Last week, researchers at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in New Orleans, La., presented a study showing that while women of advanced maternal age were at greater risk for obstetrical complications, once they became mothers they were just as capable of being good parents as younger women. Researchers at the University of Southern California looked at 150 women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who had used an advanced fertility treatment to conceive. All of these women conceived children between 1992 and 2004.
The women filled out questionnaires about their mental and physical health, and on the stress of parenthood. Overall, the researchers determined that women in their 50s were no more stressed and no less physically fit to keep up with their children than the younger women.“Age doesn’t determine if one is a good mother,” says Dr. Jacques Mortiz, director of gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City and a specialist in the fertility of older women. Did you hear that, women? Pursue that career or have children. Adopt when you’re 50. Do what feels right to you. So even if you’re 35, 44, or about to turn 50—don’t second guess whether or not you’ll be good mother. Hey, if the 66-year-old Romanian woman who gave birth to a baby two years ago can keep up with her daughter, anyone can. Remember—age is nothing but a number.