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'older' mothers, particularly experiences of healthcare

(17 Posts)
rachel2323 Sat 26-Sep-09 21:12:15

Hi I am a mum of 3 and nearly 40. I am also doing a PhD studying the experiences of 'older' mothers. I would be really interested to hear from anyone who has had a baby after the age of 35 (having had a child/ children) previously. I am particularly interested to hear about the similarities/ differences with your earlier experiences of pregnancy/ mothering? How do you feel about your experiences of healthcare (doctors/ midwives/ health visitors etc) as an ?older? mother? I would love to hear from anyone who feels that any of this is relevant to them - it would really help to get my research moving.

Also if anyone else is studying with young children - please let me know how to manage it - I am struggling!

Thanks guys - look forward to hearing from you.
Rachel x

ThingOne Sat 26-Sep-09 21:54:15

I had both of mine over 35! I did find that one area considered "old" to be 37 (I was 36 when I conceived and gave birth to DS1) and another 40. So I was never treated as "old".

rachel2323 Sun 27-Sep-09 11:44:01

Hi ThingOne,

I have sent a CAT message to you. Thanks for getting in touch. Would love to hear your opinions and experiences. Please let me know if you have received it.

Best wishes,
Rachel x

Elibean Sun 27-Sep-09 12:20:06

I had both mine over 40, not for want of trying earlier, mind you, but thats how it panned out...

Nothing to compare it to, but had excellent healthcare both times - though OB first time was very annoying, think it was more about his personality/attitude to women than anything else.

A few raised eyebrows since, when I mention the ages of my children and my own, but mostly followed by supportive/admiring comments and relief that its not them trying to raise small dds at my age smile

HV is lovely, possibly a bit more careful about giving me advice than she would be with a younger woman, but she's tactful with everyone so can't be sure.

Do CAT me if you like, though have just moved and with the dds and (very) p/t know how it is! Good luck with your studies, sounds interesting.

phdlife Sun 27-Sep-09 12:27:37

Hi Rachel

I had ds in the UK, where at 37 I was def treated as old - classified as "high risk" hmm and therefore under care of obstetrician rather than MW. No choice. I also had one hell of a convo with obstetrician's flunky (a resident or something) who told me I was "an elderly case of prima gravida" (no really, she did!) and went downhill from there. No issues with utterly lovely HV or anyone else that I can think of.

I had dd two years later in Australia and the obstetrician here (bless her) actually snorted out loud when I told her this story.

Let me know if you'd like to hear more...

elvislives Sun 27-Sep-09 16:18:01

I had DD 2 years ago, when I was 43. I had my others in my 20s. Maternity care has changed a great deal in those 20 years but I can't say that the differences were because of my age, except fr the testing side of things. All the healthcare professionals I came into contact with were very positive, except a senior MW at the hospital after I had my second mmc.

rachel2323 Sun 27-Sep-09 16:46:06

Dear Elvislives,
I appreciate you replying to me and you are very much the kind of mother that I would like to take part in my research. I am very interested in women's experiences of being an 'older' mother having had a baby/ babies previously, particularly if there has been a gap. It would be great if you want to share your story; what are your life experiences which led to you to have baby after age 35? What were the similarities/ differences with your earlier experiences of pregnancy/ mothering? How do you feel about your experiences of healthcare (doctors/ midwives/ health visitors etc) as an ‘older’ mother, you refer to 'testing' please could you tell me a bit more about that? Do you have any opinions about the way ‘older’ mothers are portrayed in the media? I would be very grateful if you could share your views on any of this and anything else you think might be relevant.
The intention of the study is to contribute to knowledge and understanding of ‘older’ women’s experiences of pregnancy. It would be really helpful if you would get back to me with any information you want to share.
Thanks and best wishes,

newpup Sun 27-Sep-09 18:04:10

Hi rachel, this is a very interesting thread as I have 2 children. I had DD1 when I was 24 (was 23 for most of the pregnancy)and DD2 when I was 26/27. They are now 10 and 7 and I am 34 almost 35 and considering, possibly, maybe having another but am petrified at the idea of something going wrong now I am older! I was very laid back having my first DD and am sure that this was because of my age. Would not be so laid back now, I fear!

Will watch this thread with interest. Good Luck with your research. smile

rachel2323 Sun 27-Sep-09 18:19:15

hi newpup,
I've got a simultaneous thread running under 'other' with lots of posts, that you may find interesting. Could you expand on your fears re later pregnancy? What do you think of the media portrayal of 'older' mothers? Please feel free to make any other comments.
My email address is:
if you want to tell me privately.
thanks for your input and take care,

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 18:19:29

I had my first DCs at 25 and 27. I had my DC3 at 40 and am pg with DC5 aged 42.

The thing that I noticed most is the insistance that I undergo various diagnostic tests that I am not interested in and the disbelief that I dont want them!

The way that pg women are still treated like public property and expected to do as we are told like 2 year olds BUT are now not expected to need any concessions due to pregnancy. So we seem to be expected to do as we are told because we are pregnant i.e. dont eat peanuts or drink tea, dont take any medication just incase, dont lie on your back because it will damage your baby BUT dont dare complain of being tired or wanting to put your feet up because 'you are not ill you know, only pregnant'.

Ahhh - must be the pregnancy hormones making me all unreasonable grin

rachel2323 Sun 27-Sep-09 18:44:24

Dear chegirl,

Thanks very much for your contribution. Interesting stuff about diagnostic tests. It would be great if you fancy writing your story for me (see my posts above for topics/ questions) as you are just the kind of mother I want to include in my research.

I wish you all the best with your pregnancy.
Take care,

PixelHerder Sun 27-Sep-09 18:54:33

I had my first (and probably only) child 2 weeks short of my 41st birthday. As far as I'm aware I received no special treatment or extra tests whatsoever, and didn't receive any comments on my age at all from any health profs I was treated by.

In my area (Somerset) you only got a 20 week scan on the NHS, so we had to pay for a 12 week scan and OSCAR test (about £200 iirc).

So the treatment wasn't ageist, but no perks either!

Habbibu Sun 27-Sep-09 18:59:45

I'm 38 - lost our first baby girl at age 33, had dd2 at 35, a molar pregnancy at 36 and am now 39+5 weeks pg! I've never noticed anything particularly different through being "older" - we were offered and refused DS screening, and that was accepted instantly, with not so much as a raised eyebrow. We've had more consultant care than most, but that's because of dd1 and the molar pg, and it has been fab - have also had community mw care. I do know that maternity care in my area - local hosp particularly - is very very good, so maybe we've just been lucky. (sort of!)

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 19:41:38

I will email you rachel

brimfull Sun 27-Sep-09 19:44:10

hi rachel

I had one at 30yr and one at 40yrs

cat me if you can

rachel2323 Mon 28-Sep-09 12:23:37

Dear Everyone,

thanks for all your input. I've got some good ideas and now I need to plan the project in more detail. I don't need any further info at this stage, but will post another thread in future when i've got a bit further with it all.


elvislives Mon 28-Sep-09 21:27:58

rachel can't get into my emails at the moment, but from the testing side, I had a nuchal scan and the triple blood test that gave me a risk of 1:24 for Down Syndrome. The MW got into quite a panic at those odds and referred us for counselling and an amnio. I didn't actually want to do either because I'd had 2 miscarriages immediately before that pregnancy and i was terrified of losing the baby. DH was adamant that he couldn't cope with a severely disabled child.

The consultant was fantastic though and wasn't really happy about doing the amnio as I was obviously unsure. She did a detailed colour scan of the baby's heart first to see if there were any problems there, which there weren't.

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