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Over 40 and Facing an Unexpected Pregnancy

The phrase “unexpected pregnancy” might make us think of a scared teenager. She has a young boyfriend who isn’t supportive, and still being in school, she’s afraid to tell her parents she’s pregnant. But perhaps in your case, your “boyfriend” is your husband of several years. Your parents haven’t grounded you since you moved out and became one yourself. It’s not uncommon for married women with children to find themselves contemplating abortion. This is not just a concern for teenagers – and perhaps you’ve found yourself in that situation right now. Maybe you thought pregnancy was no longer possible for you, or you feel like you can’t go through another pregnancy. Where do you turn if you are over 40 and facing an unexpected pregnancy?  

Have you recently been surprised to learn your missed period was actually a sign of an unexpected pregnancy? Since 1981, Avenue Women’s Center has provided confidential care and support, regardless of a woman’s age or stage in life. The pregnancy news may have come as quite a shock. Our caring pregnancy consultants are here to help you process this change, providing you with accurate information about abortion, adoption, and parenting. Receive relevant, limited medical services, and in-depth pregnancy options information to assist you in feeling confident in your choice.

Contact us to begin chatting about your unexpected pregnancy today! 

Thoughts About Being an Older Parent

If you are already a parent, one of the questions that might be coming to mind is this: Am I prepared to have the same experiences I may have had as a parent in my early thirties now that I’m over 40? You might have begun to reflect on how the kids you have now are older. They may be growing in their independence, and a younger child usually needs more care and attention.

Keep in mind, you have probably changed over the years. So, it’s unlikely things will be the same as they might have been when you were a new parent. As you feel yourself worrying about doing this all over again, try to remember there is a positive:  You have overcome this hurdle before.

You and your partner may have been surprised, excited, and a little afraid when you learned years ago you were going to be parents for the first time. The prospect of being a new parent understandably carries fears. Can you recall what it was that might have made you two confident you could have a child then? Try to combine this with your experiences of having been there before. Is there any situation where you feel confident you already know what to expect? What are some pros and cons of tackling this as an older person? 

If you have never had a child before, you may wonder why this is happening to you now.  Perhaps you never planned to have children, or when you were hoping to get pregnant, it just didn’t happen. Now is not an ideal time and you feel uncertain about how to move forward with this pregnancy. Before making a decision, take a moment to take inventory of your thoughts, feelings, and concerns.  Would you be interested in moving forward with the pregnancy if some factors were different? What are those? How might a pregnancy look differently now than in the past – both for the good and the bad?  Is there someone you can process through this decision with?

Understanding Your Concerns

Concerns About Age:

There may be a gauntlet of emotions you’re experiencing, and raising a little one when you’re 40-plus can seem impossible. You may be considering abortion for a variety of reasons, and not just because you worry about your stamina at this age. There may have been plans to return to work or continue your education, and this pregnancy may seem like too much of a change. If you have children already, what might a pregnancy look like within the context of your family?  If this is your first pregnancy, what would it be like if you decided to become a parent for the first time?

What about your husband or partner? Has he expressed his thoughts to you about continuing the pregnancy? The circumstance may be shocking, but try to listen and work together throughout the decision-making process. Both of you may have a strong opinion on what your next steps should be, and to help support each other and reduce stress, it may be a good idea to discuss your situation with a counselor, a spiritual leader, or a pregnancy consultant.

While reaching out to friends and family can offer another avenue of support, a private consultation with a trained professional may work best. This way, you and your spouse can address possible insecurities and concerns in the presence of a nonjudgmental observer who can facilitate healthy communication between you two.

Health Concerns Over 40:

You may have heard women who experience a pregnancy later in life may face health risks or concerns. It’s recommended you gather information and see what forms of medical care you may need to pursue before you make a pregnancy decision. Older women typically face an increased risk for early pregnancy loss, so scheduling an ultrasound can be beneficial to rule out conditions such as miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Please contact a doctor, health clinic, or a pregnancy decision center to become equipped on your early pregnancy risks.

Avenue understands the stress behind facing an unexpected pregnancy when you’re over 40. As a women’s limited medical clinic, we provide helpful services and relevant information that will equip you for taking the next step in your pregnancy decision. Through our pregnancy options consultations, you can create a pregnancy plan catered to your needs.

Reach out today to receive confidential support!

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References:

Mayo Clinic. (August, 2017). Pregnancy after 35: Healthy moms, healthy babies. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20045756

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.

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