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Having a Menopausal Baby: Potential Risks and Benefits

    Having a Menopausal Baby: Potential Risks and Benefits

    A menopause baby, also called a menopausal baby, is conceived during a woman’s perimenopause, the period before menopause.

    While we refer to them as menopause babies, please keep in mind that their mommies were not yet in menopause when they were conceived. Natural pregnancy after menopause is not possible, because at that stage, a woman no longer releases egg cells.

    How Mommies Have a Menopausal Baby

    The number of women getting pregnant after the age of 35 steadily increases. In some cases, the couples deliberately consider the benefits of geriatric pregnancy (pregnancy after the age of 35), which may include financial security and attainment of career goals before being a parent.

    However, there are also cases of surprise menopause babies.

    You see, during perimenopause or the period before a woman stops releasing eggs, several symptoms occur. Examples of these symptoms are hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep troubles, low sex drive, and irregular periods.

    menopausal baby

    This irregularity in menstruation can make the couple feel that pregnancy will no longer happen. Or, at the very least, they believe that the chances of conceiving are so slim they don’t need to use any contraceptive method to prevent it.

    But irregular or missed periods during perimenopause don’t mean that the woman is infertile. There is decreased fertility, but pregnancy is still possible.

    A Mommy Can Have a Menopausal Baby in Her 30s

    When we discuss menopause babies, we imagine that the mommies are probably in their late 40s or early 50s; after all, that’s the typical time that women experience perimenopause or menopause.

    However, experts say that perimenopause, which could last for a few months to a few years, can happen in women’s 30s. For this reason, having a menopausal baby in your 30s is also possible.

    Things to Remember When Having a Menopausal Baby

    Experts remind women in their perimenopause to still use a contraceptive method if they don’t want to get pregnant. They highlight the use of birth control until they’ve had no menstruation for 12 months – the mark of menopause.

    In case you’re considering having a baby after the age of 35 (or if you’re already expecting), remember to work closely with your doctor. This is because the risks of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth are higher.

    Furthermore, it would be best if you were extra careful because:

    Your baby may be born prematurely

    Perimenopausal pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, two conditions that may result in premature birth.

    Please remember that premature babies are often smaller and may require a longer hospital stay. Furthermore, prematurity heightens the child’s risk of facing health issues, such as learning disorders, blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, developmental delay, and Down syndrome.

    Preeclampsia raises health risks in babies, regardless of maturity

    Preeclampsia, one of the potential effects of geriatric pregnancy, raises certain health risks in babies even if they are born full term.

    One study indicated that babies born to mothers who experienced preeclampsia were at a higher risk of:

    • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission
    • Respiratory distress syndrome
    • Asphyxia or oxygen deprivation, which could lead to death
    • Transient tachypnea in newborn, a kind of breathing disorder

    Gestational diabetes increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    As mentioned earlier, one of the risks of geriatric pregnancy is gestational diabetes.

    Reports mentioned that infants born to moms who experienced gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and Type 2 diabetes later in life.

    Additionally, gestational diabetes increases a baby’s risk of:

    • Excessive birth weight
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar

    Are there Advantages?

    For many couples, having a menopausal baby is a miracle; they see the baby as someone who gives them a new purpose in life.

    Interestingly, one study also noted that women who had their last baby after 35 might have better brainpower after menopause. Furthermore, another research concluded that first-born babies to mommies 40 or older had a sharper cognitive ability.

    Of course, more studies are needed to conclude these findings, but they are nevertheless promising.

    The other possible advantage of having a baby in your perimenopause is stability. At this point, couples probably have a good income source, which means they can provide well for their baby.

    Key Takeaways

    Having a menopausal baby has a set of advantages and risks. If you’re planning to get pregnant during your menopause, working closely with the healthcare team is necessary.

    Learn more about Getting Pregnant here.

    Ovulation Calculator

    Ovulation Calculator

    Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

    Ovulation Calculator

    Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

    Ovulation Calculator

    Cycle Length

    (days)

    28

    Period Duration

    (days)

    7

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    First Births to Older Women Continue to Rise
    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db152.htm
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    Perimenopause
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20354666
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    Menopause, Perimenopause and Postmenopause
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15224-menopause-perimenopause-and-postmenopause#:~:text=The%20average%20length%20of%20perimenopause,you%20are%20no%20longer%20perimenopausal.
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    What are the risks of preeclampsia & eclampsia to the fetus?
    https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preeclampsia/conditioninfo/risk-fetus#f3
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    Controlled direct effects of preeclampsia on neonatal health after accounting for mediation by preterm birth
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25437315/
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    Gestational diabetes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gestational-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355339#:~:text=Babies%20of%20mothers%20who%20have,before%20or%20shortly%20after%20birth.
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    Women who have their last baby after 35 are mentally sharper in old age
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161117150032.htm
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    New Study Says Older Moms May Have Smarter Kids
    https://www.rileychildrens.org/connections/new-study-says-older-moms-may-have-smarter-kids
    Accessed March 11, 2021

    Picture of the authorbadge
    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated May 30, 2021
    Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS