In her book, “Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood,” Elizabeth Gregory, director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Houston discovered that older mothers are usually more emotionally ready to cope with parenting. Gregory says that “many older mothers have met their career and personal goals so they can and want to focus on family.” Life experience is a boon in terms of translating work experience into running a household. She also notes that marriages among older women, almost 85 percent are married when they become mothers, tend to be more stable. Older, single first-time moms have built a stable support network by the time they have a child.
Although older mothers may face infertility issues, may have more difficult pregnancies, and are more likely to have Cesareans (National Institute of Health), on an overall, the positives outweigh the possible problems for the women over 35 who are fueling the trend to motherhood later-among them, a group called Motherhood Later rather than Sooner, a resource for midlife mothers. Women over 38 using assisted reproductive methods adjusted in almost the same ways to pregnancy as those who were younger, and older mothers scored higher on things like ability to handle challenges and flexibility according to a study conducted in Sidney, Australia further underscoring Gregory’s results.
John Mirowsky, sociology professor at the Population Center at University of Texas who also works with the National Institute of Health says the ideal age to give birth is between 34 and 40. On the plus side he reports that those mothers experience better health, have healthier babies, and are less likely to turn to risky behavior. Much of this excellent news relates to the fact that older mothers tend to have more education and to be more financially as well as emotionally secure.