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What Women Should Know About Fertility, Birth and Parenting After 40

Discover what our experts have to say through video interviews and FAQ’s below on reproductive endocrinology, Chinese fertility medicine, pregnancy, birth, parenting, and the often controversial social issues surrounding the rise in later motherhood.
Also WATCH “Informed Choices For Later Mothers”.

Dr. Paula Amato is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Associate Professor of OB/GYN at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, OR.  Dr. Amato obtained her medical degree and completed her OB/GYN residency at the University of Toronto in Canada.  She then completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the University of California, San Diego.  She also holds a Master in Clinical Research from OHSU.  Dr. Amato is a long-time clinician, scientist, educator, and advocate on a variety of women’s health issues.  She is Director of the OHSU Egg Donation Program and serves as Chair of the ASRM Ethics Committee.  Dr. Amato’s clinical and research interest include the areas of infertility, menopause, environmental reproductive toxicity, and complementary and alternative therapies.

Dr. Paula Amato on Later Motherhood

Women are delaying childbearing for a variety of reasons, including the pursuit of higher education and career. As a result, age-related infertility is becoming more common. It is well-established that fertility decreases with increasing age, while the risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities increases as women get older. However, many women are seemingly unaware of these facts, perhaps in part because of lack of education from their healthcare providers and the general media. In fact, reports of celebrity moms in their 40s and 50s may give women unrealistic expectations about their chances of having children with their own eggs as they get older.

The good news is that reproductive technology has advanced significantly over the last several decades enabling many women with fertility problems to successfully become pregnant. But even in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is less successful as a woman ages. Of course egg donation has allowed many women to become pregnant even beyond the age of their natural fertility.

The risk of pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure and diabetes however, is higher in older women. Generally however, women who become pregnant in their 40s do quite well. The biggest risk is usually the risks associated with multiple pregnancy which may occur if assisted reproductive technologies are necessary to achieve pregnancy.

Egg freezing or banking technology has improved in recent years and has become more widely available. However, because IVF is an expensive procedure, often not covered by insurance, it is still not widely accessible to most women.

Our goal as health care providers is to provide women with the education and information they need in a timely fashion to make informed decisions about their future fertility and to respect those choices whatever they may be.

While there are some support services for older women trying to conceive and/or grappling with infertility, few resources exist for older moms. These women are different in some ways from their younger counterparts and may face somewhat different challenges. Therefore, I’m very pleased that FlowerPowerMom exists to educate women and to provide support for mothers over 40.

For Dr. Amato’s FAQ’s on Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Paula Amato, M.D., go to:
www.ohsu.edu (http://www NULL.ohsu NULL.edu/xd/health/services/providers/amatop NULL.cfm?WT_rank=3)

Dr. Lorne Brown is the founder and clinical director of Acubalance Wellness Centre, the first Traditional Chinese medicine clinic in British Columbia, Canada dedicated to reproductive health and fertility.

Lorne has been at the forefront of an integrative approach to fertility treatment using Traditional Chinese Medicine to help women optimize their fertility naturally and to support assisted fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). He is passionate about educating and empowering women to take control of their fertility journey, and regain confidence in their own fertility potential.

A popular speaker, Lorne has recently been a presenter, as part of a panel of medical fertility experts, at the 2011 annual meeting of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOCG) and on the Science Advisory Panel of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC).

Lorne is a Fellow of the American Board of Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) (http://www NULL.aborm NULL.org/) and participates on numerous other boards and advisory panels, including the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada, the Quality Assurance Board of the British Columbia College of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture (CTCMA), and the PDA Advisory Panel for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). He is also a member of the Fertile Souls Clinical Excellence in Fertility Professionals (CEFP) and was the first appointed “Natural Products Expert” to the Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB) for the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Lorne Brown on Later Motherhood

While fertility declines after age 35 in all women, the rate at which it declines depends more on biological than chronological age. Recent scientific studies are now suggesting that environmental and lifestyle factors play a much more important role in fertility and the ageing process than previously understood. Our current lifestyle in the West, characterized by chronic stress, lack of sleep, a fast- food diet and overconsumption of stimulants, accelerates the aging process and hastens the ticking of the reproductive clock.

According to Chinese medicine a woman, optimally, should be able to conceive until she reaches menopause at approximately age 49. At Acubalance we help women regain their maximum fertility potential by empowering them to make lifestyle changes that are shown to slow down and even reverse their biological age and prolong their window of fertility.

While Chinese herbal therapy, acupuncture and supplements like C0 Q-10 are effective treatments for regulating hormones, improving blood flow and reversing mitochondrial damage –all important for creating healthy, youthful eggs—the most potent anti-aging, pro-fertility factors are diet and stress reduction.

By adopting a whole foods, low glycemic, mostly plant based diet and learning simple relaxation tools like breathing, spending time in nature, and mindfulness practice, women can reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress and improve their reproductive health and over all well-being.

For Dr. Brown’s FAQ’s on Chinese Medicine and Fertility
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Lorne Brown, Dr. TCM, go to:
www.acubalance.ca (http://www NULL.acubalance NULL.ca/)

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Bill Chun has been a practicing OB/GYN, most recently in private practice in Lawrence, MA. Dr. Chun’s role as a physician, advisor, coach, and caregiver to women has given him unique insight into the challenges women face as they transition into middle age. His career as a physician and his interactions with his patients have driven him to create the Haja for Life social network, an online community designed to harness the power of collaboration to improve the wellness of women over 40. As Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Chun oversees the Board of Directors and Technical Advisory Board to ensure the proper governance of the company. He also provides the vision for the many online tools, content and programs that members can access free of charge. Dr. Chun is a graduate of Ohio State University of Medicine and a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Bill Chun on Later Motherhood

During the more than twenty years I have worked as an OB/GYN I have guided mothers from the age of thirteen to fifty-three through the process of conception to childbirth. If I haven’t seen it all, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve seen a lot. As a fifty year-old father of five, with three children having been born during my forties, I have a very personal appreciation for the issues relating to childbirth later in life.

There are some inescapable facts related to pregnancy later in life that should be noted. Studies suggest that good outcomes can be realized in women over forty-five or even fifty, but that the likelihood of certain complications is much higher. Such complications include higher rate of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, fetal chromosomal abnormalities, congenital anomalies, placental abnormalities, gestational diabetes, hypertension, cesarean sections, increased risk of preterm deliveries and perinatal mortality. These are simply facts, and should not be taken as an indictment of or editorial against older women becoming pregnant and giving birth. In fact, older women enjoy certain advantages over their younger counterparts in coping with the stresses and risks associated with childbirth.

Older OB patients are more likely to be well prepared for the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, including all possible outcomes. They are often better informed, financially stable, partnered, and generally wiser about life. This allows them to better deal with the increased risks of later pregnancy, and cope with poor or difficult results when necessary.

Whereas younger patients tend to react to circumstances as they arise, older patients use their knowledge and preparation – in conjunction with their doctor’s guidance – to create and follow a plan for their pregnancy. An older patient’s birthing plan usually includes pain management and informed options for dealing with various contingencies.

Perhaps the greatest advantage that older patients hold over younger mothers-to-be is resiliency. The kind of strength and wisdom unique to mature women is of necessity called upon to prepare, plan, and cope with the added risks of later pregnancy. For this reason, more older women are experiencing successful pregnancies and the fulfillment they can bring at a vital stage of life.

For Dr. Chun’s FAQ’s on Pregnancy and Birth
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Dr. Chun, go to:
www.billchunmd.com (http://billchunmd NULL.com/about-4/)

Elizabeth Gregory directs the University of Houston Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program. (http://www NULL.uh NULL.edu/class/english/faculty/gregory/index NULL.php) Her book Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0465027857/ref=s9_simz_gw_s1_p14_t1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1NZ99A5ZT252NPKV64TJ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846) (2007), based on in-depth interviews with 113 new later moms from Houston and around the US and extensive collateral research, shatters the myths surrounding later motherhood. Drawing on both the statistical evidence and the voices of the new later mothers themselves, Gregory delivers surprising and welcome news that will revolutionize the way we think about motherhood. She and her husband are the new later parents of two daughters.

The READY (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Ready-Women-Embracing-Later-Motherhood/dp/0465031587/ref=tmm_pap_title_0) paperback (due out in August 2012 and available for pre-order now) includes a new Preface, which updates the stats and analysis of the new later motherhood trend through the recession and provides an in-depth look at the economics and politics of motherhood now. Her current research analyzes the evolving dynamics and politics of women’s paid and unpaid work.

Dr. Elizabeth Gregory on Later Motherhood

The trend to later motherhood is born of the combination of the availability of birth control and a declining need for farm workers, which, along with improved public health, opened the possibility of increased longevity. Freed from the need to be endlessly bearing and rearing kids, women were able to invest their new spare time in education and in moving into new fields of work.

The result is that women all over the globe are delaying in some degree – some for a few years, some for many. In the US, in our family-unfriendly business environment, women and men have a hard time combining a satisfying career with a family early on. For one thing – it’s so expensive to afford schooling and childcare and houses…. all the things that families require. So, many either decide not to have kids, to have few, or to delay their kids until they’ve reached a good salary level. Others delay until they find the right partner for the long term. It makes sense.

Delay may lead to infertility – especially for women over 40 (and very few can have a child with their own eggs at will, after 43). But many women do have kids in their late thirties and early forties, and many others form happy families through adoption, fosterage, step-parenting, and egg donation. And others find happiness without kids.

Delay also has distinct positives for women individually and as a group. For one thing, many women don’t feel ready to settle down until they’ve proven themselves and seen something of the world. And it is only through delay that women have begun to trickle up into policy-making roles in business and government in any numbers. Only when that trickle up reaches a critical mass (which may be soon) will women’s interests be directly represented in society – for the first time in history! So that’s major progress. In addition, when women delay, by a little or a lot, in order to complete their educations, that means that women’s skills become available in new ways to society to draw upon. Doubling the talent pool.

There are many positives to later motherhood in the current context (see my website and Ready for more discussion). We can address the infertility effect in many ways: build a family support network to make it easier for women and men to have kids early on and still have solid careers; support more fertility research; make fertility insurance available nationally; provide more support for adoptive and foster parents; destigmatize childlessness. No reason to not do all. While recognizing that it may create difficulties, we can recognize as well that delay has also been a social positive for women, for families, and for society.

Dr. Gregory’s FAQ’s on Statistics and Benefits of Later Motherhood
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Dr. Elizabeth Gregory, go to:
www.elizabethgregory.net (http://www NULL.elizabethgregory NULL.net)

Originally from Atlanta, where she trained as an opera singer, Dr. Nancy Irwin moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. She worked all over the country and abroad, and moved to L.A. in 1994 when she heard that Hollywood needed more blondes…

Dr. Nancy experienced an epiphany when she began volunteer work for Children of the Night, a shelter for sexually abused children in Los Angeles. This work not only waked up the healer in her, and prompted her to pursue a doctorate in psychology and to specialize in the prevention and healing of child sexual abuse. She now treats victims as well as abusers, for it is her belief that “The best way to help victims is to help the perpetrators.”

A pre-licensed psychologist and clinical therapeutic hypnotist, Dr. Nancy is in private practice in West Los Angeles, is on staff at Pacific Professional Associates treating sex offenders, and is also a busy public speaker. She’s been quoted extensively in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, The New York Times, and others, and is a frequent media expert on numerous radio and TV shows, including CNN, CNBC, Fox, MSNBC, Anderson, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Greg Behrendt Show, The Mitch Albom Show, and more. Dr. Irwin is a member of the California Psychological Association, the Southern California Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

Dr. Irwin is also the author of You-Turn: Changing Direction in Midlife, and a contributing author to ROADMAP TO SUCCESS with Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard.

www.drnancyirwin.com (http://www NULL.drnancyirwin NULL.com/)
www.makeayou-turn.com (http://www NULL.makeayou-turn NULL.com/)

Dr. Nancy Irwin on Later Motherhood

Dr. Nancy Irwin, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist is a reinvention expert, having authored “YOU-TURN: Changing Direction in Midlife” (Amazon, 2008). This collection of “over 40 stories of people over 40” chronicles successful transitions in people’s personal and/or professional lives, including one on 40+ parenthood.

With a background as a stand-up comedian and opera singer before becoming a mental health professional at age 48, Dr. Irwin knows a thing or two about change. Dr. Irwin refuses to live in a world that believes “It’s too late to…” and “You’re too old to…”. Rather she believes that it is never too late to live a life you love. “Change is inevitable; either effect it or accept it.”

For Dr. Irwin’s FAQ’s on Midlife Motherhood
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Dr. Nancy Irwin, go to:
www.drnancyirwin.com (http://www NULL.drnancyirwin NULL.com/) and www.makeayou-turn.com (http://www NULL.makeayou-turn NULL.com/)

Vardit Ravitsky, PhD, is assistant professor and Interim Director of the Bioethics Program at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal. Previously, she was faculty at the Department of Medical Ethics and fellow at the Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania. She is lead-editor of “The Penn Center Guide to Bioethics” http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826115225 (http://www NULL.springerpub NULL.com/product/9780826115225), a collection of articles on current issues in bioethics, winner of the 2009 PROSE Award of The American Association of Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing division, for Professional and Scholarly Excellence.

Previously, she was also a Senior Policy Advisor at the Ethics Office of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and prior to that, a consultant to Genome Canada on Ethical, Economic, Environmental, Legal and Social aspects of Genomics Research.

Between 2003 and 2005 Ravitsky was a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the NIH and at the Social and Behavioral Research Branch (SBRB) of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). During her time at the NIH, she served as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) member for the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). As a Bioethics Fellow she served on the Bioethics Consultation Service at the Clinical Center. She also served as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) member for the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the institute that funds most HIV/AIDS research and research in developing countries.

Ravitsky received her B.A. in philosophy from the Sorbonne University in Paris, her M.A. in philosophy from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and her PhD from Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

Her research interests in bioethics include genetics, reproductive technologies, end-of-life, research ethics, health policy, and cultural perspectives. She is particularly interested in the various ways in which cultural frameworks shape public debate and public policy in the area of bioethics.

Dr. Vardit Ravitsky on Later Motherhood

The emerging social phenomenon of motherhood later in life is one of many expressions of the increasing degree of reproductive autonomy women and families have today. Access to contraceptive options on one hand – and to reproductive technologies on the other – dramatically enhanced the control women exercise over their reproductive choices and expanded the range of options open to them. These developments empower women and are therefore positive and welcome. They touch on one of the spheres that most impact human flourishing and well being: the freedom to create a family as one desires.

At the same time, the phenomenon of motherhood later in life is attracting vocal critiques stemming from a range of concerns such as the medical risks of pregnancy later in life, the cost of reproductive technologies and the well-being of children born to older mothers.

I argue that these critiques are ethically misguided. First, in reproduction, as in any other domain of their lives, women have the right to make informed and voluntary choices about the risks they are willing to take. Second, women have the right to invest their resources in the use of reproductive technology as they see fit. Third, there is no evidence that children born to older mothers are worse off. Moreover, if society sets limits on who is entitled to become a parent based on age, it would be as reasonable to use a host of other criteria such as level of education, financial stability or mental health. Do we really want to go down that slippery slope? Are we willing to violate the well-established principle of respect for privacy in matters related to reproduction?

Moreover, I argue that we cannot account for the full range of social, ethical, and cultural implications of the growing social phenomenon of motherhood later in life if we limit our discussion to the individual level. Our discourse should also focus on the social perspective. We should be aware of how powerful social forces encourage women to postpone motherhood. Many young women today fell that they are expected to get post-secondary – and even post-graduate – education, establish their career and achieve a degree of financial stability before starting their family. As a society, we should take responsibility for the social pressures created by these new cultural and economic realities.

For example, we should promote public policies that allow women to exercise their full range of options, including the choice to become mothers earlier in their lives and careers. Generous maternity leave, affordable day care, family-friendly employment, economic benefits and support systems for families are some of the mechanisms that can enhance women’s reproductive autonomy. Moreover, reproductive technologies are often portrayed as a solution to the increase in infertility later in life but in many jurisdictions they are not publicly funded and therefore out of reach for most women. Policy makers should consider the importance of offering an appropriate level of coverage for these services as yet another way of promoting reproductive autonomy.

Dr. Ravitsky’s FAQ’s on Ethics and Social Change
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Vardit Ravitsky, go to:
www.umontreal.academia.edu (http://umontreal NULL.academia NULL.edu/VarditRavitsky)

Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D. is a clinical-child psychologist, child custody mediator, parent and family educator, school consultant, and family therapist in private practice for 40 years, working with the full range of parenting and child and adolescent-related problems. He has been teaching parenting workshops to local schools for over 37 years. He is the author of the classic 1983 book, Mediating Child Custody Disputes, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; revised in 1998). As director of Family Mediation Service of Santa Cruz, he managed the family court services for 17 years, and he has mediated more than 4,500 child custody disputes in both the public and private sectors since 1977. He is the past editor of the international Academy of Family Mediators’ Mediation News, the international Association for Conflict Resolution’s Family Mediation News, and is the current editor of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators’ The Professional Family Mediator. He has published extensively in the professional literature on child psychology and child custody and he serves on the editorial boards of the Family Court Review and Conflict Resolution Quarterly journals. He is a national and international trainer of mediation and teacher of child development and, for the past 35 years has taught on the psychology faculty at the University of California at Santa Cruz, teaching a wide range of courses across the fields of child development, including Developmental Psychology, Socialization and Child-Rearing, Social and Emotional Development, Childhood Psychopathology, Socialization and Child-Rearing, Children and Divorce, and The Psychology of Conflict and its Resolution. He is also Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Dr. Saposnek is the 2002 recipient of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s John M. Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award, the 2002 recipient of the Monterey Bay Psychological Association’s Outstanding Psychologist Award, and the 2003 recipient of the California Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology as a Profession.

Recent Media Interview/Articles

2005 Parenting Magazine article on “How to Choose a Guardian for Your Child.”

2005 The Post article on “Autism on the Rise: But with New Hope”

2006 Santa Cruz Sentinel article on “The Effects of Rainy Weather on Mood and Depression”

2006 Parents Magazine article on “Behavior: Questions and Answers—Dealing with Children Who Tell Lies during Their Parents’ Divorce.”

2007 People Magazine article (April 4 Issue) on “One Family Reunited, Another Torn Apart—The Wrenching Custody Battle of Anna Mae He.”

2007 ABC News article (May 4 edition) on “Caught in the Middle: Bitter custody battle tears at the heart”—Follow-up on the custody battle of Anna Mae He.”

2007 OK! Magazine article (November 7 Issue) on “Britney Spears Custody Battle”

2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel article on Alone with autism: Latino families struggle with the mysterious illness.” (http://www NULL.santacruzsentinel NULL.com/ci_15442137)

2010 Bay Area Parent Magazine (October Issue) article on “Older Mothers Questioning Teachers and Their Children’s Educational Environments.”

2010 Communication360, Talk Show on the Web Talk Radio Network and WWPR Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida (November 16th) Interview of Don Saposnek on “Talking to Your Children About Divorce” Accessible at: http://webtalkradio.net/ (http://webtalkradio NULL.net/2010/11/22/communication360%E2%80%93-talking-to-your-children-about-divorce-with-guest-dr-donald-saponek/)

Contact Information
Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D.

6233 Soquel Dr., Ste. E.

Aptos, CA 95003


dsapo‌snek@‍mediate.com (ds‌aposnek null@null ‍mediate NULL.com)

‌dtsapos@‍ucsc.edu (dtsap‌os null@null ‍ucsc NULL.edu)

www.mediate.com/dsaposnek (http://www NULL.mediate NULL.com/dsaposnek)

For more information, Google: Donald Saposnek

Dr. Donald T. Saposnek on Later Motherhood

What is your perspective/stance on the unprecedented, rising trend towards later motherhood in industrialized nations (esp USA)  in recent years?

Having been counseling parents for some forty years, and having seen the effects of poor parenting due to the immaturity of younger parents, I can see some strong upsides in this trend towards later motherhood for enhancing the positive psychological development in the children of older Moms. While there has not been much long-term research on outcomes for children of older Moms, it seems that the children would benefit from the increased likelihood (but no guarantee) of maturity, patience, stability, and wisdom that older Moms would bring to parenting. We do know that children are calmer when around calm and patient adults, and we could theoretically project a developmental life course that would result in a calmer and more self-assured child.

What are your perceived, immediate and long term consequences and benefits to women, family, society of this trend?
I can see that the immediate consequences would perhaps be a more thoughtful and resourced generation of children raised by parents who, in their likely increased knowledge, maturity and stability, would make better daily decisions for their children and themselves, and develop their family more by plan than by impulse.

In the long-run, the trend could result in families that are more stable, with more satisfying marriages and fewer divorces. And, even in the event of divorce, single parenting would be easier and better supported. From their longer life experience, the parents would be better equipped to manage schedules and money, and would likely be better at problem-solving and negotiating solutions to problems. The parents would also be able to offer greater financial and emotional support for themselves and their children, which could, theoretically, result in greater long-term achievement in personal, interpersonal, and professional development.

However, there is also a downside to this trend. Because of the increased risk of chromosomal damage in the children of older mothers (and fathers), there could result an increase in the population of special needs children, at great cost to society and the families. Also, some children feel embarrassed that their parents are older looking, some worry about losing their parents too early in their lives, and some worry about and wind up caring for their ailing older parents when much younger in their own lives, when they have neither the time nor the resources to help out. Some older mothers feel isolated from and out of synch with other, younger mothers, although as the trend towards older motherhood continues, there should be an increasingly sizeable cohort of peers to offer support.

What needs to change, and/or what are the steps we need to take, to empower women over 40 to make more informed choices about fertility, childbirth, parenting, menopause or aging? (Choose areas relevant to you.)
In the pregnancy stage of older parenting, easier access to doctors and other medical staff would be very helpful. When women are in their 20s, they more often listen to and follow their doctors’ advice. However, by the time women are in their 40s, they want and need more meaningful discussions with their doctors. This requires that medical personnel take more time with older Moms, to have such richer and nuanced discussions. While this is an added burden to an already burdened-for-time medical system, the benefits would seem to outweigh the inconvenience in the form of better-informed parents.

Another of the things that needs to change to empower mothers over 40 is to offer more community groups for social, emotional, and educative support to reduce the sense of isolation commonly experienced by older Moms. Services need to be offered that provide readily accessible information about all aspects of parenthood at later ages. Some of this could be on-line in the form of List-Serves and Bulletin Boards, in order to reach a larger group of parents. The sense of “community” is a critical support to develop for older parents.

There is an especially important need to offer parenting classes specifically targeted to older Moms. Whereas these Moms most likely have enhanced general knowledge about children and child development, they have not necessarily been tuned in to contemporary parenting approaches, since parenting is a new focus in their lives. Moreover, they may have outdated ideas about how to raise children, that may be out of synch with more current trends in parenting. Exposure to current research and approaches in effective parenting could be very useful to older Moms, since up-to-date parenting methods are both more effective and more socially accepted.

Current research also supports the increased effectiveness for parents who are involved in community parenting groups rather than just parenting lectures or reading parenting books. Hearing directly from other older parents about ideas, techniques, and strategies that have worked for them, appears to be more useful than hearing the same information just from a parenting “expert.”

For Dr. Saposnek’s FAQ’s on Parenting
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Dr. Saposnek, go to:
www.mediate.com (http://www NULL.mediate NULL.com/dsaposnek/)

Machelle (Mache) Seibel, MD is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty for 19 years. He performed some of the earliest in-vitro fertilization and egg donation successes in the United States and formed one of the first Ethics Advisory Boards in Reproductive Ethics. His textbook “Infertility: A Comprehensive Text” was used by Robin Cook as a resource for one of his novels on reproduction and his articles and thought pieces are incorporated in the minutes of Congress with their discussions of reproduction. He is the recipient of multiple national awards for consumer education and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Dr. Seibel is currently primarily involved in treating women in perimenopause and menopause with gynecologic disorders interfering with mental health and/or sexual function and creates award-winning educational content for women www.HealthRock.com (http://www NULL.HealthRock NULL.com), www.DoctorSeibel.com (http://www NULL.DoctorSeibel NULL.com)

Dr. Mache Seibel on Later Motherhood

The decision to have a baby at any age is a life affecting one, but deciding to have a baby after the age of 40 carries additional considerations. First there is the health of the mother. A woman choosing to have a baby after age 40 must obtain accurate information about her chances to conceive, how long it will take her to conceive and how long she should attempt conception. If she chooses to proceed, she should obtain a complete medical exam, begin taking folic acid, clear her house of potentially toxic substances such as lead paint, and establish a realistic time frame for conception to occur. She should also seek fertility guidance within three months if conception does not occur. I recommend mental health support as well. For those who attempt conception with assisted reproductive techniques such as in-vitro fertilization or donor egg, the vast majority of successes occur within three attempts. If a surrogate mother is a consideration, begin with a good attorney who specializes in reproductive law.

The next consideration is the health of the baby. After the age of 40 there is a high rate of both miscarriage and of babies affected by genetic disease. Prenatal testing of the baby by methods such as amniocentesis is highly recommended. In order to increase the likelihood of the child having parents until at least the age of 18, I recommend that combined ages of the parents not exceed 100 at the time of conception.

If adoption is a consideration, look into it early. This allows many of the waiting periods to pass so that in the event biologic parenting does not occur, months of waiting will have passed and not have to be endured at the end of fertility treatment.

There are many ways to successfully build a family. Being informed, getting the best help along the way and obtaining open dialogue with your partner and mental health professional helps ensure a gratifying outcome. Finally, living a child-free life is for some, one of the gratifying outcomes.

Some extra tips:

• It’s unfortunate that when women have the least amount of time to get pregnant, it takes the longest amount of time to do it.

• I recommend couples not have a baby after 100.

• Living a child-free life is a successful outcome for some couples.

• Making a baby takes time.” (I have a song and video with this title.)

• One fertility variable you can’t change is your age.

• There are at least 16 ways to make a baby

Dr. Seibel’s FAQ’s on Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology
visit our Experts FAQ Page

For more info on Mache Seibel, M.D., go to:
www.doctorseibel.com (http://www NULL.doctorseibel NULL.com/)

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8 Responses to Our Expert Panel

  1. Over Forty Moms Need to Feel the Love (and Support) – Flower Power Mom (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/forty-moms-feel-love-support/) says:

    […] Meet The Experts […]

  2. Fifty-Two and Fearing Tweenhood – Flower Power Mom (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/fiftytwo-fearing-tweenhood/) says:

    […] child psych expert, Dr. Saposnek will tell you that, for many, over-scheduling children is a way of “keeping up with the Joneses” […]

  3. Coping With Perimenopause and Young Kids – Flower Power Mom (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/coping-menopause-kids/) says:

    […] in West Los Angeles, California. Watch her video on later motherhood at FlowerPowerMom.com: http://flowerpowermom.com/our_expert_panel/#irwin-ex-top.  (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/our_expert_panel/#irwin-ex-top NULL. ) She is also a public speaker and author of YOU-TURN: CHANGING DIRECTION IN MIDLIFE (Amazon, […]

  4. Deseret News: Older Moms on the Rise – Flower Power Mom (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/deseret-news-older-moms-rise/) says:

    […] Also included, was news of a fact sheet, “Myths About Later Motherhood”, recently released by the Council on Contemporary Families (http://www (http://www) NULL.contemporaryfamilies NULL.org/children-parenting/myths-about-motherhood-press-release NULL.html), written by Elizabeth Gregory, Director of Women’s Studies at the University of Houston and member of our expert panel. […]

  5. What Is Your Real Reproductive Age? – Flower Power Mom (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/real-reproductive-age/) says:

    […] Meet The Experts […]

  6. Top Over-40 Mom Site Re-launches With Extreme Makeover « A Child After 40 (http://achildafter40 NULL.wordpress NULL.com/2012/11/13/top-over-40-mom-site-re-launches-as-achildafter40-com/) says:

    […] frank, open, blog writing style will utilize a diverse range of expert writers from fertility, obstetrics, parenting, menopause, and […]

  7. […] then, Dr. Paula Amato—who has participated on an AChildAfter40.com expert panel—is quick to point out the age-old […]