My goal was to have all of my kids in my 30s. Then New Year’s Eve happened. Surprise! One more baby, and yes, I was in my 40s. (Oh my!) I was a little in shock, sure, but really happy about it! The stick turned pink and tears of shock and joy flowed simultaneously. My baby is now four-years-old and I can assure you its pretty awesome to have a baby in your 40s.  However, people have had so many opinions about a woman in her 40s having a baby. Opinions I didn’t even ask for.

Between 2007 and 2011, the birth rate for women aged 40-44 went up 10 percent—that just means more mom-friends in your age group!

mom kissing baby

Getting Over People Assuming You’re a Grandma

I remember telling a few of my friends and family members that I was having another baby and I can’t begin to tell you how rude people were.  “You’re going to be mistaken for grandma at the pickup line.” “Your grandparents are here to pick you up Brody…” Blah blah blah …

Bobby and I are in a solid marriage, and we had three little ones already, so what was the big deal with having another? What’s wrong with having a big family? I think it’s pretty cool. They thought we were ruining our lives. Life was over for the Schaffers. Of course, this was simply not the case. To me, another baby just meant more love and happiness in our home. And the grandma thing didn’t scare me. We try to take care of ourselves and certainly don’t look like grandparents or plan on looking like them anytime soon.

“The thing about parenting rules is there aren’t any. That’s what makes it so difficult.” ⁠—Ewan McGregor

mom holding baby

Healthcare for Baby Number Four

I’m still in shock over this, but our insurance plan included the fourth baby free of charge. Did you say free? Bobby came home from work one day and said, “Our insurance feels so bad for us for having another baby, they threw Brody in.” Okay, thank you very much. Regardless of what size your family is, many healthcare plans today now include maternity services, making it less out-of-pocket. So having a baby in your 40s is more affordable. And who knew the 4th was free? Score!

happy dad and baby

Keep Your Overall Health In Mind

I think your health is a little bit more important than your age. I am no doctor by any means, but being healthy—meaning eating right, working out, not abusing alcohol, being smoke-free—really speaks more so than the number. If you are in your 40s and healthy, you’ve got a great chance of having a healthy baby—as opposed to a girl in her 20s with awful health habits. I try to make good choices and I think it helped with my fourth pregnancy.

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that while the birthrates for women under 40 had been declining for years, those for women in their early 40s were increasing — by 3 percent every year since 1982.

mom walking baby with stroller

We’re More Established

Our life is definitely more set up in our 40s, than our 20s and 30s. I am able to stay at home because of my husband’s career. Years ago, when I had Jackson, I had to return to teaching for the year. I was wrecked by it, but we simply couldn’t afford for me to stay home. Bobby was fresh out of the Navy and he was just starting a dental practice. We’re much better equipped for having a baby in our 40s than we were at 30. Now, I can stay home and raise the kids, for which I am forever grateful.

mom at beach with children

So What, I Gained A Few Pounds

After having my first two kids my body bounced right back. I was in my early 30s and it was easy. Now I know that being in your 40s means it can take longer to get back to your pre-baby weight. Actually there is no “bouncing back” at all, its more like slowly treading back. The good news is you simply don’t care. So what, I gained a few pounds? I wasn’t worried about it since I knew what to do, and made sure I stuck to a plan. I lost weight at my own pace and focused my attention on my kids. It’s hard to be obsessed with the weight with all these little ones looking up to me. It’s the price you pay for having a big family and one later on in life. Who cares, anyway?

“It just occurred to me that the majority of my diet is made up of the foods that my kid didn’t finish.” —Carrie Underwood

happy baby with dog dad with babyhappy baby

I Can Do It All

When I had my first baby I had no idea what I wanted to do. Teaching was fun, but it wasn’t my passion. Now that I am in my 40s I feel more confident knowing what I like and don’t like, and I am a much better mom, a better wife and a better friend. Now, I enjoy where we are in our lives as opposed to chasing the next dream. I take in the views, the milestones, every laughter and every cry, and I feel everything with every raw nerve endings exposed. I am in an epic place in my life and I do believe it does have a lot to do with being over 40. Having baby Brody just made me better. The moment he was put into my arms, my heart exploded like a volcano and I felt so empowered being a mother to four incredible little beings.

What an incredible journey it is having a baby in your 40s.  I welcome it to all of my mommy friends. If you are in good health, why not? Awesome people should bring more awesome people into this world. The world is a better place with Brody in it, that’s for sure. He brings so much light and happiness into our home, Bobby and I couldn’t imagine life without him.

More than 100,000 Americans give birth in their 40s each year.


mom and baby


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22 thoughts on “The Truth About Pregnancy and Having A Baby In Your 40s”

  1. I’m in my mid-30’s and pregnant with my third. I had both my daughters in my 20’s– during my “prime years.” While I bounced back more quickly and felt physically better, emotionally I was a wreck. I really didn’t have the maturity to handle two kids- one with special needs- with ease, grace and patience the way I can in my 30’s. With this pregnancy, I can tell I’m handling everything much better- especially emotionally. I’m no longer a hormonal wreck and so much more responsible. Honestly, age is only a number when it comes to motherhood and if you’re still healthy and fertile, it’s a blessing!

    You look fabulous btw- I thought you were around my age.

  2. Emmett and I have been trying to decide if we want to keep going for baby #3 and 4 but I will be 40 next year. I didn’t start til 35 anyways….so I agree with your comment that it is more about life style and health than a number….thanks for giving me a different vantage point than everyone else!

  3. You’re happy, healthy, loving, and stable – which I wish were requirements for parenthood – how blessed the child and lives of those he touches are!

  4. From a fellow 40+ Momma…great read! I look young for my age at 45 with a 2 year old but I have already gotten 2 comments about her being my grandbaby! Oh well…just try to handle with as much grace as you can muster!

  5. That’s so inspiring! What a beautiful family you have and you look amazing!! I didn’t start having children until 35, but I feel like a better mother as a result, knowing myself so much better and being more grounded. I’m in my early 40’s now and after reading this, I almost feel like I would love another!!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I am 41 and just got married, for the first time, last year. My husband and I are wanting to try for a baby but there is so much negative or unhelpful information out there. Your post was a breath of fresh air and really encouraged me and gave me hope. I say bring it on. I’m in good health and ready for the challenge!! 🙂 Thanks again!

  7. I know this article is a few years old, but I wanted to comment.
    My husband and I have 4 beautiful kids we had when I was in my 20s, and I loooove it! However when I was 30 my husband decided to get a vasectomy. I was quite bummed about, but it didn’t ruin our marriage or anything. In the last two years I have been wanting and praying for another baby, so badly I couldn’t sleep. I talked to my husband about it and he very sweetly told me that we have 4 beautiful kids and that they are enough. I understood, but I couldn’t stifle the desire. Then one night a couple of months ago he came to me and said he was willing to have a reversal!!! His surgery is this next Tues, and we will be able to start trying at the end of the month!!!! I will be 40 this June. Most people I talk to about it have the “better for you to ruin your life, then for me to ruin mine” attitude. It is very sad how little people value having babies.

  8. You are wonderful. I had my first baby at age 40 and my second daughter at 42. I loved my pregnancies and had natural birth with both. As you know When you are in your 40’s you are more mindful. I am 71 now and my daughters are grown. I have three grandsons. I found that my maturity helped in every aspect of being a mother. You are an inspiration. Your beautiful children and husband are a reflection of your vibrant and fun personality. 💕


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