I though I was starting the menopause – now it turns out I’m pregnant and our youngest child is 10. How are we going to cope?
Being an older mother is not too uncommon these days – I’m sorry I don’t know your exact age. If you choose to continue with your pregnancy you may be monitored a little more closely during it. Older mothers often worry that their age will affect their pregnancy, and the birth of their baby. In 2004 there were 102,228 births to women aged 35-39, 19,884 to women aged 40-44 and 909 to women of 45 and over1.
Even fit, healthy women over the age of 35 may have more antenatal tests and ultrasound scans. They are also more likely to be under consultant care. Screening in the pregnancy is probably the major decision you need to. A screening test estimates your risk of having a baby with a serious health problem such as Down’s syndrome or spina bifida or some rarer condition such as Edward’s syndrome. It can’t tell you for certain whether your baby has or has not got one of these conditions. A Diagnostic test is to tell you whether your baby has or has not got a particular health problem. It can tell you for certain whether your baby has Down’s syndrome or spina bifida or some other major health problem.
ARC is the only national charity that provides non-directive support and information to parents throughout the antenatal testing process. Their role is to help parents arrive at the most appropriate decision for them in the context of their family life. They have an excellent website; http://www.arc.org.uk
Women who have children later in life make better mothers, according to a recent article. They are more likely to be financially secure and in stable relationships 2. Hopefully you will be able to view this positively soon.
1UK Office for National Statistics; 2005
2WHY WOMEN WHO WAIT UNTIL THEIR THIRTIES ‘MAKE BETTER MOTHERS’; 29.10.07; http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23418529-