaps? They say babies born from this "age-frame" are usually slow learners.

  2. #2
    Thank you for posting your question here.

    The main issue with being an older mum (which we could define to be over 35 years of age) is the difficulty in conceiving. Women in this age bracket release less eggs and the eggs are also of lower quality. The fact that less eggs are released makes it more difficult to conceive - a woman of age 40 has around 50% chance of conceiving successfully. The reduced quality of the eggs unfortunately means that the chance of miscarriage is higher and so is the chance of the baby having birth defects or a syndrome such as Down's Syndrome. The chance of having a baby with Down's Syndrome is around 1 in 80 at age 40. The chance of this more than doubles by age 45.

    Here is a link to a useful previous post by our midwife Jane about conceiving a child as an older mum.

    However, if a healthy pregnancy is achieved by an older mum then I am not aware of any sound research that indicates that such a child is more likely to be a 'slow learner' or attain less academically. In fact, the latest research shows that the age of a mum does not affect the health or academic success of a child as they grow up. What really matters is how much attention and time a parent gives their child as well as the education levels of the parents themselves. The former of these is something that the gentle parenting world has always advocated. Give a child love, attention and care and they will be confidently founded in who they are and inspired to follow their dreams.

    Warm wishes,

    Last edited by ljmarsden; 19th September 2013 at 06:26 AM.

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