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Planning Another Pregnancy When You're Older

"I recently delivered my third child, my husband's first, and we're so happy to have her. Because we're older (I'm 42 and he's 45), I never even thought we could have this baby. Now that we have her, and she's such a pure blessing and delight, we find ourselves longing for another. When can we start trying again?"

Planning Another Pregnancy When You're Older

First of all, congratulations on your family's latest addition! How exciting for everyone! (Your older children must be thrilled to have a new little sis to spoil!) As far as when you should jump on the baby bandwagon again (or at least start), experts recommend waiting until your body has had a chance to fully recover and recharge (and fill up the nutritional stores that your last pregnancy tapped into) — which takes at least 12 months. The fact that you and your husband have conceived in your 40s once already is a good sign that you might be able to work conception magic again. But obviously, the longer you wait, the greater the potential for your fertility to dip, and the more challenging the baby-making may become. Any couple considering having a baby (especially one so soon after childbirth) should make their first step a preconception consultation. This is particularly important for you, given that time may not be on your side. If you do get the go-ahead to start trying again, it would be smart to wait until you've gone through a normal menstrual cycle (if you're breastfeeding, that might take a few months or more), not only for health reasons, but also to make it easier to determine your new due date. As for breastfeeding while pregnant, it's usually possible, especially in low-risk pregnancies, as long as you're able to gain enough weight and keep up your milk supply. Just know that your baby may choose to wean early because hormonal changes can cause your milk to taste differently. While you're waiting to conceive again, treat your body like the baby-making temple you'd like it to be. Eat as well as you can, avoid strenuous dieting (now's not the time to further deplete your nutritional stores or energy levels), continue taking your prenatal vitamins, get a good balance of rest and exercise (easier said than done with three little ones in the house!), and take all the other usual preconception precautions (cutting down on caffeine, cutting out alcohol, etc.).

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