Recommended Books

Better Late Than Never Baby by Serena Kirby

Review by Sharon MunroeBetter Late Than Never Baby

Serena Kirby, a professional writer and advanced maternal age mom from Western Australia has written an up-to-date reference book on some of the top issues we face as older mothers. In an easily digestible format, she covers many key topics with a bit of humor, including some areas not covered in many books: the “only child” and things to consider as many AMA moms do have one child; the mature-age dad and implications for the family since few of us are married to young men; and understanding fatigue, a common ground issue that many of us share and some help in overcoming it.

Most importantly, Serena is on the wavelength as our Project: asking readers to consider “what really is the level of risk (in pregnancy) when it comes to you” and supporting them with“…you are not alone (and having a child means you rarely are).”

Serena contacted us and we are so glad she did! Her Facebook page is a great way to learn more about her work. Her 2013 book can be ordered here and can be purchased as an eBook or as a paperback that is shipped internationally.

Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood by Elizabeth Gregory (2012)

Review by Sharon Munroe

Dr. Elizabeth Gregory’s revised edition expands on her ground-breaking research on the trend of Ready_By_Elizabeth_GregoryNew Later Motherhood. The 2012 Ready clearly defines the demographic trend and its implications for women, their families and society. The trend continues up as more younger women are focused on their education, career attainment and being with the right partner prior to adding children into their lives. The latest edition provides valuable commentary on the negative media coverage associated with the trend that highlights the infertility challenges that women may face.

Personally, her research and writing has helped me better understand the economic impact of the decision I made to have my first child at age 40. Since that time, I have added two more children in our family through pregnancy and adoption and now write about my own experiences and those of other older mothers. My labor of love is helping the growing number of “advanced maternal age” women, ages 35 or better, who waited until they were “ready” to overcome barriers and find resources for conceiving, a healthy pregnancy, childbirth and beyond through The Advanced Maternal Age Project

Click here to buy the 2012 edition

The Essential Over 35 Pregnancy Guide by Ellen Rose Lavin, PH.D.

Review by Sharon Munroe, Founder of The Advanced Maternal Age Project

The Essential Over 35 Pregnancy GuideEllen Rose Lavin, PH.D, wrote a very different type of primer covering many key areas of becoming a mother later in life and having a healthy first pregnancy. Early on she tells us about her own experience with childbirth at 41 and takes a sympathetic yet comprehensive approach. Her book, written in collaboration with Samuel H. Wood, M.D. covers many key topics around both becoming pregnant and being pregnant at age 35 or later. Of note, she acknowledges that “age is not necessarily the best standard by which to judge who will have a textbook pregnancy and who will face obstacles.” Unlike many similar books published in the same timeframe early to mid 200os), she openly talks about the myths about having a child after 35 and the labels older mothers receive, among them Advanced Maternal Age and Elderly Primigrvida. This book is a must read for a balanced view of what’s ahead for the older would-be mom.

Click here to buy the current edition

Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd

Review by Sharon Munroe, Founder of The Advanced Maternal Age Project

2723001.110Robbie Davis-Floyd has a unique voice as a cultural anthropologist, midwife, educator, author and mother. Birth as an American Rite of Passage highlights the trends that continue: pregnant women are often considered patients and medical interventions in prenatal and maternity care is pervasive. Frequently obstetricians are trained with technocratic and not humanistic models. Many of us have witnessed this first hand, particularly if we were of Advanced Maternal Age, the sisterhood of women age 35 or better. We were labeled high risk following our pregnancy test and before understanding our complete personal health histories. (I write about my experience with this on our website.) For women of all ages, Ms. Davis-Floyd’s examples of electronic fetal monitoring in labor and laboring in a supine position, which are the hospital standards across much of the world, are truly impediments for the best birth for many women. She reminds us that caregivers’ attitudes and ideologies about childbirth have a direct outcome on the women they work with. Ms. Davis-Floyd adds important perspectives on how women are cared for in other countries, including throughout Latin America and Europe and the practice of midwives. Her book is compelling and should be required reading for caregivers and the women who seek to become mothers with their support.

Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster by Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW

Review by Sharon Munroe, Founder of The Advanced Maternal Age Project

rollercoasterWhat a rich resource! I discovered Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster two years after my experience with secondary infertility and am amazed at both the depth and quality of information that Iris Waicher shares with her audience. With over 30 years of clinical experience plus her personal experience of trying to conceive at age 45, she speaks to the top concerns that couples are facing and shares others’ stories and solutions. Chapter 12 of the book focuses on Building a Support Network, which is one of the biggest challenges we face when we have a fertility challenge since the topic is so sensitive and personal. Family and friends may or may not offer the kind of help we need. Support, encouragement and information are the keys to maintaining courage and achieving success. Iris’ expert voice and those of other experienced and compassionate professionals are vital to couples striving to bring a child into their families. I hope that others will find Iris’ book to be a valuable tool in their journey.

Hot Flashes Warm Bottles by Nancy London, MSW

Review by Sharon Munroe, Founder of The Advanced Maternal Age Project

hotflasheswarmbottlesI found this 2001 book still very relevant in 2012. Written by one of the authors of the first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves (one of the original books on women’s health that I read as a teenager coming of age), I found comfort in Nancy London’s content. Some of the topics covered such as honoring our choices to work full-time, part-time or to be full-time mothers, the fatigue of a daily schedule with young children, and our choices in becoming mothers on our own, through the help of a fertility specialist or through adoption are the same choices we still contemplate today. The Journey Book sections and ideas for support group discussions are inspiring and thoughtful. Thank you for being a pioneer again, Ms. London!