Pregnancy and Parenting after Thirty-Five: Mid Life, New Life


More and more women are having babies after the age of thirty-five and experiencing the joy of motherhood. But mothers-to-be in this age group sometimes face unique medical, emotional, and social challenges. Conception may be difficult and the risk of miscarriage during early pregnancy is higher, as is the potential for complications such as hypertension and diabetes. And having a child later in life can also be surprisingly disruptive to well-established domestic routines and ...

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Pregnancy and Parenting after Thirty-Five: Mid Life, New Life

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More and more women are having babies after the age of thirty-five and experiencing the joy of motherhood. But mothers-to-be in this age group sometimes face unique medical, emotional, and social challenges. Conception may be difficult and the risk of miscarriage during early pregnancy is higher, as is the potential for complications such as hypertension and diabetes. And having a child later in life can also be surprisingly disruptive to well-established domestic routines and carefully cultivated careers.

Michele Moore and Caroline de Costa—two physicians who have been down this road themselves—offer reliable medical expertise and personal reassurance to women tackling these challenges. Pregnancy and Parenting after Thirty-Five covers a broad range of issues for mothers in mid life, from the possibility of Cesarean section to the awkwardness of being the oldest mom at PTA meetings to the joy of holding your infant in your arms.

Incorporating the stories of real women who have gone through mid-life pregnancy, Moore and de Costa have created a valuable resource that will help other women do so realistically and with confidence. One of the few books devoted to prospective mothers over thirty-five, this one also includes information on surrogacy, adoption, and the first few months of being a new mother.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gilad A. Gross, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is a book written for patients thinking about becoming pregnant or who are currently pregnant. The book hopes to attract the older population of women contemplating a family or currently pregnant.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a review of pregnancy that is geared toward women who have delayed starting a family into their mid to late 30s/early 40s. This is a very timely objective given the fact that many women have delayed childbearing for numerous reasons. It is also timely in that recent changes in ACOG's recommendations regarding screening for genetic disorders have garnered lots of attention for the older gravid patient. The authors touch upon several issues that are relevant to this patient population, but could have gone into much more detail and provided more comprehensive data. Rather, they spend more time on the generalities of pregnancy that are pertinent to any pregnant woman, regardless of age.
Audience: This book is written for the patient or prospective patient. The authors have written several other books of a similar genre, independent reading for patients.
Features: In the end this book is basically a review of pregnancy. Some parts are geared toward the older patient, but the bulk is general pregnancy information that goes from preconception to pregnancy to the post partum. The book uses numerous anecdotes as a means to convey information. The authors recount their own patients' encounters (with falsified names) in an effort to bring the information to life, a relatively novel approach. Although I did not find these that helpful, they were mostly "feel good" stories that possibly could lend encouragement to patients looking for examples of others in similar situations. The appendixes and glossary are mainly basic general information related to pregnancy. The major shortcoming is the lost opportunity to truly provide detailed information about age-related pregnancy problems. These are skimmed over, and this lack of detail will lead the reader looking for age related information to search elsewhere for answers. A good example is the age-related risk of chromosome disorders, taking Down syndrome as the primary example. Although there is some good introductory information, there should be a whole chapter devoted to this topic. Much more information on these special pregnancies and children could have been provided. Support group information or a directory of information could be added. The nature of medical issues posed by a child with Down syndrome could have been added and many more issues could have been covered.
Assessment: Overall, this is relatively light reading for a patient thinking of becoming pregnant or already pregnant. Although the title indicates it is a book for patients over 35, it really does not offer much detailed information beyond what is relevant for any pregnant woman. Some may find the anecdotes useful in helping to bring the subject to life. Patients who are willing to read a 250+ page book would like more information pertinent to their situation. It also has to be said that at this time there is nothing magical about the age of 35. This is a relatively older notion and the newer thinking is not explained at all in this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801883217
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2006
  • Series: A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book Series
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,148,330
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele C. Moore, M.D., has a practice that emphasizes integrated preventive health care, focusing on chronic illnesses, allergies, environmental medicine, and acupuncture. She has written and lectured extensively on women's health care and holistic medicine and is the author of The Only Menopause Guide You'll Need and co-author, with Caroline de Costa, of Cesarean Section: Understanding and Celebrating Your Baby's Birth. Caroline M. de Costa, M.D., is a practicing obstetrician and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at James Cook University Medical School, Cairns, Australia.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 Thinking about pregnancy 11
2 Making choices about work 16
3 Fathers, partners, and surrogate fathers 21
4 Natural conception 29
5 Assistance with conception 37
6 Assisted reproductive technology 48
7 Medical conditions that may affect pregnancy 60
8 Pregnancy following cancer and precancer 80
9 Other roads to motherhood 86
10 Screening for chromosomal abnormalities 95
11 Prenatal tests 113
12 Miscarriage 121
13 Termination of pregnancy 125
14 Lifestyle during pregnancy 129
15 Minor maladies of pregnancy 137
16 Pregnancy month by month 147
17 Assessment of fetal well-being 159
18 Problems that may arise during pregnancy 163
19 Twin pregnancy 177
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2007

    Pregnancy and Parenting for the mature set

    The world of motherhood, most especially in developed countries, has undergone profound changes in the latter half of the 20th century. For the first time in history, many women elected to delay starting a family until they completed their education, had secured their professional path, found the right partner and/or had the financial means to nurture and educate a child. Many of us including myself know women who waited until after thirty or later to have their first baby and possibly some who continued having children into their forties. My mother was thirty-four when I was born and thirty-six when she gave birth to my younger brother. My maternal grandmother who lived in rural Texas continued having children until well into her forties and a first cousin remarried in her late thirties and found herself a mother at the age of thirty-seven and later, at thirty-nine. In addition to massive social changes that have stopped, at least in some quarters, the finger-pointing at women who postponed motherhood until they were ready, advancements in the world of gynecology have made profound changes for women who were previously infertile. There are now myriad options including in vitro fertilization and egg implantation that allow women to give birth in their fifties and sixties and I¿m sure a seventy-year-old mom may be just a few years away! The doctors, Michele C. Moore, M.D. and Caroline M. de Costa, M.D., have added a fascinating new book to their ¿Mid Life, New Life¿ series. ¿Pregnancy and Parenting after Thirty-Five¿ is a must have for any mature woman considering giving birth or adopting an infant, a non-judgmental, beautifully written work by two medical professionals who have experienced late pregnancies themselves. Dr. Moore gave birth to her son at thirty-five while Dr. de Costa, after having already having five children, found herself changing the diapers of two very healthy and vibrant children in her early forties. Pregnancy and Parenting after Thirty-Five looks at every aspect of mature parenting including available testing for the health of the mother, options for assistance with conception, adoption and a major concern for mature mothers-to-be, screening for chromosomal abnormalities. They also look at multiple births, a common occurrence with the increased use of fertility drugs to assist in motherhood. The book is written in clear but concise language that breaks down complicated medical procedures and statistical information into advice that any layman and most importantly, laywoman, can both comprehend and use. Doctors Moore and de Costa also give multiple scenarios based on their own case histories and personal experiences as mature moms. This book is a must-have for anyone contemplating parenting an infant after thirty-five whether through birth or adoption and will be just as useful for expectant fathers as it is for hopeful mothers. Francesca Miller

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 10, 2012

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