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New Non-Profit Provides Support for Older Moms

New Non-Profit Provides Support for Older Moms

Published: 08/08/2013 by Ellen Decareau

Although her first marriage came to an end, Sharon Munroe still held on to her dream of one day starting a family. The dream became a reality. After falling in love again and remarrying in her late 30s, Munroe became a mother for the first time at the “advanced maternal age” of 40.

“Books and articles that have been written to date only talk about the risk factors,” said Munroe in a recent interview with KVUE-TV about pregnancy after 35. “They don’t talk about the rewards…or provide comfort or support to women who were making that life choice.”

Breaking Down ‘One Size Fits All’

More women over 35 are becoming mothers for the first time. Yet, Munroe says most pregnancy resources are "one-size-fits-all" and filled with negativity when referring to this age group.

The lack of positive and relevant resources was a frustration for Munroe and spurred her to create the nonprofit The Advanced Maternal Age Project. Her goal was to create a safe, nonjudgmental place for women 35 and older and becoming moms for the first time.

“This is a cool project because I feel like there aren’t a lot of resources for moms at an older age who are becoming moms,” said Dr. Natalie Munroe, fertility specialist with Texas Fertility Center, to KVUE-TV.

Despite a growing population of ‘older’, new mothers, Munroe says many in the medical community are still unsure how to address this group in a way that both describes the risks and offers support. And it’s a population that can’t be ignored.

According to the CDC, between 2010 and 2011, birth rates declined among women in their 20s, were unchanged for women 30-34 years old, and rose for women 35 to 44. The birth rate for women 40 to 44 years old was 10.3 births per 1,000 women in 2011, the highest rate in four decades.

Next Step, Research

The Advanced Maternal Age Project will also collect research to help medical professionals and the community better understand the barriers to having a healthy pregnancy at 35+.

The first workshop is taking place September 21st in Austin, Texas.

 

Sharon Munroe is the founder of The Advanced Maternal Age Project and Little Breen Beans, a local children’s clothing consignment store in Austin, TX as well as principal in a market research company.