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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 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. 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.
- (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/health-headlines/women-increasingly-going-online-to-seek-free-sperm-donors-1 NULL.1590245)
Angel on CNN(http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)
CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
AARP's "Inside E-Sreet" on PBS TV (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
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