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'Older' parents - ageist people!

(42 Posts)
MrsSmithChips Sun 25-Jan-15 19:31:06

Hi, this is my first time on here and I just wanted to post and get some feedback from parents that are or have been in the same situation as us.

My husband and I have been together for 9 years this year and happily married for 5 years in August. I'm 41 and hubby is 48. We have both previously been married and I have a 15 year old daughter from that marriage and my husband has 2 daughters who are 19 and 24.

We were happy as we were and had no plans for any children together due to our ages. However, we had the shock of our lives on New Years Eve when we discovered that I am pregnant! I say shock because I was on the mini pill and always take it correctly.

I am now 9 weeks pregnant and last Thursday we went for our booking in appointment and were in the waiting room alongside another couple who were younger than us. The midwife came out and spoke to the other couple who were not there to see her. She was obviously looking for me. She looked around the corner, past my husband and I,to see if anyone else was waiting and then looked at us and said "Are you two ok there?" As if to say it can't be you I'm looking for because you're too old! I replied saying we were there for our booking in appointment! She looked a bit shocked and embarrassed but was very pleasant throughout the appointment.

I was just wondering if anyone else has encountered any ageism whilst being an older mum and would love to hear from older mums.

sleepybee Sun 25-Jan-15 19:45:28

Sorry I have experienced this, I'm 30 pregnant with my first, but when I went for my booking in appointment I was surprised as I appeared to be the youngest woman there & had the same at subsequent appointments. Congratulations & best wishes with your pregnancy smile

AuntieStella Sun 25-Jan-15 19:51:01

Oh dear, I hope that was just brief foot-in-mouth moment.

Congratulations: and here's a long-running antenatal chat thread for 'older' mothers

OhMjh Sun 25-Jan-15 19:55:49

No, but I've had it for being a younger mother ( I'm 20) and think either end of the spectrum is frowned upon. I was spat at in the street/muttered about/told by a check out woman in sainsburys that I was 'far too young to be a parent'/bullied out of my first choice of birthing place because I 'wouldn't be able to handle the pain' and 'naive' for 'not knowing what was in store' - DD is now 8 weeks and I still get stared at when I'm pushing her buggy. It probably doesn't help that I look about 17 but it stunned me how judgemental people are.
Keep your head up, and look forward to your bundle of Joy! It's no one else's business and you and your partner being happy is the only thing that matters.

sleepyhead Sun 25-Jan-15 20:03:06

Congratulations! I think (hope) you were unlucky.

I was 40 when pg with ds2 and no one batted an eyelid, although I was frequently the oldest person in the antenatal clinic, including a couple of accompanying grans.

My booking in midwife had her last at 41 and told me that in the bit of the city where I live the average age first time mothers is pushing 38.

No extra intervention, straightforward pg and birth, only been mistaken for my son's granny once (it had been a bad night, and let's face it I am old enough to be his granny grin ).

Good luck! I genuinely haven't found it harder in my forties than it was in my early 30s.

Dogsmom Sun 25-Jan-15 20:08:06


I don't think she was being ageist, to me that's a deliberate act, more that she is so used to seeing younger women and had a foot in mouth moment which she probably felt incredibly embarrassed about.

I'm due to give birth in 5 weeks and will be 40 soon after, I've also got a little girl who I had just before I turned 38 and have never had any negative comments, if anything it has been a surprise at toddler groups to see how many older parents there are.

My husband is 46 and does look older and has had a few innocent "is she yours?" comments (which I tease him about grin )

bagofsnakes Sun 25-Jan-15 20:15:12

Well first, congratulations! flowers

While I certainly feel for you in that situation, I also really feel for the midwife - she must have been mortified! Of course rightly so and she'll never make that mistake again, so you've smoothed the path for those who come after you. And they will come after you. There is a baby boom in Britain at the moment and those leading it are women in their 40s so you're far from alone.

I think part of it probably depends on the area you live in. Around here there are plenty of new mums in their later 30s/early 40s, many of them for the first time. When I moved here I was 30 with a young baby and I was often one of the youngest in any baby group or clinic.

Hope the rest of the pregnancy goes well and you don't have anymore negative experiences with HCPs or anyone else.

CeartGoLeor Sun 25-Jan-15 20:18:10

I had my only child about five minutes before turning 40, and I think a lot about the 'expected' age profile for having a child depends on where you live in the country, and what kind of community your GP surgery serves. I felt like a terrible old fogey seeing my very nice midwife at my usual GP surgery in a grubby bit of North London, as the average age of the other pregnant women was about 20 years younger than me, and some were accompanied by mothers who were around my age.

However, I occasionally saw my midwife at another surgery a mile away, which served a much more prosperous area, and there I was quite average in age terms. She said that at that practice, she saw more over forties than under thirties. Out of the eight of us in my NCT group, three were my age or slightly older.

I also had a completely straightforward pregnancy, and suspect I'm a better mother in my 40s than I would have been any earlier. Congratulations!

footallsock Sun 25-Jan-15 20:18:26

I am 45 with 2 under 5 but where I live that's not at all unusual. At school I don't feel much older than most. I agree it so much depends on area etc

greenlizard Sun 25-Jan-15 20:24:43

Congratulations on your lovely surprise!

I have to say - so far we haven't had any overtly judgemental comments or looks that I have noticed and we are both 45 (my first baby - 2 step children 13/15 who are clearly horrified that we are actually having sex grin). I am 32 weeks and very obviously pregnant - maybe I am oblivious but everyone seems to take it in their stride. I think late starting mums are quite common round these parts. At 41 you are a whipper snapper!

Sunbeam18 Sun 25-Jan-15 21:09:47

Hi and congratulations! The midwife should have known better than to make assumptions about the age of her next patient! She must see loads of older mums, the statistics mean it's impossible she hadn't. I am 42 and had my DS (first) at 40 and my DP was 54. We have encountered no ageism so far. Good luck and enjoy your pregnancy.

Lolababy00 Mon 26-Jan-15 09:11:52

Hi I'm expecting my 5 th and I will be 41 just before due date . My DD is nearly a year old and I only received positive comments about being an older mum and how much nicer it is, and I must agree. I feel I am a little more laid back than when I had my other three ( DD 20 DS 18 DS 15) also I was able to have 9 months off which I couldn't do with my others. Hopefully your experience was a one off.
I have also joined a thread called old bird graduates, lovely ladies who are going to be older mums so come across if you like. smile

Ragwort Mon 26-Jan-15 09:20:22

Yes grin. I was 43 when I had DS and my DH was 40.

When DS was born someone in the hospital actually said to him 'you look nervous, is this your first grand-child'.

And I have been referred to as my child's grandmother. grin.

I am quite thick skinned so I have learned to laugh it off but I can see that it can be very hurtful.

I used to initiate conversations with 'we are older parents by choice ....' sometimes (obviously depending on the conversation but in a situation where someone might judge.)

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 26-Jan-15 09:31:53

My aunty lived in an area with a very high level of teen pregnancy when she had my cousin 30 years ago. She was referred to as an "elderly primagravida" by everyone she came into contact with.

She was 26. grin

wickedlazy Mon 26-Jan-15 09:45:28

I'm at the other end of the spectrum, had ds just before I turned 19, and that can be hard to. Still get repair men etc asking "is mummy or daddy home?" And when I take ds to the doctors, usually a moment of "and you are ds's parent or guardian..?" Just don't let it get to you.

Only1scoop Mon 26-Jan-15 09:48:28

Yes myself at 41 and Dp at 50 waiting for a asked who we were withshock

We went private after that.

wickedlazy Mon 26-Jan-15 09:51:05

*And I would say about 70% of the other nursery mums are 35+ and the rest (except me) are 25+ which can feel very awkward. You would seem a lot less out of place there than I am. I've noticed a lot more mothers over 40 now than teenage mums which can only be a good thing.

Only1scoop Mon 26-Jan-15 09:52:06

And congratulations by the way....

DancingDinosaur Mon 26-Jan-15 09:53:24

No thats never happened to me, although it still could. Plenty of older mothers where I am though, so its not unusual.

Fadingmemory Mon 26-Jan-15 09:54:22


I was 42 when my youngest was born over 20 years ago. I do not remember any ageism from hospital/surgery staff. My daughter has only once been asked if I was her mother or grandmother!

colafrosties Mon 26-Jan-15 09:58:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniepanniepears Mon 26-Jan-15 09:59:05

I was 38 when I had my son
I worked up until I was 6 month
The strangest comment I got when walking in the town with my baby in the pram a woman I had worked with stopped me and said is this your wee grandson ,I was so taken aback I did not answer
this was a woman I had worked with for 3 years
some folk are just weird lol
congratulations op

purplemunkey Mon 26-Jan-15 10:01:55

As others have said it must be dependant on where you live. I'm in the London suburbs and have just had my first at 33. I was surprised to consistently be the youngest in waiting areas for scans/midwife appts. TBH I found it really encouraging, I thought I'd only have one as I'd left it til 33 but I'm pretty sure I'd have another one now. Congratulations!

Disastronaut Mon 26-Jan-15 10:03:58

Congratulations! I was 40 when DD was born & I'm trying for another now at 41. Agree with pp's that it depends where you live. It's pretty normal in bits of middle class London, but I'm still hyper-conscious of looking noticeably older (even though I dontgrin).

It's a good time to be an 'older' mother. My mum was 40 when I was born and everyone thought she was my gran. Times have changed. It's mums in their teens and 20s who are frowned on now - which is disgraceful.

Disastronaut Mon 26-Jan-15 10:05:23

By the way, I had a really straightforward pregnancy, as did all my ancient pregnant friends.

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