April 22nd, 2010
02:39 PM ET
By John Bonifield
Today CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and I wrote about women in their 40s having kids. New CDC numbers say women over 40 are having babies at rates we haven't seen since the 1960s. Younger moms under 40 are actually having fewer babies than previously. One expert we spoke to about this trend told us that whatever can go wrong goes wrong at an increased rate for women who are older and starting a pregnancy.
CNN.com users have been weighing in on this topic. Here's what some of them have been saying.
"The risks are real"
Despite the risks, many users say it's possible for women over 40 to have a health child.
"I had my last child at age 40," one user comments. "There are naturally fewer women having babies after 40, so percentages of babies born may seem higher, but in reality one can still have every bit as healthy a child as a younger person."
Another user writes, "I had my daughter at age 42 (she is now 4) and she turned out just fine. The pregnancy was extremely difficult compared to being pregnant and giving birth to my first child at age 23. The risks are real, but with proper care mother and child can be delivered safely."
"I am a better parent"
There's also been disagreement among users about whether older mothers make better parents than younger moms.
"I think I am a better parent than I would have been in my 20s," one user says. "I do not agree that a couple in their 20s would be better parents. They may be physically stronger or live longer, but will they stay married? Will they feed their kids junk food, mostly because they haven't yet figured out how to eat healthy themselves? Are they emotionally ready to selflessly give up their own lives and make another life the most important?"
Other users say comments like that are a little judgy.
"A person at any age can be a good parent, just as much as they can be a bad parent," one user writes.
"I'm running on fumes"
Some older moms have been weighing in about how much energy it takes to raise their kids.
"The hard part is being 54 like I am now and having a soon-to-be 11-year-old who has boundless energy and goes 24/7. I need to dig deep to the reserve tank when I'm running on fumes in order to be there for him. It's not easy. But I have no regrets," one mom comments.
Another mom says, "We are healthy and active but can be hard to keep up with 2 very active boys."
One mom credits her boys with keeping her young.
"Having to keep up with them, play sports with them...has kept me more fit than most women my age," she says.
"The baby I lost"
Some users are commenting on the heart break over high-risk pregnancies that didn't go well.
"I had a miscarriage at age 40, and though I had a beautiful daughter a year later (she's almost eight now), the baby I lost will always be a sad spot in my heart," she says.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.