Age shaming — The Bump
Pregnant after 35

Age shaming

Hello bumpers! I’m currently 34 and 12 weeks pregnant with my first, going to be 35 halfway through my pregnancy. Has anyone had experience with doctors scaring the crap out of you regarding your age? My OB and the ultrasound technician have bought it up frequently and it’s really causing me a lot of anxiety. I know I’m no spring chicken but I don’t think I’m in an unreasonably “old” age bracket to be having kids. I already deal with high anxiety and the constant reminders about my age are causing me more anxiety to the point I get panic attacks before appointments. I’m also on the fence about the genetics blood test as I feel like that may cause more anxiety, especially as I’m not willing to risk miscarriage associated with definitive tests like CVS or amniocentesis. I know that doctors obviously need to be upfront with you about age and potential risks and I know I need to do everything I can to stay calm but I’m having a really hard time. Any tips on anxiety coping skills that have worked for people during pregnancy?

Re: Age shaming

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  • edited January 2019
    Thank you for the tips! I have started feeling better about my decision to decline the extensive genetic testing. I feel like all the what if’s and possibilities are just going to amp my anxiety to a counterproductive state of being. I will definitely try fitting more light exercise in. Best of everything to you and your bean :)
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  • @BrooklynGirl28 you too!!! - with all the hormones we're producing self care is so important in this time of our life. 
  • I’m 41 and will be 42 when the baby comes. They dr hasn’t mentioned my age other than to say I don’t look 41. I don’t feel old so...🤷🏽‍♀️🥴
  • @pelwyn I have two teenage girls, one going away to college next year.  Younger one is super excited, but older one gave us the third degree when we told her! lol  She's coming around though and now they are so concerned about me and baby--it's like having two moms in the house with me. 

  • I’m 36, 11w 7d w/ first baby and my doc has been AMAZING at making me feel not old. She had always said that people have kids later and later these days, and there is nothing to be worried about.  If she was lying or covering it up, she did an excellent job covering for it and making me feel totally comfortable that everything will be OK. There has to be *some* age cutoff, so 35 seems to be it. Hang in there, I think we’re all crazy anxiety ridden, especially if it’s our first. You are not alone, hang in there girl!!
  • I had DS when I was 31... one Dr referred to my pregnancy as "geriatric". I lost all of shit on him. All of it. Hard! I will be 36 with this baby is born. I have every intention of going into my 1st prenatal warning them that the "G" word is completely off limits. Can you tell it's a touchy subject for me? LOL

    Me: 35
    DH: 37
    Married: May 2011
    DD: Dec 2013
    DS: Sept 2015
    #3: EDD 2/28/20
  • @BrooklynGirl28 hope everything is going fine. I was 36 when I had my first and am now trying for #2 at 38. Age is just a number, as long as you're healthy everything should be fine. 
    I know this is an older thread, but hopefully this info. will be useful for anyone else reading this.

  • Adding for future women reading. I had first child at 19, my second at 35, and I'm 17w4d with my third at 42. I'm watched a little closer for pre-eclampsia and GD, but the main difference between 19 and 35&42 is the genetic screenings were covered 100%. In fact, as I panicked about my age and the complications, my OB and the NP told me to relax and enjoy my pregnancy. In her words, "Yes, you can win the lottery. 21yos win the lottery. But, sweetie, when was the last time you won it?"

     I also became pregnant easily with both. I know that's not common, but statistics are just that. Not every woman ages the same way, and that applies to her reproductive system, too. 
  • Omg yes! I got that too and said what the fuck in front of the doctor, because I was shocked being called geriatric pregnancy. Couldn't there be a nicer way in saying it?! 
  • I'm so concerned about this.  I'm 37 and this is my first.  I hope the doctors are kind.  However, at 37 I'm very self assured and outspoken.  I will let the doctor or whoever know that I understand that I'm over 35, but there is no need to be to add to my anxiety.  I stopped my anxiety medicine so we could try to get pregnant (under the care of a doctor).  Any doctor that tries to add to my anxiety will not be tolerated.  
  • @lizm1234, any doctor that shames their patient needs to be replaced. The worst thing that happened to me was a reproachful look from my OB because she'd sent me off from her office three months earlier with birth control pills, lol. I love you, Dr B!
  • I met my husband later in life and we were trying for a baby for the last 3 yrs my first ob never left a chance to mention that i am too old.. that's when i left that i have gone through ivf and am almost 9 weeks pregnant will never go back to her.. i know my age.. i also know that i wanted to have a baby.. everyone deserves to have a baby if they really want one.
  • I am 41, and going for my 7th healthy baby.  My dr. Had mentioned my age at the 1st appointment,  because their are different risks and concerns for the dr. To watch for And myself to be aware of.  I will get all the testing suggested because if their is a problem,  the earlier it is known, the more prepared the drs. can be too help the baby and you and give it the best shot.   Amnio is rarely ordered unless a condition is found during the blood tests and ultra sound and they feel more info is needed. 
    BabyFruit Ticker
    older siblings: ds 16 dd 14 ds 13 dd 11 dd 7 
  • Best of Luck! 
  • You should visit San Francisco OB. Here, at age 35, you'd be one of the young ones ;)
  • I am going for #7, too, @babymakes9!

    I’m 38 and H is 40. 

    @betterlatethannever7, I am in Santa Cruz!  Seems like there are plenty of us “old” moms  here. 
    Laura, mom of:
    James (14)
    William (13)
    Elise (11)
    Zachary (5)
    George (3) [making the blog private.  PM me if you want to subscribe]
  • That seems more like a problem with your care providers and not your age. I'm A FTM and also 34 and I actually made a couple joking comments about my age and my doctor was quick to reassure me. She never brought it up once and when I asked her honest opinion about NIPT due to age she told me that she would suggest it for me the same as someone in their late 20s
  • 40 here, 12w3d. While you should be aware of certain risks with age, I really don't feel it's appropriate for a dr to belittle or shame anyone for their age. That just sounds wrong to me. Hope you are old enough to stand up for yourself, see yourself out the door and find a more kind and companionate dr. Best wishes for a happy and healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby!! 
  • I m glad I found this post. I m 36 and my husband is 50. We had miscarriage the first time. And now I m freaked out about all the possibilities of another one or potential problems with the baby due to our old ages. The best advice is stay off the internet and be positive. I asked My OB about my age and she said I m not old which made me feel better. But I know I m and it depresses me. 
  • Being an older first time parent is very common in many areas, less common in others, but it's a global trend, not just being over 35 but even being over 40. So we are not alone and there are reasons we wait (education, jobs, not having a partner yet, etc.) some of which are not in our control. 

    My medical team never once said anything about my age except when it affected treatment, "Since you will be over 40 when the baby is due, we recommend..." is all they said. They also never said anything mean about me being overweight and only mentioned it for treatment, "It's recommended that with your BMI we take this action," so there are ways of being honest without being punitive, disrespectful or shaming. I would switch doctors if I felt ashamed or talked down to like that!

    I had my son at 40 with no medical complications and conceived on the first try. Just sayin'!
  • Your doctor says the risks because I believe they always have to, I would try to focus on that and that you are healthy. Just keep reminding yourself of that.
    I'm 37 and will be a month shy of 38 when my due date is-with my first child. I have also heard that from my doc and chalked it up to they just try to fill you in on potential occurrences.
    And if the doctor says that again, reply with "I appreciate you want to share the risks, and now I'm aware of them. Lets focus on what is going on with me and my baby".
    It will hopefully make the doc realize they need to stop.
    Try to stay positive for yourself and baby :)
  • Hahaha Talk about being awake early am on the forums!! 
    *correction* I'm 38 and will be a month shy of 39.
    I didn't even remember writing this--I clicked on "Pregnant over 35" and saw my screenname and then was "Oh ya, 4am awake". 
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