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Photo by Scott Lewis

Photo by Scott Lewis

Welcome to the launch of the first campaign to raise awareness of the truth about motherhood after 40 and to dispel many of the negative stereotypes associated with older mothers.

(See links below for Mother’s Day campaign info and gift shirts.)

For the next three weeks—until Mother’s Day on May 9th 2010—we will be posting a series of ‘portrait stories’ of older mothers who have volunteered to share their experiences of motherhood after 40.

Our volunteer ‘Flower Power Moms’ wore Celebrating Motherhood After 40 shirts (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/campaign NULL.html#tshirt) in support of the campaign while photographed by Scott Lewis (http://www NULL.lewisimages NULL.com/), who donated his time and talent to aid the initiative.

On Mother’s Day, May 9th 2010, FPM will post the first tribute photo-gallery dedicated to later life motherhood. Please join us on this special and unique day of recognition.

Today also marks the launch of the FPM Store (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/store/) where you can buy elegant, super-soft campaign shirts with vibrant designs donated by over-40 mom and graphic designer, Joan Lintz-Thompson (‌joanlintz_thompson null@null ‍yahoo NULL.com).

‘Celebrating Motherhood After 40’ shirts (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/store/) for moms and children are original Mother’s Day gifts that are delivered delicately gift-wrapped in pink or chocolate tulle and grosgrain ribbon.

The proceeds will help to fund FPM’s continued advocacy of over-40 motherhood, as well as provide donations to nonprofits Postpartum Support International and the MomsBloom ‘Out Came The Sun’ run (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/campaign NULL.html#psi), aiding postpartum depression sufferers.

This campaign is a vital first step in bringing social awareness of later life motherhood in tune with the grassroots reality of the lives of the women who experience it and to prepare the way for acceptance of the procreational wave of the future.

Since the dawn of the new millennium, the number of women having children in their 40s, 50s and even 60s has been steadily escalating in industrialized nations around the world.

It’s a mother of an evolution.

In fact, the statistics are becoming too obvious to ignore or dismiss as a passing fad that women will just grow out of.

Last month, the CDC released statistics for 2008 (http://www NULL.usatoday NULL.com/news/health/2010-04-06-birth-rate_N NULL.htm) revealing that birth rates in the USA fell in all age categories across the board, except for one—women over 40.

The birthrate for American mothers over 40 increased by a “robust” 4%.

In the UK, the number of women having children after 40 has reportedly doubled in the last decade and, in Italy, 5 out of every 100 babies is born to a mother over 40.

Take an online poll of international news and you’ll find similar stories in countries like Canada, Australia and so on.

The world is in the throes of a virtual midlife baby-boom.

And yet, older mothers continue to be labeled as “selfish” and as putting their own personal priorities above motherhood.

In the latest version of the bid to find “the world’s oldest mother” women daring to step over the 50-year/yard line continue to be vilified in the public eye, with calls to legislate for restrictions on a woman’s age for IVF.

‘Procreational ageism’ has become a form of prejudice that later life mothers will be dragging along like a rustily unforgiving tin can around their ankles until our social consciousness gets a wake-up call.

According to Elizabeth Gregory (http://www NULL.domesticproduct NULL.net/)—Director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Houston and author of the book “READY: Why Women Are Embracing The New Later Motherhood” (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0465027857?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0465027857) (Basic Books)—the trend is only going to increase.

Describing herself as a “new, later mom”, Gregory got the germ of an idea for her book when she “realized what a big change the trend to starting families later was and how little studied”.

After carrying out intensive interviews and collateral research for her book, Gregory makes a direct correlation between the widespread availability of “the pill” in the 1960s to women “postponing” childbirth.

“I do project the trend will continue” says Gregory, “because our world is still extremely unfriendly to moms who also want to work and delay of kids has served as a way to establish yourself in the work world.”

Despite the rising trend, she acknowledges that public and media opinion is slow to reflect the new world order of motherhood.

“There’s a lot of media misrepresentation of the later motherhood as a problem — even though the increases in the numbers of later moms indicate that it makes sense for many women.

“Time for media to listen to women” she continues, “instead of judging them for doing something new.”

Regarding the FPM Celebrating Midlife Mother’s Day (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/campaign NULL.html) initiative, Elizabeth Gregory proffers an educated prediction—a vision of motherhood of the future.

“This awareness campaign is an important step in a learning process that the world has been going through for some time around the many changes we’ve seen in the dynamics of fertility and women’s work” she says.

“As we move forward in a world of increased longevity and expanded fertility options, increasing numbers of women who haven’t had kids yet and have passed menopause will be starting their families in their 50s and later.”

Notes for this blog:

Visit FPM Campaign Info Page (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/campaign NULL.html)

Visit FPM Store—Midlife Mother’s Day Gifts (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/store/)

Elizabeth Gregory

Book: “READY: Why Women Are Embracing The New Later Motherhood” (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0465027857?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0465027857) (Basic Books)

Website: Domestic Product (http://www NULL.domesticproduct NULL.net/)

Photograph donated by Scott Lewis (http://www NULL.lewisimages NULL.com/)

Campaign designs donated by Joan Lintz-Thompson (joanli‌ntz_thompson null@null ‍yahoo NULL.com)

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