In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I asked my friend Cynthia Wilson James to write a lovely piece on staying positive while pregnant over 35 or 40. Take Cynthia’s words of wisdom for a spin, there’s much value in her words having already walked those miles.
There is not an expectant mother alive who hasn’t had some anxiety about her baby’s health. Movies, books, television, the nosy woman in the hair salon tell birth horror stories that increase a pregnant woman’s anxiety.
An expectant mom over 35 is hit with a double dose of anxiety. She worries about her baby’s health and worries about the role her age will play in her baby’s health.
Here are three guidelines to help you remain positive during your over 35+ pregnancy:
1. Realize “their” medical history is not “your” medical history.
The first words out of your doctor’s mouth may not be congratulations but may be a list of statistics citing an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, cesarean birth and chromosomal defects for older moms.
The findings in these studies are based on pregnant women over 35 as a group. Unless you were a part of one of these studies, the results do not reflect your individual history.
It’s important for an expectant mom over 35 and 40 to select an obstetrician or midwife
who respects her right to have her pregnancy viewed individually.
2. Limit your contact with negative influences.
One thing I love about babies and toddlers is that when they see or hear something they don’t like, they cover their ears or turn their heads away from the thing. Expectant moms over 35 and 40 must learn to apply this concept, of course, not necessarily the actions.
Turn off television, radio or internet programs that ask how old is too old to have a baby. Yes, there may be people who voice their support for older first time moms, but the disapproving comments of the loud-mouthed Know-It-All will be the one you will remember and will tap into your insecurities.
Unfortunately, you may have to mentally “turn-off” well-meaning friends and family who disapprove of your decision to become pregnant. Believe me, when your hormones are raging due to pregnancy, it is best to remain peaceful rather than to become stressed out over unreasonable opinions.
3. Realize the God of the Universe has given you a divine gift.
If your pregnancy includes the normal symptoms of being nauseous and vomiting to feeling fatigue, it may be hard to think of your pregnancy as a divine gift. Nevertheless, it is. The God of the Universe has chosen you to carry a new life. He has chosen you to introduce a precious life into this world; a life that may make a difference to only one person or to one million people.
If you want to remain emotionally upbeat during your 35+ pregnancy, please listen to my advice!
About Cynthia Wilson James
Cynthia Wilson James, a 40+ first-time mom, writer, and former childbirth educator, is founder of InSeason Mom (www.inseasonmom.org) and https://inseasonmomreflections.blogspot.com, which provides support to first-time moms over 35 and 40. InSeason Mom has been recognized by CBS NY and MSNBC. Cynthia enjoys reading, watching suspense television shows and jumping rope.