Some Older Women Find The Time Is Right To Have Babies

CHICAGO (CBS) — Imagine giving birth for the first time, at the age of 45. It’s happening more and more.

The number of new mothers in that age group has doubled in the last 14 years.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez asks: Why are women doing this and is it safe?

At 56 years old, Sarajean Grainson is busy raising three boys all under the age of five.

She also has three adult children from her first marriage, but she wanted a family with her second husband, David, who is only 43.

“The more I saw him with the older kids, the more my heart ached for him to be a dad,” Grainson says.

Using in vitro fertilization and an egg donor, she got pregnant twice, giving birth to her son, Luke, when she was 51 and then twins two years ago.

“There a double standard,” Grainson says of late parenting. “How come men start sometimes at 70? But if a woman does it, it’s ‘Eeew, what are you thinking? How you gonna raise them?’”

Dr. John Rinehart, an Evanston fertility expert, says advances in medicine, particularly egg donation, are giving women more freedom.

“If you’re a woman in your 40s, early 50s, in good health, you have a fairly reasonable life expectancy. So, why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy having a child?” he says.

Michelle Mongey waited until she was 46 to have a daughter, Grace.

Like Grainson, she needed fertility treatments.

And there are health issues that women need to consider. Older pregnant women face more potential complications like diabetes, high blood pressure and premature delivery.

Mongey is glad she waited to have a child, but she is concerned that having older parents will be hard on her daughter.

“I’m hoping we raise her to be a strong woman and she will seek out family and friends to support her,” she says.

Grainson says she’s better equipped to parent the second time.

“I didn’t know anything at 23,” she says. “At 50, I knew exactly what the baby needed. I’m thrilled where we are in our lives right now.”

“I’m so glad I waited because we did it the right way, for us,” Mongey says.

Experts say there are many types of families and it’s the quality of the mothering – not the age of the mother — that really matters.

  • Mother49

    I am a mother in her late fourties with a second grader……Her class buddy thought I was her grandmother…..I have a full head of gray hair but love my daughter dearly……My son helped with my gray hair though…..His baby sister was a surprise baby but every bit as special as her older brother…….

    True! Quality counts for parenting……Older moms, I believe, know well the wisdom of parenting without going letter by letter of a textbook filled with theories….A book will not cover every detail for different families…..

  • Anonymous

    Some Older Women Find The Time Is Right To Have Babies: My advice: don.t. If you insist on doing it, plan ahead financially and emotionally for the sake of that child.

    I’m a grandmother now, but as a child of a 40-something r, I spent most of my younger life taking care of an aging parent without the skills or necessary background due to my age.

    • Also Anonymous

      @Anonymous, that is a really honest and valid perspective that I hadn’t thought about before. As I am going on 40 and ready to be a mother…I hadn’t thought about the perspective of the child years down the road. Good advice to think about in the preparations. Fortunately, I think most women/families who embark on this journey at a later age are financially better off because they’ve been earning and saving for 10+ years longer and are very established in careers and feel emotionally stronger. I hope! but I understand that this wasn’t the case for you which sounds very difficult.

  • reality bites back

    Young women for decades have bought into this feminist bull that a job and career will give them happiness and fulfilment. Then, after 10-15 years on the job, they find out that it ain’t what it was cracked up to be. Boom, they want babies. You can’t fool mother nature folks, no matter how smart and sophisticated you think you are.

    • carefulwhatuwishfor

      Just because a woman can doesn’t mean she “should” have kids. Some people are not cut out to be parents but they do it anyway. When you adopt a child you have to go through an approval process, the same should be done before you get pregnant.

    • riotsquirrl

      Ummm, actually, you can. That’s why there are thousands of mothers through assisted reproductive technology. Most women aren’t working b/c they have “bought into feminist bull,” but because they need to support themselves. It takes time to establish oneself in a career so that a couple has the economic stability to have kids, especially when our country has no paid maternity leave and quality child care is so expensive. Don’t like older motherhood? Support policies that will help all mothers, but especially will help younger women be able to have kids when they’re able to conceive naturally.

  • ohboy

    Doesn’t look like the guy in this video is very active, he’s just kinda hanging out nodding his head not speaking thinking “what did I get myself into with this controlling woman who thought because I was good with kids thought I should have some of my own”.

  • Cruz

    Great segment on women who chose to have children later on in life. I am for it 110%! Now lets have a segment on men who chose to wait to have children in their forties and fifties. While you’re at it, I would like to see a segment on how a woman can have a tubal reversal to have children and if there is an insurance plan to cover the costs. It costs anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 out of pocket! In this economy, there has to be a way to finance the tubal reversal. I am forty and my wife is nearly forty, second marriage for both of us,she has children and I don’t. Any words of advice, I really appreciate it.

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