Search:
Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

‘We thought if it’s going to take two years then we need to start that now’: Age, infertility risk and the timing of pregnancy in older first-time mothers

Locke, Abigail and Budds, Kirsty (2013) ‘We thought if it’s going to take two years then we need to start that now’: Age, infertility risk and the timing of pregnancy in older first-time mothers. Health, Risk and Society, 15 (6/7). pp. 525-542. ISSN 1369-8575

[img]
Preview
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (173kB) | Preview

Abstract

Over the past few decades, the number of women having their first babies over the age of thirty-five in most developed societies has steadily increased. Concerns have been raised over this trend amidst warnings of both the increased risk of fertility problems and health risks to mother and child. Despite this, research into the timing of pregnancy in the context of decreasing fertility has been somewhat neglected, with research typically framed in biomedical rather than social terms. However, this area merits closer attention given the contradictory nature of societal messages that simultaneously encourage women to pursue careers and enhance lifestyle, whilst warning of ‘risks’ of infertility and problems in ‘delaying’ motherhood. This article is based on a small-scale qualitative study that uses data drawn from eleven in-depth interviews with ‘older mothers’ about their transition to motherhood. The data was thematically analysed. We found that the women drew upon risk discourses around decreasing fertility and advancing maternal age, and that these discourses impacted on their decisions about the timing of their pregnancies. Some mothers felt that they started trying to conceive at ‘non-ideal’ times, owing to expectations they held about decreasing fertility. We suggest that the impact of contradictory societal messages around the timing of motherhood need to be more clearly considered for their potential effects on the timing of pregnancy and note how this topic brings the personal, and, by implication, the societal, into conflict with the (narrated) biological.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Health and Social Care Research
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Research in the Social Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > The Institute for Health Citizenship
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2013 14:33
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 06:24
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/17992

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Repository Staff Only: item control page

View Item View Item

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©