“So when will you two be having kids?!” It’s the very well-meaning, but cringe-worthy question that, even if you weren’t the one being directly asked, you felt the pang of awkwardness. Or you may have been on the other side, the one asking the younger couples in your life with the best of intentions. Either way it seems that there has always been a go, go, go attitude toward childbearing because “if you don’t use it, you lose it” (a phrase I stole from my professor telling us to practice speaking a foreign language — but it applies well here, too, as we know fertility declines with age).
There is also a pressure to stop having children as you get older, especially as you reach your forties. This likely springs from the slightly increased risk of some birth defects as a woman ages, but many couples still feel that longing for more children and feel intimidated by that phrase the doctors like to use…“advanced maternal age,” which starts at 35, hardly an advanced age!
Luckily, there was a recent study with some positive findings about older mothers. Check out the video below, and you can read the full article here.
Longer life for the mother, smarter and more well-behaved children — all good reasons to embrace and not overly fear older motherhood. This news is especially great in regards to natural family planning. You really can continue to be open to life if that is what God is calling you to.
So don’t stress too much if you’ve discerned a need to postpone motherhood for a bit, or if you’d like to embrace that “advanced maternal age” title. Go for it!
— Megan Imwalle
Form Communications Intern