A New Type of Pregnancy

I would never have guessed it but the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and I have something in common.  It’s not the dewy skin, great fashion sense or the perfect mane of shiny, thick hair. We are Geriatric Mothers.  Yes you heard me right…..GERIATRIC!  Meghan is actually part of a growing trend of women who are having children later in life.  Her current pregnancy (she is due in the Spring) is considered a geriatric pregnancy and I just completed mine 10 months ago with the birth of my son.  So we are both “grandmas” having kids. 

A geriatric pregnancy is one in which a woman is over the age of 35 or the official medical terminology is called Advanced Maternal Age (AMA).  The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that since 2007 rates have increased in birth age, with 19% for women in their early forties and 11% for women in their late thirties.  I mean just look at all the celebrities that have had children recently at an older age – including John Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston who had her third baby at 48.  Actress Beverly D’Angelo from the famed National Lampoon movies had twins at 49, and of course there is the multi-platinum singer Janet Jackson that welcomed her son at the ripe old age of 50! 

Why is there such a growing trend?  First, there is a societal shift taking place that has resulted in less stigma around an “elderly” parent.  In addition, women are focusing more on their careers and trying to establish themselves first both financially and professionally. Technology has  helped women over the last few decades due to advanced fertility treatments.  Then there is the mere fact that couples are getting married later in life and waiting longer to have children so they can travel, etc.  I had my first baby at 32, not yet geriatric at that time.  However, mine was a conscious decision to wait for my second.  My husband and I weren’t sure we wanted two children, we enjoyed the one on one time with our little girl and then when we decided to add to our family it took longer than expected.

Recently, I started to think about my own circle of family/friends and it became pretty apparent that this was definitely the new normal.  My best friend from grammar school had her second child last year at 39. Then you have my high school friends who all have turned 40 this past year and not one of them has a child, yet they all want one in the near future.  My step sister had her last baby at 39. 

Personally, having my son at an advanced maternal age was a welcome change.  I was able to cherish the memories and experiences I had with my daughter as a baby and now I have that same quality time with my son.  Things are easier for me and he makes me feel young in a sea of younger mothers.  Hopefully, I just don’t look like his Grandmother!





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