The age of motherhood

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released new figures on the average age of mothers at time they gave birth in 2019, and it has increased to 30.7 years, and the average age for a father is 33.6 years.

This shows, that women having babies is at the highest age ever, and women have consistently been getting older over the years.

I was 34 years old when I had my first baby, 37 years old when I had baby number two, and I gave birth at 43-years-old with my last baby. I now have a 10-year old, an 8 year old and a nearly 2-year old, and I am 44-year old. I was way above the national average when I gave birth to Rocky in 2019, in fact 13-years above, and interestingly at 34-years old (my first baby) I was 4 years over the national average.

I do feel that the age that a woman has a baby now, is so varied, and that is so wonderful, because actually, what is age is right, what age is wrong? What age is too young, what age is too old? Everyone has a story as to why they had a baby at a certain age, and that is what fascinates me. I don’t judge others for when they have a baby, and it isn’t helpful when people do.

Today I was featured on the Daily Mail online talking about my experiences of being an older mum and I also talk about my group on Facebook, We are Geriatric Mums which now has nearly 2000 members – women 35+ who are pregnant or have had a baby.

See the Daily Mail feature here; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8953557/Mothers-England-Wales-older-EVER.html (scroll down the article for my 3-minute video).

And, much to my delight, I was featured on Sky News and interviewed LIVE by Jayne Secker about the same figures released by the ONS. We talked about opinions around older mums, why we think women have having babies later in life and what it is like being an older mum at school and at playgroups.

Lucy Baker (confidence coach and geriatric mum) on Sky News

I had a bit of a negative start to my pregnancy mainly because of how people reacted. I wrote about how I felt here; 42 and pregnant but once I settled into the fact that some people can’t help but say negative things, and I glossed over the many negative ‘risk’ articles I read online, I felt good. I had a lovely pregnancy and I enjoyed being pregnant at 42. I felt calm, connected and fearless about what was ahead and my husband was a brilliant support. I realised (at 5-months pregnant) that I wanted to help other women who might be feeling scared about the risks they read online or annoyed and hurt by comments from others and so I started this blog and the Facebook group (We are Geriatric Mums) to connect others, and to create a supportive community. And boy, it is thriving.

It turns out that the best support you can get as an older mum, is from other older mums!

What a day it’s been for the ‘mums who happen to be older’ community – online and on the live news – I am so pleased that I was able to share what it is really like to be an older mum and speak for the 1000s of older mums in my community. Magic.

This is for all MUMS WHO HAPPEN TO BE OLDER!

Lucy x

Lucy Baker is a confidence coach and geriatric mum.

Contact Lucy for confidence; www.shecoachesconfidence.com

A chat with Amy

I first met Amy through my group, We are Geriatric Mums and realised that she lived just 10-minutes from my home in Kent. Connecting with other like-minded mums is crucial and after meeting Amy ‘online’ we met at a couple of ‘Geriatric Mum’ events (with lots of other fab women) and we have had a few boozy nights out, too. Amy has three children and had her last baby, after a troublesome pregnancy, at 33-weeks. This is Amy’s story:

Name Amy Iddenden

Age 41

What age were you when you had your children, and how old are they now?

I had Mia, my first baby at 22, she is now 19. At 37 I had my second girl, Matilda who is 3. I was nearly 41 when I had Sidney, who is now 1.

geriatric mum on her doorstep with family of husband and three children
Amy and her family – Husband Richard, Mia, Matilda and Sidney

How did people react when you told them you were pregnant at an older age?

Most people were okay, actually. Some said “you’re a bit old” or the typical “how old will you be when they go to school?” but generally the view was a positive one. Initially, my daughter (then 17) told me she thought I was too old to have a baby, but after some thought, she recognised that if we were happy, that was a good thing. She was heading off to University soon after we shared our news anyway, and she came to terms with it not really having a big change on her life, because she would be away.

How was your ‘geriatric’ pregnancy?

It was hard, due to major complications – I was in and out of hospital and it resulted in complications at birth and after, mainly due to negligence. My consultant, however, was amazing and didn’t make me feel that the issues were because of my age. She expressed feeling sorry that she had to see me in her clinic more as a result of my age. In fact, my midwife told me that I wasn’t old and it wasn’t unusual in her practice to see mums 40+ these days. So, in general, I had a really good experience in terms of my age with all medical staff that I met whilst I was pregnant.

Amy pregnant with Sidney

Were you offered any memorable (or unhelpful) words of wisdom when you spoke to others (friends, family, midwife, doc) about your pregnancy?

I did hear on a few occasions “you’ll be the oldest mum in the playground” 🙄, “you’ll be really tired because of your age” and “you’re so tired because you’re old”.

Describe how it feels to be an older (geriatric) mum?

Amazing! Having done it at, what I consider, a young age and at at much older age (40+) I feel much more confident and I would go as far as to say I prefer being an older mum (that sounds awful, but I don’t mean it like that). I think the preference comes from being more secure in every aspect of my life – financially and emotionally and that has come with age. These days, I enjoy my children so so much and appreciate every single second with them. Yes! I am tired, but so are my friends who are 10 years younger than me with young children, so in no way do I relate this to be ‘geriatric’ it is just a fact of motherhood. I have to say, I feel much more laid back these days and I think that helps me as a mum, too.

Sidney had a difficult start in life and I had a bad time pre, during and post birth. I was really poorly after having him and ended up having a hysterectomy to correct some of the issues I was having post-birth. Sidney was quite poorly afterwards too, he was in and out of hospital with bronchiolitis and it was a really stressful and unsettling time. Thankfully, we both are doing really well now, and despite having a rough few months running up to this birth and afterwards, my lovely baby boy makes all of the hard times we experienced, worth it.

geriatric mum holding her new baby who was premature
Amy holding 1 day old Sidney (first time she held him)
Geriatric mum Amy holding newborn premature baby Sidney
Amy holding 2 day old baby Sidney

Amy, do you have any top tips for readers?

My top tips are – firstly, don’t listen to negativity about your age – being an older mum is the BEST and I have done both young and old. Secondly, enjoy every minute of it, even the bad bits, because what happens is that the good outweighs the bad and the good will shine through, and thirdly, sleep when you can, and have lots of coffee and gin!

I love Amy’s attitude towards being an older mum, it matches mine. Despite having a tricky pregnancy and a worrying birth she now has a beautiful, healthy baby boy. We are Gerry Mums and proud!

Thank you, Amy.

Lucy aka GERIATRIC MUM.

Have you joined my free facebook group yet? It’s a great place for us GMs (Mums who are 35+) to share stories and experiences; CLICK HERE

Follow Lucy (Geriatric Mum) on Facebook @geriatricmum

Follow Lucy (Geriatric Mum) on Instagram @geriatric_mum

Lucy Baker is the founder of Geriatric Mum and she is a confidence coach helping women to be confident at work. If you want to discuss anything confidence related, you can find her email on her SCC website; www.shecoachesconfidence.com