I’m all about positivity on my blog and all of my social media accounts, but I also want to keep things real. I live in a city where many women are opting for motherhood at an older age, and I have a lot of friends who are also making those choices. So I hope for those of you who have stumbled onto this post, there is something here that is helpful to you as you navigate your older mama path toward parenthood.
For all the positives about my pregnancies – healthy, full-term babies, no complications – there are definitely things that can happen to your body as it goes through the rigors of motherhood later. Here is my experience which is in alignment with many of my friends who also had babies at an older age.
- Postpartum emotional issues. I’ve been pretty frank about the fact that I spent one week in the psych ward of a hospital to manage my postpartum anxiety and I’ve been on anti-anxiety medication ever since. Although this can definitely happen to any woman at any age, research indicates that there is a higher chance the older you are.
- The stress of putting your body through pregnancy with close pregnancies. Shortly after giving birth to our first, my medical care provider spoke to me about contraception. I indicated that we wanted to try for another baby, and she told me I needed at least two years to allow my body and my uterus to heal. We got pregnant with our second when our first was just six months old. I knew the risks, but I also felt that because my first pregnancy went so well, as a result of my years-long healthy lifestyle, that we would be OK. And I’m lucky, because we were!
- Gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia. Again these conditions are all much more probable if you are 40 years or older. I did not go through any of these problems, however, so if you lead a healthy lifestyle as I did, chances are you, will be fine!
- Dealing with perimenopause while you still have young children. That’s me right now, and it’s not fun! I’ve got a 3-year-old and 2-year-old, and I’m dealing with the effects of perimenopause, which in addition to my rollercoaster emotions and impatience, I’m reconciling the fact that I’m really getting older.
Any other thoughts? Drop them in the comments below.