Friday 19 January 2018

'Older mothers are often energetic, fit and just as well nourished as their younger counterparts'

With many more women facing the prospect of becoming an older mum, Joanna Fortune, director of the Solamh Parent Child Relationship Clinic, says it's important to recognise the good, and not just the bad, associated with this choice.

She says: "There are lots of scary and unfortunately very real stories about how fertility declines, and risks of complications in pregnancy increase with this older age group, but it is important to also highlight the physical and psychological benefits an older mum brings to parenting.

"They are often energetic, fit and just as well-nourished as their younger counterparts.

"Older first-time mums often lead healthier lifestyles, tend to understand their bodies more and look after themselves better in terms of exercise and nutrition, before and during pregnancy.

"They're often more highly educated and better off financially. Lots of older first-time mums speak of feeling like they have accomplished and experienced everything they wanted to and now feel better able to devote time and energy to a baby, rather than stressing about money, their careers or even what they look like."

But that doesn't mean 40-something mums can ignore the risks attached to giving birth later in life.

Joanna says: "It's important that older mums attend regular medical appointments because of the increased risk of complications.

"It's also important that they develop links with other first-time mothers as many of their peers may be past this stage and this can lead to older mums feeling lonely and isolated."

She adds: "As with any life decision, there are pros and cons in waiting longer to start a family."

Irish Independent

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