Yes, you read it right: Meghan Markle, recently announced pregnant (and married to Prince Harry), is having a geriatric pregnancy. Or at least from a obstetrician’s point of view. Any mother over 35 (Meghan is 37) is still, even in this day and age, considered to be “too old” to be a new mum, and therefore pregnancy is a risk to her health. And to make matters worse, she’s even gone on holiday during her pregnancy: heaven forbid! (I just hope she’s read our hints and tips).
I jest. NHS figures released last year showed the number of women over 40 giving birth in England and Wales has tripled since the 1980s. Whilst a lot of this has to do with career objectives and possibly even house prices, there is still no reason to use this derogatory phrase, and it is derogatory talking about a geriatric at any age (in this chiropractor‘s humble opinion it’s the life in your years, not the years in your life, that counts). Whilst there is a statistical increase in the chances of genetic disorders such as Down’s Syndrome, there is also an increased chance of your child having a higher IQ and being fitter. Care has to be taken around birth due to increased complication risks, such as pre-eclampsia, but a good midwife and/or doula can help a lot in these circumstances to support you and your partner.
So what can we take from this high profile pregnancy? First of all, you are not alone if you are having a baby later in life. There will be many after you being told they are having a geriatric pregnancy (argh, that’s it, no more mention of that phrase). It’s good to know that you have navigated some of life’s complicated times, and still have the memories to share with your little ones. You also have more stability and resources to help with bringing up a baby, and less worries that maybe by having a child now you are missing out on anything. Remember that successful pregnancy is a subjective term, and preparing mentally as well as physically is really important. Your support network will probably already include mums who can share their experience (just choose carefully who’s stories you listen to!) and like anything in life we never stop learning.
If you want to start off on the right foot, please read our pregnancy blog articles, and if you have any further questions, or need any help, contact us. Jo and I have over 25 years’ combined experience of seeing mums-to-be, and also have two children of our own. They’re young enough for us to still have the memories (both good and bad) fresh in our minds regarding the pregnancy and childbirth journey.