ARE YOU TOO OLD TO BE A MOM?
The hardships and rewards of having a baby in your 40s
The age of first-time moms in the Western World is increasing. More and more, women delay motherhood, voluntarily as they spend time on their education and carriers, or involuntarily because they do not have a partner or because of infertility problems. In the last decade, the number of women giving birth after the age of 35 and 40 has tripled and quadrupled, respectively. The advances and accessibility of reproductive technologies are partly accountable for this sharp rise in older mothers.
Even though motherhood is as old as the human species, we are breaking new ground socially and personally with first time mothers in their mid to late forties.
If you are wondering whether you are too old to have a baby here are some pros and cons that may help you in making your decision:
How to pay attention to your inner emotional barometer, nurture yourself, and avoid burnout
Do you feel drained at the end of the day to the extent that you feel you have nothing left to give to your family?
Do you find yourself snapping or yelling at your spouse or your child and then feeling awful afterwards?
Think dealing with stress has to be difficult? Think again!
For women, stress can come from a variety of daily experiences, such as: pressure at work, taking care of young children, relationship conflicts, etc. Stress can also come from unexpected events such as a crisis with your child, pregnancy loss, inability to get pregnant, or loss of a loved one.
When the holidays are over, how do you keep the blues away and go back to everyday life?
Here are some ideas.
How Women Can Cope More Effectively with Feelings of Sadness During the Holiday Season.
The holiday season is upon us. The period of time from Thanksgiving to New Years is full of social gatherings with friends and family; baking cookies for office and/or school parties; and shopping for gifts. For many people, holidays can be joyous, but sometimes, they can also bring stress, anxiety, and sadness that can be difficult to shake off. Often, anticipation and excitement turn into depression, commonly referred to as the “Holiday Blues.” This can be accompanied by feeling overwhelmed, fatigued, and/or irritated. The Holiday Blues can, at times, be unexpected and unsettling. Many women who experience a feeling of sadness during the holidays may feel that something must be wrong with them because they “should” be happy.
As women, we are exposed to stress on a daily basis. Sometimes the stress is minor, but sometimes it can be extreme. In our digital age, there is an increasing pressure to do more and more in less time. Some women may have to respond to an increasing volume of e-mails and phone calls quickly, in addition to whatever they are already doing. This time shortage is so prominent that some experts are calling it a “time famine.”
We All Get Depressed at Times….
It is common to feel sad or depressed after something negative has happened to you (i.e. the death of a loved one, loss of a job, end of a relationship).
Recent life transitions, such as having a new baby, or having difficulty getting pregnant, can also bring about depressive episodes.
Feelings of Depression Soon After Childbirth Are Common…
Most mothers (60%-80%) experience some emotional sensitivity, also known as “the baby blues” in the first week after childbirth. These feelings usually spontaneously subside within 24 – 72 hours with the majority of new mothers. When they don’t subside, both mothers and babies can suffer substantially.
Have you ever wondered how you can best enable your child to thrive emotionally; feel confident; be inquisitive; develop healthy peer relationships; and be able to manage stress? Many of the answers can be found in mother-infant bonding.
Babies actively seek contact with their mothers and try to keep them close by smiling, cooing, looking, clinging, sucking, and following parents. Establishing and maintaining closeness with their mother creates feelings of love, security, and joy.
In the 1950s John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, observed children’s reactions to separations from their mothers, such as hospitalization. He was struck by the sheer intensity of emotion the children experienced during the separation. Through observing the impact of separation, he came to appreciate the importance of emotional bonds. He stated that it is essential for the mental health of the infant that “the infant and the young child experience a warm and intimate and a continuous relationship with his mother (or permanent mother substitute) in which both find satisfaction and enjoyment”.
Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy can be a big loss!
It is estimated that 10-25% of pregnancies end up in miscarriages and less than 1% in still births, making miscarriages a fairly common occurrence.
The Emotional Impact of Miscarriages on Women