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By Amanda Weber, Founder of After Forty Mom inspired by the birth of her daughter at 43.

I recall vividly my doctor saying, “Amanda, at 42 your chances of conceiving naturally are small, maybe 5 percent [per month]. And then there is the increased risk of genetic abnormalities. But, you are very healthy.” Honestly, I’m the kind of person who just filtered out the first two comments and focused on the positive part .

When my husband and I began early discussions about possibly having a baby after 40 I immediately began researching and doing all I could to give my reproductive system a boost.  For me this included not only the standard vitamin supplements but insuring natural food sources of these powerful vitamins and minerals, as they are more absorbable.

I also made sure to continue with my regular yoga practice and daily meditation as I knew stress reduction was going to be critical for me and my baby.

It became evident to me very early on that I would be going this pregnancy alone in terms of connecting  with other pregnant moms over 40. Although numbers are on the rise, connecting within my community was tough with little specific focus on this demographic.

Another challenge was the lack of research specific to older moms. I was just lumped into the category of “high-risk” (healthy or not) which has a somewhat per-determined path of additional tests and considerations. For example, I was told that having a midwife and a home birth vs. an Obstetrician and a hospital birth was not recommended. There wasn’t research to support it that I was made aware of, it was just “what they storngly recommended”.

At times I felt more like a patient with a sickness than a healthy 42 year old, thriving pregnant woman.

If the conversations that the Informed Choices for Later Motherhood Panel (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/our_expert_panel/)are having were front and center in the media and within the medical community could the pregnancy and birthing experience be different for older moms? Better? I’d bet my last dollar on it.

Why is it so important for these discussions to be going on today? Because the change is happening; the increase in later-life mothers is happening; the questions are being asked. As we would with any other social change or global trend we need to understand the implications so we can support mothers, babies and their families today and into the future.

Donald T Saposnek, Ph.D. Clinical-Child Psychologist at the University of California states “Older mothers have the extra challenge of not being part of the group since they are not yet the norm. We need to figure out how to develop communities to help these moms connect.”

In fact, I felt very much this way and turned to the Internet to connect with older moms. In addition, I began what is now a great passion for me and that is “After Forty Mom”, a site that celebrates motherhood after forty. Here I have found personal therapy in sharing all that I have learned on this journey.  Its also provided the opportunity to advocate for other moms along-side people like Angel LaLiberte.

I always look forward to Mother’s Day. Normally it’s for the homemade cards and promises that my dinner will be made for me (however I fondly say, I always seem to suffer a cleanup that almost makes it more work!) but this year I look forward to the much needed and anticipated debut of INFORMED CHOICES FOR LATER MOTHERS: What Women Should Know About Fertility, Birth and Parenting After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com). I look forward to where this conversation goes and the benefit it will have for me and the growing number of moms over 40, around the world.

Notes for this Blog:

After Forty Mom (http://afterfortymom NULL.com/) was birthed when Amanda decided not to return to a 20 year career as a marketing and public relations executive for the tech sector following the birth of her daughter at 43.

She fulfillingly states that being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to her and being an “after 40 mom” has expanded her sense of purpose and her ability to love and be loved.  And with that, she shares with her readers her experiences through this site in hopes that if you are pregnant, hoping to be, in the process of adoption or have been blessed with a baby at the age of 40 or more that you can come together and share in the joy. www.afterfortymom.com.

19 Responses to Over Forty Moms Need to Feel the Love (and Support)

  1. toni says:

    I have to say it really chaps my bum to have anybody say something negative about moms over 40. I am 45, married for 18 years, very stable home life, work when I want to and I have a beautiful 4-yr-old and a 4-month-old. I am a member of a moms over 40 group and not one single one of us is on public assistance, most are stay-at-home moms. I wish there were more energy spent with men who “father” children and they don’t even know the mother’s name or with 16-year-old moms who have absolutely no way to support themselves, much less a baby. Please stop demonizing those of us who CHOSE to wait until we were stable and able to love and support a child. I will get off of my soapbox now.

    • HeavenCowan says:

      I totally agree. I am not a ‘new’ mother at forty yet, I have teens (15,18) right now. But I agree, it seems like a hypocritical stereotype that mothers over 30 are not ‘desirable’ to mother. What do you think that life experience will do? That will only increase the chances the child will succeed!!! Too old, too young….. what really is the “standard”? Why label it?!??! That’s my two cents!

  2. Jane says:

    I love reading these positive comments about being a new mum over 40, we need more of this, Im aged 45 and still TTC, I’m hoping it will happen one day soon. But what I do want to say is, will older mums, please stop being bitchy about teen mums, its not nice, there is really no need for it, we should all as mothers being celebrating together and supporting each other just because we are mothers, age and finacial status should NOT be a factor in anything about being a parent, I say this because my own daughter became a teen mum and IS a great mother too, and Ive seen cruel looks and comments made toward teen mum’s, and at my own daughter, its disgusting really! even at 40 you could be someone with little money, might have nothing to do with having a career if you chose to become a mother in later life, maybe it was the fact its because you could not find a man you loved?, think twice before you say something.

  3. Lisa Williams says:

    I think it’s great that Amanda was able to conceive and deliver a healthy baby after forty but I hope that her story does not mislead young women into holding off on trying to conceive. The statistics prove that female fertility plummets after 35 and the odds of miscarry ing and/ or delivering a child with severe defects shoot up.

    I told several young women with whom I worked in the highly competitive entertainment industry these facts and e en those who weren’t sure they wanted to have children went on to do so…

    A career can be achieved through hard work alone whereas a healthy baby can not.

    Good luck to all!

    Lisa

  4. Jane says:

    @Lisa Williams, PLEASE we DO NOT NEED another sermon on age related infertility, fertility yes it can plummet after 35, we DO ALL KNOW this, but after 35 for alot of women they CAN and DO get pregnant, it just take a bit longer, miscarriages can happen to everyone, I had 3 during my 20’s!!!! none in my 30’s due to the fact I wanst TTC then, and one when I was 43, I had been TTC for only 4 months then, I took a break for a while and now Im TTC again its these satistics people yell out the really anger me, we dont need it thanks.

  5. Janet Bennett says:

    I want to applaud Amanda and also defend Lisa. Lisa didn’t say what her situation is but she may be very much like me. I married at 24 but didn’t start trying to have a baby until my late 30s and didn’t see a fertility doctor until I turned 40. Because my mother had me at 36 and both of my grandmothers had my parents at age 40, and because the media talks about all the over forty Hollywood mom but rarely talks about the challenges they face, I never really thought that waiting to have a baby would be a problem. I wish someone had sat me down in my early 30s and talked to me about the scientific statistics and how fertility rates take a sharp decline at 35. I went through months and months of fertility treatments before finally moving on to using an egg donor and at age 43 I am happy and thankful to say that I finally started my family. I’m now 44 and the very proud mother of boy and girl twins. I don’t wish my journey on anyone because it was very hard but I am so thankful for the technology we have today, the wonderful young lady who made my family possible and the fact that I was able to afford egg donation and IVF. Not everyone can afford my route and I’m just so thankful that I could because I love these babies so much. I do wish someone had sat me down earlier on, or that the media had talked more about fertility rates and age. I have an advanced degre and consider myself a smart person but I didn’t know the truth about fertility rates.

    I am thankful to that Amanda has started a group for over 40 moms and for the Flower Power Moms website. I feel a little bit like an outsider because I’m so much older than most moms and it helps me to read postings from other older moms. While trying to conceive I found support through Inspire.com and Parents Via Egg Donation and am just so thankful to find websites where people in similar situations to me can support each other and find new friends. We all need support in so many ways and while our family and friends love us and support us it is always so good to find a friend who is walking a similar path. Thank you to all of you.

  6. Lorelei (http://www NULL.mrsdandco NULL.com) says:

    Jane,

    I understand your point but Lisa makes a valid point as well. I don’t think she was trying to preach, just adding another opinion to the conversation. We should be open to each others’ opinions, whether we agree or not.

    I have been on the “trying to conceive” program for five years now. I consider myself lucky since I did have a daughter during this time (at age 40), but it was with the help of IVF. We have tried naturally each month since she was a baby and I have done two more rounds of IVF, yet no luck for a second. Multiple miscarriages, all very early. I see an acupuncturist and chiropractor regularly, I eat healthy whole foods, I take good quality supplements, I exercise (moderate as I don’t want to over do it) and I do practice the art of positive thinking. I’m 43 now and I still think I will have another child. But it has not been easy and I would not want anyone to assume that it is easy. Jane has a valid message for younger girls. Some people are lucky, others are not.

    That said, I know I would not have tried to conceive any earlier. I was waiting for the right partner and we met later in life. If he did not come along I would have been quite content by myself. I saw no need in rushing things because of my biological clock. But that does not mean it does not exist.

  7. Jane Kowalski says:

    I am also a Jane, perhaps I could be “Jane #2 ” ?
    I just entered the conversation here, and appreciate the work and dedication of women like Angel and Amanda in reaching out, and truly showing deep committment to this topic of later in life mothering.
    I am a 53 year old married woman with 4 year old twins ! it even boggles my mind still when I write down my “stat’s” !! anyway, what I would like to say that I have also found a slight stigma against older moms in my social world. As I do live in LA, the good news is I can reach out and find many many different women friends and moms from all walks of life and cultures here in this city. I have had the energy and desire to reach out to and create a supportive community for myself and my family. Part of this was also returning and strengthening extended family ties, friends from my childhood and new friends within my faith community and local moms groups. I have a full network, feel very supported these days and mostly find people affirming our choices to have children in our late 40’s.
    Lastly, I do agree, that we truly need more social and medical research on this topic, so we are not lumped into “HIGH RISK” for our age alone ! we are breaking down these barriers left and right. NOW, OUR SOCIOLOGICAL CHANGES NEED TO BE PUT INTO THE MAINSTREAM. if I had ambition to return to school for post doc work, this would be a fantastic thesis, wouldnt it !?

    happy belated Moms day to all of us , and the future moms also .
    Jane # 2

    • LADYDAY says:

      Good morning ladies,
      yes, TTC is a personal choice and really no one but you and your partner can make that decision. People do what is right for them when they are mature enough to handle it. People live on faith and that is one thing that is not a statistic. I don’t listen to negativity and the so called facts can and have been proven wrong. I am so happy to see this, knowing others are faithful and supportive is sometimes that is needed to be blessed to give life. People have their own choices, they don’t let you make theirs, and they can’t make yours for you. I am keeping the faith that I will concieve, my fiance has 1 son, I have 3 dtrs and lost a son. Why not have faith in life. It’s funny because many of the people who say what can’t happen have not had it happen to them and if so, that’s them, not you, not me. Isn’t it nice to know that this is a thing that does not discriminate, it can just happen, keep trying, keep the faith,only you know why you are.

  8. Kitten says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story and encouragement!!

  9. LeslieC says:

    As someone who started ttcing at 42.10 after many failed IUIs and two failed IVFs, (later tried donor egg but I have an immune issue and can’t carry to term – now on an adoption waiting list) I also agree that we have to be SO careful when talking about conceiving in our 40s. Are there exceptions – sure there are – some women do get pg in their 40s easily or fairly easily and carry to term a healthy baby. But factually, statistically, the likelihood of getting and staying pg and carry to term over 40s is markedly declined. Most women are the rule, NOT the exception. Due to the increased number of highly visible celebrities having children in their 40s, younger women can easily be misled that celebs are having these children with their own eggs. Most of them are using donor eggs. This leads younger women to delay trying to conceive, thinking they have plenty of time, when in reality, that’s simply factually not true. Our bodies use up the good eggs first; after 35, it become more difficult to conceive and carry to term and after 40 much more difficult.

    When I was on a national support group for women doing donor egg, I was shocked to see how many women were in their mid-to-late 30s. After what I have been through, I absolutely feel the need to share with younger women what I have learned about fertility and infertility. If you wait to try to conceive until you are over 35, you are taking a risk, if you wait until after 38 the risk increases and after 40, it could be very difficult, if not impossible. Once they have that knowledge, and know their options, at least if they take that risk they are doing so fully informed. Not based on the stories of the exceptions.

  10. Amanda (After Forty Mom) (http://www NULL.afterfortymom NULL.com) says:

    HI, After Forty Mom here – Just wanted to thank everyone for your comments and insights. Its really this feedback that makes an article come to life.

    My next question for the group….how about the idea of having another baby after forty so your child has a sibling today and in many years to come. This is my “big-think” question for the day.

    I know Angel had two children both after forty and both quite close in age. I would really love to have another but not sure I’m ready (a 17 month old is a lot of work..I love it but I’m exhausted). And I can just hear the tick tock of the biological clock. Thoughts?

    • Charlene Luke says:

      I loved your thought for today. I’m also contemplating on having another baby. I am 44 just last week , I have a 26 yr old and a 4 yr old and 2 grand babies. my partner and I are thinking of a baby so that our 4 yr old is not an only child. He really wants another one real soon. My scare is i just lost 140 ponds after having 4yr old and discovering that i had thyroid disease but that is being taken care of. If you have anything encouraging for me it would be a blessing.
      Thank u

  11. Janet says:

    Amanda,
    I have eight month old twins and I’m thinking about another baby. I had my babies at 43 through the help of an egg donor. I have one embryo that made it to day six and was good enough to freeze. I think about that little embie every day and that if it develops it will be a full sibling to my babies. Honestly I’m not ready for it right now and my husband certainly isn’t but I think about it almost every day. And I must say, I don’t feel 44 and I don’t feel too old to have another baby. I’m trying to keep myself in good shape for these sweet babies I have and being healthy can help me be able to carry a sibling for them. So yes, I think about it all the time, even having my hands very full right now!

  12. Amanda (After Forty Mom) (http://www NULL.afterfortymom NULL.com) says:

    Janet, I can feel such emotion in your words and I can relate. Even on the crazy days I think mom’s have that internal instinct to create a family….Thanks for sharing your feelings :)

  13. Julie says:

    Amanda, I’m at both ends of the spectrum :-). I’m 43 and due to have my 4th child in about 3 mos. I’m so excited! My kids are 21,15 and 13. The last 2 were definitely like twins! Although towards the latter part of childbearing years I’m still there and God made it that way for a reason. I LOVE being a mom and feel blessed to experience pregnancy at an older age, with the support of an amazing new husband. I am more spiritually, mentally and physically intune with myself now more than ever and I’m still learning so much about childbirth. I am also considering having 1 more at about 45 but am also undecided, having gone thru that phase before. LOVE will make the seemingly impossible all worthwhile.

    • Charlene Luke says:

      Julie, you are my hero. I love your story an dim glad god has given the second chance also at having kids at our age. I’m also contemplating on another at 44. Wish me good luck.

  14. LeslieC says:

    oh boy – if I was in your position I’d do it in a NY minute. I’m 48 and a few months – still waiting on the adoption list for my first. I’ve always wanted a second – for my child to have a sibling, but now at 48 still waiting on my first, I just don’t know that it’s realistic. I may find after one that I’m just too tired and it’s too much to have more than one toddler in my 50s.

  15. Carol says:

    I’m glad to have found this site. I have four-year boy/girl twins conceived with IVF and donor eggs at age 46, delivering at 47. I also have two adult children but my husband did not have any biological children. My life is full and never dull! I enjoy my little ones so much, and did not feel my family was complete until I had them. But, at 52, I find I often do not have the energy I would like to have for them. I am a SAHM but work a couple of days a month as a nurse. I want to homeschool, but not sure I’m up to it. At any rate, I found a lot of shock and disbelief among my family, friends and acquaintances when we announced we were expecting. Even subtle disapproval. Not that it really mattered, we were happy with what we were doing. But it would have been nice to have support and encouragement, and people saying how happy they were for us instead. No one offered us a baby shower although it had been 20+ years since I had had a baby and we were having both a boy and a girl. I have to admit, that really hurt my feelings, and I’m not quite over it yet. So I hope there will be more and more exposure to older moms having babies until it is considered at least somewhat normal in our society. Meanwhile, we can support each other through sites like this one. For all of your TTC, it’s so worth it! Keep going for it!!!

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