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Pregnancy & Parenting > pregnancy

Let’s Stop Using the Term “Advanced Maternal Age”

By Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO of HealthyWomen, Women's Health Expert

Created: 10/21/2014
Last Updated: 07/25/2018

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If you get pregnant when you're 35 years old or older, you're stamped with this label: advanced maternal age or “AMA.” This makes me cringe, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

From now on, moms who are 35+ will be referred to as midlife moms. Who’s with me?! Being a midlife mom myself, I can tell you: We’re pretty incredible.

Midlife moms are …

Celebrities. More women in the spotlight are waiting until after their 35th birthday to start their family. Recently actress Eva Mendes, 40, and her younger beau, actor Ryan Gosling, 33, welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Esmeralda Amada Gosling. Mendes joins other celebrity midlife moms like TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie and Scandal actress Kerry Washington. Even though you may not be in the spotlight, I’m sure you’re a star in your family’s eyes. Seriously!

Well established in their careers.
Many midlife moms are at the peaks of their careers. Look at Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer, 39, who gave birth to her first child shortly after stepping into this big role. While I don’t agree with some of the decisions Mayer has made—like banning Yahoo!’s telecommute policy—I do applaud her for changing Yahoo!’s maternity leave policy, lengthening its time and providing a cash bonus to parents.

In the middle. Not only are midlife moms caring for their children, they also have to keep their parents’ health in mind, too. Oftentimes, midlife moms become “women in the middle”—in-between their children and their parents, all of whom may need care.

Multitasking pros. Whether breast pumping between connecting flights or rehearsing a work presentation while rocking your little one, midlife moms are generally nonstop. Sure, it's challenging, but at this point in a woman's life, she's up to the challenge.

Moms. At the end of the day, no matter what age a woman has a child, she is a mom. She may have slightly different concerns than a 20-something mom, but she still puts her child’s health and happiness above all. Terms like “advanced maternal age” is just plain offensive. Just call me “Mom,” please.

If you’re at the Marketing to Moms conference in Chicago on October 22 and 23, you can hear more about midlife moms during my presentation with Dominique Debroux of Big Belli, LLC, a pregnancy, parenting and social networking brand based on filmed content. Hope to see you there!

Comments

Dear Elizabeth,

A belated thank you for your writing!

With the trend towards older motherhood (35+) in the U.S. continuing, we agree that it is time to provide better support for women with their pregnancies, childbirth and beyond.

Our research among women sheds light on the state of obstetrics care for this age group. I had my first child at 40 the lack of positive and relevant resources was a frustration for me and spurred me to create the nonprofit The Advanced Maternal Age Project (http://www.advancedmaternalage.org).

I was looking to providing older moms like me a safe, nonjudgmental place to share their experiences and offer support.There are a whole host of reasons why women have children later in life. For me, it was a personal decision and a new relationship that determined the timing of motherhood. I'm now a mother to three children age 7 and under. It's hard but so worthwhile. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I would welcome the chance to guest blog for you!

Kind regards,
Sharon

I was one of those moms labeled "high risk" when I become pregnant with my son 23 years age ago. At 35, my OB was restricting me to activity, travel, Chiropractics, Acupunture, etc. I was healthy, an athlete, no pregnancy related issues, I was having a fantastic pregnancy, but I was 35. It took me 3 OB's before I found one that had a positive attitude and told me to live day to day not waiting for something to "happen" because of my age. As a LMT, CIMI and Doula specializing in pregnancy and infants, find a OB and a group of woman that are supportive and nonjudgmental. Celebrate your life and your children you are are MOM . Do your homework, make educated decisions about "Your Pregnancy" ENJOY!

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