Full length article| Volume 265, P169-174, October 2021

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The Joys of Older Motherhood: A questionnaire-based survey of mothers who delivered over the age of 50 years



      It is recognised that advanced maternal age is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. It is less known what the psychological impact of having a pregnancy in later maternal age is. This study aimed to establish whether women having children over 50 experience challenges with regards to their mental well-being during the pregnancy and thereafter.

      Study design

      17 women delivered aged ≥ 50 at our maternity unit in a central London hospital between 2014 and 2020. Of these, one had died of metastatic ampullary carcinoma two years following delivery, one declined taking part, and two we were unable to get hold of, leaving 13 women in the study. Two validated questionnaires were used to survey the women: (i) Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS), (ii) Parenting Daily Hassles Scale (PDHS). We analysed the questionnaire data using their individual scoring systems.


      The WEMWBS showed a median score of 60 out of a possible 70 (range: 45–70), indicating a high level of mental well-being among these women. The PDHS results indicated that reported hassles were overall low in both frequency and intensity for the mothers.


      Women giving birth over 50 have often experienced long, emotional and financially-burdensome journeys in order to fall pregnant, usually involving assisted reproductive techniques (ART), with multiple antenatal and delivery complications thereafter. As a result, they are extremely happy and grateful to have the child, and are often in better socioeconomic positions that can help with the stress that comes with child-caring.


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