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MonteSano Donating Member (109 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:53 AM
Original message
Over-50s can cope with motherhood, says study
Women who give birth in their 50s are just as able to cope with motherhood as younger women, according to a study by fertility specialists. Surveys of older women having fertility treatment showed they found parenting no more stressful or physically demanding than women in their 30s and 40s, and they showed no signs of poorer mental health possibly brought on by feelings of isolation.

The findings counter views that older women may make less suitable mothers and follows recommendations from the head of the government's fertility watchdog, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, the former Bishop of Oxford, that women in their 50s and 60s should not be barred from having IVF on account of their age.

There is no official age limit for IVF in Britain, but the NHS refuses to fund treatment for women over the age of 40, and many private clinics are unwilling to treat women older than 45 years.

Poor success rates and legislation that requires doctors to take into account the welfare of children born to IVF, lead to most clinics rejecting older women even if they plan to use eggs from younger women. Above the age of 45, women have twice the risk of stillbirth and ectopic pregnancy. Rates of pre-eclampsia and diabetes roughly triple for women over 55.

In July, Patricia Rashbrook, a child psychiatrist, became the oldest woman in Britain to have a baby. She had the child, a 6lb 10oz boy, by caesarean section, aged 62 after receiving fertility treatment in eastern Europe. She was criticised by a number of pressure groups who pointed out she would be in her 70s when the child reached his teens.


http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/news/0,,1929051,00...
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. Notice they do not mention the teen years with
65 year olds.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. I would never have a baby after about 35
I had all mine while I was young, and it still wore me out.
That's a personal decision though.

I think that woman who had a baby at 60 is insane! but that's also just my personal opinion.
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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. No Grandparents!
Teenagers with 65 year old parents, when they become parents.. theirs will all ready be 'gone.' No help, no advice, no one to lean on. Pretty much orphans. Distant from their 'cousins' because of age.

I'm a late baby. Mom had me when se was 39. Dad was 47 or so. None of their friends had young kids. So I had very few play mates. Dad was the 'baby', so on that side all my cousins were all ready grown when I came along. However, they were great parents. Had plenty of patience with me, etc. But they were not the same 'parents' my older brothers had. It gives me shivers thinking about what would have happened if they were even older then that.

When I got married, I told hubby that if he wanted kids, it had to be before I was 30. No more after that. Then I was going to just wait until the grand-babys come along. So that I can be one of those 'helpful' grand parents.

If she wanted kids, she there are plenty of older kids out there looking for a family to call theri own. Maybe even IN her own family.
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DesertRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. I turned 50 this year and don't agree with these conclusions
"Just as able to cope with motherhood as younger women"?? No way. I had my 3 in my 20's and early 30's. I definately don't have the energy anymore.
Besides, the average age of menopause is 50....
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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Yes and No
As I said before, My Mom had me when she was 39. However, she also helped with raising the grandkids. Believe it or not, it kept her young in many ways. She is 80, but except for her health, you couldn't tell it.

In several cultures, it's the grandmothers that take on alot of the childraising and training. But they get to give the child back. They don't have the care full time. Now days, with so many 'drug parents', I'm seeing alot of grandparents having to permently raise their grand children.

I just think it's stupid to purposely do it.

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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I want to clarify
The "I just think it's stupid to purposely do it", is in relation to doing it at the age of 65.

Sure, as we age wo don't have as much energy. But then again, we do things 'smarter.'

Another thing about this study, women were 'made' to be able to have children into their 40's and even 50's. Back in the 5-10 kids per family stage.. it was pretty commen for older mothers to have children around. The only diffrence now days is that women don't have to 'start' having babys, and KEEP having babys. We can choose the 'when'. Some are just chosing to have them earlier, some later. That is the only 'new' thing.
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kcass1954 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. I call bullshit! I had a baby at 32, and another at 41.
I always tell people that it's not harder to have a baby in your 40s, but it's a helluva lot harder to be a mom. Now that I'm in my 50s, I realize that I don't have as much energy with the younger one as I had with the first one. And not as much patience either.

When my friends were busy having kids in their 20s, I was out having a good time - a really good time. And I don't regret anything that I did. But now, my friends' kids have all left home, and I've got both kids still here. Mr. kcass is going to retire in 6 years, but I'm holding off until the youngest graduates from high school.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
19. Most women will agree with you
The energy levels dip. Funny how they didn't do a study on over fifty men having kids. This planet is crazy since way more over fifty men have kids than over fifty women.
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jbnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
6. I know many people who had babies after 40
Either their first ones, surprise babies or a choice to have more after younger ones are grown. Energy was no issue for them and some of those children are college age now. Those who already had older kids were...well much better parents to their later ones, more attentive and patient and consistent.

40s isn't the 50s but life spans are longer now. Like anyone they should have plans for who would raise the child if something happens to them. I'm assuming they are talking about kids born with the help of science in many cases, other eggs perhaps. The risk of Downs syndrome is pretty high at that age.

That said I am in my early 50s and still every 28 days with my cycle. Late menopause is a risk factor for breast cancer and I am scolding my body. I threaten it that I will have babies if it doesn't start cooperating. (I don't mean it though, just trying to bully it) I had mine by 18 but if I have one in the next few years I will let you know how I hold up.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. I had one late twenties, the other, late thirties -- and there was
definitely a difference in those ten years. Anyone who says there isn't is probably just kidding themselves -- or their friends.

I was as good a parent for my youngest, because I compensated. I HAD learned something in the ten years! But the energy when you're pushing 40 -- or 50! -- just isn't what it is at 30.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:52 AM
Response to Original message
9. Good grief..
Accidental pregnancy at 50 is one thing...but deliberate pregancy at that age is..well... dangerous to say the least ..

If someone makes it to age 50 with no children, perhaps adoption is the safest thing.

Children deserve to have parents as long as possible, and giving them old parents just when they need them the most, might be selfish..

Although, wealthy parents who kick off just as the "kids" are reaching early adulthood, could be a kick-start they need to prosper at a young age. :evilgrin:
(My mother had lost both her parents by the time she was 30, and through her inheritance, she never had to make a housepayment her whole life)

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mykpart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
10. The only problem I can see is being caught in the middle.
Many of us 50+ women are caring for elderly parents. If I also had to be caring for young children, I would feel very torn in my loyalties. But then, for the children of parents who waited until they were 50 to have them, the problem of caring for elderly parents when you are middle-aged will not exist.

I had my children in my twenties, and I'm glad, but I also see many advantages to waiting to have children. Not waiting until you're 50, but maybe waiting until you're 30.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. The children of parents who have them after 50 won't have to care
for their parents when they themselves are middle-aged. Instead, they'll have to care for them when the children are in their 20's or 30's -- which is exactly when most young people are trying to establish their own careers and their own families! This is hardly a benefit to them.

But it might not be a problem, because these parents may very well die before the children grow up. We just lost a close friend at 53 -- fortunately, her three children were all in or through college. Another friend lost her mother at 60. Both these women were "perfectly healthy" until they got their cancer diagnosis. It happens -- and the older we get, the more likely.

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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. I was 34 when
my first child was born, 38 when I had the second. I think that those who had kids,when they were in their 20's simply don't understand that an older mother has a kind of stamina that younger parents just don't have.

I also think that whatever age you are when you have your children, once that's done, you can't begin to imagine starting again with a baby. But if you've never had kids, whatever our age, it feels right to be starting out. At this point in my life -- I'm now 58 and my two sons are grown, 19 and 23 -- I shudder at the thought of a new baby. Just as a 30 year old whose kids were born ten or more years before, shudders at the thought of diapers and bottle or breast feeding.

But I do think that someone giving birth after age 50 needs to think long and hard about the fat that she may not be there much after that child graduates high school. Not to mention that dealing with a teen is tough no matter what the age of the parent.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:41 AM
Response to Original message
12. I think deliberately planning pregnancy after 50 is a selfish thing to do.
Children of older parents are acutely aware of their parents' age -- and of their own special vulnerability. I know a 13 year old boy whose father is in his 70's, mother around 50, and they've both had serious health problems recently. The boy is clearly stressed about it. Obviously, younger parents can get sick, too, but the odds of getting through your kids' childhood is much better for parents in their 20's and 30's -- even forties.

Yes, some people have late children the "natural" way, but I certainly can't see pushing fertility past 50 on purpose.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Glad you brought up fathers too
People freak out about older women having children, and yes there are some added physical considerations, but it's okay for a guy like Micheal Douglas to have his second or even third set of kids when he's in his 60s. I guess it's because it's still assumed that women will do all the primary caregiving.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 04:05 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. I do feel the same about men and women. The first time I met this
father -- who is showing some cognitive decline now, too -- I assumed he was the grandfather. Of course, since he's 63 years older. Technically, he's old enough to be the great-grandfather.

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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
17. well, i think... it is none of my business, and wish them the best in
their choices. wouldnt be what i did, but then i didnt start having babies until 30's so i am an older parent their are advantages and disadvantages, same with having children in twenties. certainly wont decide this for another.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
18. I find that the older I get, the better I can "cope" with anything
Just the experience makes a person smarter. I'll never understand all the crap about why the older people don't get the jobs. Why reject someone who knows what they are doing for someone who does not?
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
20. Who in their right mind would want a baby after the age of 50?
I know I certainly wouldn't.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
21. Quality Of Parenting...
My children were born when my wife and I were 29 and 31...the times in our lives when we were ready for this big step and ready to set aside not just the money, but our time and lives in the process. For the next 18 years (that was the heavy lifting) we dedicated ourselves to always being around for our kids...always having a parent at home, always going to the band concert or forensics contest, being there for the hug or tug when it was needed and putting ones personal life aside while watching these people grow and mature. It was the most rewarding experience of my life and one my wife and I look back on with tremendous pride.

I look at this in contrast with my own upbringing...my father was 38, my mother was 36...not as old as 50, but the age difference was profound...especially with my father. I grew up while he was in his 40s and he was very wrapped up in his career and social life...both long established...and had troubles relating with my world. How often I'd hear from his friends or business acquaintances of what a great person he was, but at home he either too out his frustrations on me or couldn't be bothered with what interested me. It wasn't until I had my own children that I saw things for what they were...it wasn't he hated me or couldn't care...he was so set in his ways that sharing his world at that late age was difficult for him.

I see this now with my wife's sister...she had children at 38 and 41...and we can see how it's changed her...and not for the better. She constantly is looking for a baby-sitter or leaves the kids with her mother or with her husband while she "gets away to clear her head" (I have no clue what that means and don't want to know). She was used to 3 vacations a year and run to concerts and party with her friends whenever she felt like it...now she can't and she's not a happy camper....and she still has the teen-age years ahead.

At 50, I look at those with little ones and think to myself I don't have the patience or energy I once did to raise another child. Besides the physical stamina (and I'm in good health/shape), I find I have a shorter temper and mnore set in my ways.

For those who have the years to dedicate, raising children is a constantly enlightening experience...but it requires a total focus and dedication. If you're not prepared to devote 18 years of your precious intimacy, trust and time, there's no greater feeling of accomplishment...if not, it can be the source of endless frustrations and not fair to parent or child.
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Democrat 4 Ever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Well, of course, it is the woman's right but hopefully she will think
through her decision very carefully. Not long ago there was a report of a woman who had grown children who decided she wanted another one with her new husband. So she went through the whole deal, doctors, tests, hormones, etc., with tacit agreement evidently from her new husband. And finally, finally (after several attempts), got pregnant with triplets at the age of 55 or 56. Born health, active and raring to rush headlong into life. Happy, happy, joy, joy! Fade to black...not so fast.

Well, it turns out that new hubby wasn't as into the new babies gig in his late 50s, early 60s as he first thought so he took a walk. Caring for three youngsters at his age was a whole lot harder work than he thought. No duh, partner. He wanted golf and traveling, not diapers and up all night.

So now the lady has had to move back to her hometown to get help raising the children from her children, can't work because of the cost of child care (ex-hubby does pay child support)and is finding her "golden years" are now taken up with AARP mailings and notes home from preschool. Somehow I get the feeling the children are getting the short end of the stick. I imagine she is a good and loving mother but to care for one child, much less three, at age 60 is quite a challenge.

That said, my mother had my youngest sister at 42 (not exactly planned) - 12 days after my first child was born. While growing up my sister was more like another child than a sister to me. She stayed with my family a lot when her father (my step) was sick. My stepfather died when my sister was six so she didn't have a father for most of her life. All that said, she is the best person I know - and a best friend to me. Kind, sweet, softhearted, smart, loving, funny and the best mother ever to two precious little girls. She has bought nothing but joy to the entire family. My sister also gave my Mom a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other after the stepfather died. There was a definite difference in the way Mom raised her than she did my brothers and me. Mom was funnier when I was a kid, more active, and also more strict. With the younger sister we got a more patient, calm and "knew the sky wouldn't fall if the kid ate dirt one time" kind of a Mom.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Thank you, Democrat 4 Ever, for your thoughtful post.
I liked your description of the two different Moms. Sometimes I feel guilty about the difference in the parenting that my kids have had -- they were spread over 10 years. You just reminded me that there are good sides to both kinds of parenting.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
23. how many women over 50 are raising their grandchildren?
I would suspect there are many millions, even in this country alone. I know a woman in her early sixties who has been parenting for 45 years with her four kids and now their children. She also gardens, keeps the house, and does all the shopping without a car.
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DesertRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. It happens all the time
I have a couple of students in my class who are being raised by grandparents.
I'm 50 and the issue for me isn't raising the kids, it's giving birth to them! I keep up with my 4 and 5 year old students all day.
But I can't imagine the stress of pregnancy at 50+!
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. She's parenting ALL of their children? None of them could take care
of their own kids?
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. I must not have been clear enough
Grandmothers are raising grandchildren while parents work. It's better than putting kids in day care with indifferent strangers, wouldn't you say? And would you say that a mother who put her kids in day care "couldn't take care of their own children"?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. No, I wouldn't say a mother who put her kids in day care couldn't take
Edited on Tue Oct-24-06 03:30 AM by pnwmom
care of her own children. Finding a place for them to be looked after while she's at work is part of her taking care of them.

But the day-care provider isn't "parenting" the children. And the grandmother isn't "parenting" her grandchildren. She's sitting for them during the day, which isn't the same thing at all. Caring for grandchildren during the day isn't nearly as stressful a job as parents have -- bearing the ultimate responsibility for a baby's physical, financial, and emotional well being 24/7.

The parents in the family you described ARE doing the parenting, not the grandmother. But that wasn't clear from your post.
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tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
24. I know motherhood from both ends of the age spectrum.
I had my first child four months after I turned 17 and my next one when I was 37. Frankly, the only thing that I found different in each case was that it's a hell of a lot easier being a parent when you're not worried about things like whether there will be enough money to buy food and keep a roof over your heads.

Maybe I'm different, but I wasn't any more tired with my second and third children than I was with my first. My children have all brought such joy into my life and I have no regrets about the age I was when any of them were born, and I spend just as much time (a lot) doing things with my 10-year old son now as I did with his much older sister when she was the same age. If anything, I find the old cliche is true - my children have kept me younger. I'm far more adventurous now than I was in my twenties, and I'm a lot more relaxed (except about politics, where I'm far more passionate because I want my children and their future children to have a decent world to live in long after I'm gone).

Now, having said all that, I believe that anybody - female or male - who becomes a parent at the age of 60 or older is completely daft. I'd hate to know from the very beginning that statistically I probably wouldn't live to see my child reach early adulthood.
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