Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Late motherhood: A selfish choice?

Date:
September 3, 2012
Source:
University of Huddersfield
Summary:
When women give birth in their late thirties or in their forties, it is not necessarily the result of a lifestyle choice – putting off motherhood for career reasons or from a desire to “have it all”. Nor should they be accused of selfishness or taking undue health risks.

When women give birth in their late thirties or in their forties, it is not necessarily the result of a lifestyle choice -- putting off motherhood for career reasons or from a desire to "have it all." Nor should they be accused of selfishness or taking undue health risks.

These are among the arguments of psychologist Kirsty Budds, who has researched what is commonly termed 'delayed motherhood' at the University of Huddersfield.

Her latest paper on the subject was presented at a conference organised by the British Psychology Society at St Andrew's University.

Her work is entitled a "Critical Discursive Analysis of 'Delayed' Motherhood" .

"I don't like the term 'delayed' because it implies agency and it implies choice," she says.

"It implies that women who have babies later on are putting something off or waiting for something. I question whether it is actually a choice, but if it is, then it is a choice that is constrained and shaped by the values in our society and the pressures upon women," she adds.

Kirsty Budds's research has included a detailed analysis of newspaper articles that dealt with the subject of older mothers.

"The assumption in newspapers is that women choose to delay motherhood for career reasons, which implies selfishness. "Also, anxiety over women putting careers before motherhood demonstrates the strength of the motherhood mandate -- in our society motherhood is considered more important for women than other occupations, such that they should be prioritising it. Furthermore, there is evidence in the media of a resistance to women 'having it all' " says Kirsty.

She also conducted detailed interviews with a number of older mothers but found that this is not how they defined themselves.

Despite a widespread assumption that older mothers will have a qualitatively different experience than younger women, Kirsty found that in general their transition to motherhood was typical to that of any woman, regardless of age.

There is also extensive media alarm about the health risks attached to later motherhood, says Kirsty.

"It is almost as if they are saying that by choosing to have babies later these women were choosing to put themselves and their children at risk."

It is still the medical convention to regard 35 as the age at which greater risk is attached to pregnancy, but the risk boundary is probably rising to 40 as later motherhood becomes more normative, argues Kirsty, who hopes that her research will lead to a more balanced view of late motherhood.

"For a lot of women it isn't a selfish choice but is based around careful decisions, careful negotiations and life circumstances such as the right partner and the right financial position. These women are effectively responsibly trying to produce the best situation in which to have children, which is encouraged societally, but then they are chastised because they are giving birth when older, when it is more risky."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Huddersfield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Huddersfield. "Late motherhood: A selfish choice?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903143056.htm>.
University of Huddersfield. (2012, September 3). Late motherhood: A selfish choice?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903143056.htm
University of Huddersfield. "Late motherhood: A selfish choice?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903143056.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins