Q&A: Resources for a fat, old pregnant lady?

Maura, who has been reading forever and wrote in a question for a family member a few years ago, sent in that funny question title, and writes:

"I'm writing now with the shockingly happy and incredibly scary news
that, at age 41, I'm pregnant!   Just as I began to find some peace
with the idea of being a spinster aunt in my late 30's, I surprised
myself by finding a good guy.  Nearly four years later, in September of
this year, we got married.  And, shockingly, I now find myself 9 weeks
pregnant!  (Honeymoon conception – not completely shocking since we know
how babies are made, but close to completely shocking since at my age
we didn't really think such a thing would occur without medical

We didn't plan for this to happen, and I know that a
lot of things can go wrong with pregnancies at my age, but I feel
incredibly lucky to even have this chance.  I vascillate between extreme
acceptance (whatever happens, happens, and I am going to enjoy this
blessing/ opportunity/hope even if something goes wrong with the
and abject terror (OMG is this a miscarriage?  OMG
what about genetic anomalies?  OMG what if my depression comes back?
 OMG I feel old and tired, can I keep up with a baby?)
on what feels like an hourly basis.  

I'm wondering if you or your readers could recommend
some blogs or discussion groups or support groups or other sources of
sanity and support for a first time mom at 41.   I would also welcome
suggestions on great sites and support for staying healthy and sane
during pregnancy, especially for fat women (I use it as a neutral
descriptor, not an insult!) and/or women who struggle with depression.
 For my recent wedding, I generally avoided the heavily commercial sites
like "The Knot", and appreciated smaller blogs like A Practical
Wedding, since I don't want to be bombarded with messages about all the
STUFF STUFF STUFF I need to buy during pregnancy, which so many of the
big pregnancy sites seem to be about."

I am completely and utterly out of the loop with websites about pregnancy. So I'm hoping that you all know all about websites that are either focused on older moms or are just friendly to older moms and not all rainbows and kittens and glitter.

Depression during pregnancy I know about. The hormones of the pregnancy can throw you into a pretty serious depression. If you know that, that it's "just" the hormones, it can be easier to deal with, because you can remind yourself that it's like all the other weird changes and it's temporary and you don't have to do anything about it because it's part of the pregnancy.

But women who have depression during pregnancy have a higher rate of PPD, so that's something to watch out for. It doesn't mean you'll get PPD, and we know that the single leading prevention factor for PPD is support, which it sounds like you have. But be watchful and let your husband and friends to know watch for it, too.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope you enjoy it and your labor and delivery are easy!

Who's got resources for Maura?

64 thoughts on “Q&A: Resources for a fat, old pregnant lady?”

  1. Congratulations, Maura! Good luck on the rest of your pregnancy. Sadly, I don’t have any resources on the pregnancy website front, even though I had a baby 9 months ago (I’m 39). I remember I was delighted (and so was my husband) by descriptions and pictures of developing embryos and fetuses the first time I was pregnant but found them boring the second and third time around, so maybe just focusing (and googling) stuff like that? I hear you on the bombardment of STUFF though.There seemed to be a schism between how my first pregnancy (I was 33) and second (at 35) was treated medically–it seemed as if I was all of a sudden more high-risk and had tests up the wazoo (sometimes every other day) and my husband prayed that I wouldn’t be put on bedrest. (But then my third pregnancy was even less complicated than the first, which was straightforward–go figure.)

  2. Congratulations, Maura!I was fat and 41 when I had my son. I didn’t do websites, much, but did read Mothering and Brain, Child (the former is fabulous if you’re earthy-crunchy, but quite judgey if you’re not; the latter is not particularly helpful for pregnancy), and discovered Moxie after my son was born. So no help on specifics there. I’m in the stay-the-hell-away-from “What to Expect…” too, on the grounds that it describes way too many bad things.
    I am a single data point for someone who’s been there, so that’s something.
    You’ll be labeled high-risk pregnancy, for sure, and probably will have a lot of extra tests recommended. I quite liked that, and found it reassuring; others might have found it invasive. I did get gestational diabetes, which of course sucked, but keeping a food diary and sticking to my carb limits wasn’t as bad as I expected.
    I got pregnant at the same time as a bunch of (much younger) friends and I think being older has a few advantages: you’re probably calmer, more surprised/grateful to be pregnant, and more self-assured than a younger woman would be.
    As a fat person, you’re used to hearing other people’s well-intended (one hopes) but often ill-informed and almost certainly unwelcome advice. And you probably know your own body really, really well.
    You probably do have less energy than a younger woman would, but honestly? I found the calm-with-age thing compensated well for that.
    Maybe not much help, but again… congratulations! And please let me know if you’d like to email or chat.

  3. If you haven’t checked out http://wellroundedmama.blogspot.com/. You should do it! It has fantastic articles and entries on being larger and pregnant and really gets into what the real risks are.On another note, larger women have a higher incidence of malpositioned babies , which can make it harder for birth and a higher chance of cesareans, and so I especially recommend checking out http://www.spinningbabies.com for ways to keep your kiddo well aligned towards the end of your pregnancy.
    Good luck and congrats!

  4. There are a lot of older moms on DC Urban Moms. That website can vacillate between wonderful compassion and helpfulness and harsh snark, so be forewarned. You might search the expectant moms and general parenting forums before deciding to post.Best to you!
    Oh, and the baby center weekly pregnancy emails coupled with Amalah’s weekly pregnancy guide on Alphamom are nice digestible information.

  5. Congratulations! I would have became a spinster aunt as well, had I not found my husband when I did.I would recommend babycenter mainly because of all the seperate boards that you have there to choose from. You can kind of customize your experience. I never thought it was too much of what to buy, but there are definitely lots of things you will need to ignore. I would say that they have an older mom board, where you can find women in your situation. You will be given bad advice, but I think you will also find support there.
    I had my fourth child at 37 and though I was deemed of advanced maternal age, I only had to do a different type of US, where they also took about an hour to look at his heart. Other than that all the other testing was optional and my OB is a no nonsense OB and she knew that I didn’t want the testing done since she has delivered all my babies

  6. My pregnancies later in my life (like you!!!) were complex but exciting happy times. I had two babies in 12 months and 3 days. Do not worry about being tired and old-you do not know what is like to have a baby at 23 so you won’t appreciate how much easier it would have been on your body then anyway. Just rest frequently and enjoy this time! The very best book I read was Happiest Baby on the Block. I appreciated that it was written intelligently and with a lot of references to research. With respect to pregnancy, I spent a lot of time on Ovusoft’s message boards where there was a board for us older people. Not sure if Ovusoft’s message boards are still around, but they were a LIFESAVER for me! Also- I’d really not get too overwelmed with planning your birth. Do some reading, think about and be able to articulate what you want, but understand that ultimately- it’s in God’s control. You want a healthy delivery- period. God’s blessings to you, I’d love to be pregnant again (even in my elderly 40s)!

  7. I came here to recommend KMom at Well-Rounded Mama as well. She not only has great resources for pregnancy, but labor, birth and breastfeeding as well. Lots of reassuring information there! The statistics will tell you that if you’re fat you have to have a C-section and you won’t be able to breastfeed. That’s simply not true! I think you will love KMom’s site.In addition to that, there is a great book called Big, Beautiful, and Pregnant: Expert Advice and Comforting Wisdom for the Expecting Plus-Size Woman. I thought it struck a good balance of providing information while being encouraging.

  8. I found this helpful when I was pregnant (and plus-sized): http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/ Apparently, it’s linked with the well-rounded mama blog, which is new since I was pregnant. I’m glad to see new resources!I had a heck of a time finding good maternity clothes. Lane Bryant had some of the nicer ones, and JC Penney had the most to offer. Motherhood/Maternity had some, but they were usually ill-proportioned. They were, five years ago, the only ones with plus-sized cotton underwear. I also wound up with a lot of regular plus-sized clothes in generous cuts — empire waist, swing coat, etc. Honestly, clothing myself might have been the hardest part of the plus-size pregnancy, at least that I was conscious of.
    There didn’t seem to be a lot of resources on depression and pregnancy (as opposed to postpartum depression) five years ago, other than this book: http://www.amazon.com/Pregnancy-Blues-Every-Depression-During/dp/0385338678/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354201683&sr=1-1 , which I found helpful. There seem to be a few more, but not many, now. I’d recommend going through Dooce’s archives. http://dooce.com/archives/

  9. I don’t know websites but about stuff and needless worries, I would recommend you pick an experienced friend/family member to run things by: do I need this? should I worry about that?Just had my 3rd after a big gap so lost a lot of pregnancy stuff in a move/giving things away and I got through with minimal expense, never got sucked into alarmist websites

  10. Maura, no great online suggestions here but as things progress, please consider “auditioning” moms groups in your area. I joined 3 or 4 in the early days of parenting and stuck with the one that fit me best and these women have become great friends and resources. And it is not unusual for pregnant women to come to a meeting or two to see if we might be a good group for them when they give birth.Also, I was fat before I was pregnant (both times in my late 30s) and I found a few things–I ate better when I was pregnant (both because of aversions and actively trying to “feed the fetus” as we joked) so I didn’t gain as much weight; but I will also say that the second delivery, when I was in better shape from trying to run a toddler ragged, was better than my first. It’s not like you can get your uterus in shape for pushing but working on endurance is not a terrible idea. Not that you should start marathon training or anything, but I used pregnancy #1 as an excuse to be lazier than normal and I did myself no favors.
    Good luck to you and congrats!

  11. I just want to say that the swinging between delight and terror isn’t necessarily a factor of age. I had it with my first pregnancy and am experiencing it again with this, my third! It’s milder this time because I know pregnancy and my body better. But this pregnancy is a surprise (like #1 was) and I feel like that has something to do with it. I’m less secure in its existence because…I didn’t “make” it happen? I dunno. Brains are fun. :)I don’t have any pregnancy resources, but if you are concerned about PPD (and PP energy levels, for that matter), I cannot recommend highly enough Placenta Encapsulation.
    The second time around, I had my placenta dehydrated and put into little capsules, which I popped several times a day post partum. The difference for me was night and day. Having suffered severe PPD and PTSD after #1, I was desperate enough with #2 to consider something “wacky” like ingesting my own placenta. I am so, so thankful I did.
    My placenta gave me amazing energy; my milk came in within 30 hours of birth; I could definitely feel the hormone fluxes and mood swings, but I didn’t get swallowed up in them. In fact, when I felt myself slipping (days 3 and 10 are so hard), I would just take another capsule and would feel much better in 20 minutes. I also didn’t have any of the nasty hot flashes and such (it’s like mini-menopause after birth!). My hormones were just way steadier the whole time.
    Google around for someone in your area who does placenta encapsulation. It will probably cost you around $200, and it is a completely worthwhile investment in your emotional wellbeing! (I’ve blogged about this on the blog linked below, if you want to start there for more resources.)
    Another way to avoid some of the hoopla around being of “advanced maternal age” is to try to hire a midwife instead of going the standard medical birth route. Not all midwives are scared off by “fat old pregnant ladies,” particularly ones who work in stand-alone birth centers and aren’t tied to a hospital or OB group.
    It makes me sad to think that this, probably your only chance for a birth experience, could be effed up by non-evidence based medicine. Being “fat and old” doesn’t make you a medical emergency waiting to happen, and you shouldn’t be treated as such unless you actually become one. Staying away from emergency-minded practitioners will really help.
    Oh, also, in the case of a malpositioned baby, keep acupuncture in mind. There is also a great website resource called http://www.spinningbabies.com/ .
    What an absolutely wonderful surprise for you! I think it’s going to be great.

  12. It’s true that people who’ve struggled with depression have a very high rate of PPD (some studies find it as high as 80%). If you do find yourself in a position to need/want/desire medication while pregnant or after, motherrisk.org – a well-respected research organization run by a Toronto children’s hospital – has an excellent website and phone hotline. Jack Newman’s website (http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/) also talks about medication safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding.The only thing that I found helpful (that I could change) was getting enough sun in the winter – I made my own SAD light out of a bunch of really bright full-spectrum bulbs and read under it a lot. Other than that, there’s sometimes no arguing with biology.
    If there are moms groups of any kind local to you I’d recommend checking a few out (the playgroup kind) – having human contact when you have a wee baby, even with people you might not otherwise want to hang out with, provided they’re not completely insane, makes a big difference. Even if it’s only during your maternity leave. Having a baby can be very isolating; they’re needy and tiny and adorable and did I mention NEEDY? Adorable little balls of need. Plus then you can hand someone the baby and go pee by yourself for five minutes, or whatever it is that drives you crazy. 🙂

  13. Wonderful news for you!! I also recommend the Mothering forums, so supportive. I am preggo with second and I do not feel the same anxieties this time around but remember them well with my first! It’s just hard not to, especially when you seek put education for yourself, you can get caught up in the what-ifs. Kellymom.com is an *incredible* resource. One thing that helped me was to find a midwife at the practice that delivered at my hospital of choice. The difference in how midwives approach birth, especially with older moms saved my sanity while pregnant. Hospital based midwives are backed up by an OB if you had to have a csection (don’t assume you will though, assume you won’t!) and a doula who did all our birth preparation work with us (about 4 hrs worth) at our home, rather than a birth class. Finding a moms group that fits, so key to finding support with like-minded moms in your area. I took a breast feeding course as well beforehand, but having a lactation consultant to call immediately after I got home was key to our nursing relationship working. She helped me for first 6 weeks, as we had lots of issues with latching and pain, but got thru it!! Personalized services were not necessarily more expensive but worth the extra effort researching in my area and so worth it in the end with finding the type of support I wanted for myself.

  14. No website suggestions here, but my mom was 39 when I was born. She was the best mom, and I felt close to her even as a teen when I was actively searching for independence. I second the comment about being calmer and more self-assured because of your age. I really benefited from those traits in my mom and wish I had more of them to share with my own kids. Congratulations to you and your husband, but also to your baby, who will come into a great family.

  15. Well, I’m an pregnancy epidemiologist, so I can weigh in a bit on the risk side of things. While it’s true being older ups your risk *relatively* for things like genetic defects, your absolute risk stays very low. The serious worries about getting pregnant at an older age are really more about fertility and miscarriage, which you seem to have sidestepped.So no need for panic!

  16. Congratulations!Many (most?) moms in my town start out having babies in their late thirties/early forties, and they do just fine. It is not a disaster waiting to happen. Cut yourself a lot of slack. Wishing you all the best!

  17. I was 35 and 38 when I had my girls, and yeah, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be 30 and chasing toddlers instead of 40, but I also think I feel much more balanced and patient than I was at 30, so adequate trade-off. And my girls don’t mind me playing with them while sitting in one spot — they’re happy for the interaction.I wish I had site recommendations for you. I wish I’d found sites like that when I was pregnant. The one bit of advice I do have is to make sure you find an OB that is on the same page as you. Mine never berated me for my weight or anything like that. He was low key about risks, but realistic, and that was a perfect match for me (especially since my second pregnancy, being mo-di twins, was high-risk even before AMA and weight were involved.)

  18. Congratulations!All the nurses told me 41 is not old in their experiences after I had my second son at 38. They were asking the, “are you going to try for a girl?” questions. I told them no in part because of age, they scoffed at that.
    They do stamp your file AMA, advanced maternal age, at 36. I know. I had my first at 36. 🙂 Such a nice thing to focus on, right? And such a pleasant description. I told them if ever asked I could offer nicer ways to flag my file.
    Neighborhood groups are great. Ours has an expectant moms group and that helped me a lot. It also gave me a group to have play dates with while on leave. That helped with the loneliness. Our kids are now in school together.
    I had gestational diabetes and had to watch my diet. I think that type of sensible eating of whole foods and avoiding sugar was good. I think it is sensible and I’m glad in a way that having GD helped me by focusing my diet on healthy (and tasty) choices. Ask your doctor if reading up on GD focused diets might not hold some good nutrition information for you. It doesn’t seem like anything but healthier eating to me, but it is a place they put food information.

  19. Best resource hands down is other women. Pick women that are mothers and you like and trust and think are funny. They’ll offer some good perspective.I also recommend joining a prenatal yoga class so you can find your posse of other pregnant women. Regardless of your descriptors, it is so helpful to have a network of other women who have recently gone through pregnancy and can commiserate with the aches and pains and will also have babies about the same age as yours. (Playdates! Lunchdates!)
    Mazel tov!

  20. Congratulations! I, too, was a first time mom @ 41. I agree that the best resources are other women. If you have friends or family members who you can ask advice, I highly recommend it, and stay off the Internet. I drove myself insane Googling things. By far, the most unnerving things for me were the extra tests that my age warranted, and the results. I was stressed and worrying over statistics (My baby’s Nucal fold, odds of Down syndrome, being on the cusp of gestational diabetes, I had high bp readings at two appointments near the end of the pregnancy…) but fact is, my baby is completely healthy, normal and developmentally advanced. AND I was able to give birth naturally. Don’t let people scare you because you’re “advanced maternal age.” Older ladies can and do have normal pregnancies and babies!! I might suggest skipping 12-week NT score tests and just going for an amnio. I did the NT, but did not do amnio and for the whole pregnancy thought there might be a genetic abnormality I didn’t know about. Do your best to relax and enjoy. That’s the best gift you can give yourself and your baby…and remember that the odds of having a normal baby and pregnancy are overwhelmingly in your favor, REGARDLESS of age.

  21. I’m reading these with tears of happiness in my eyes — it’s the first sustained 15 minutes of this pregnancy in which I have felt only joy and not terror. Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions, congratulations, and affirmations!(I’m at work now so can’t comment longer, but will check in again later.) Moxie, thanks for posting!!!!

  22. Congratulations! I am 42, had my daughter at 38 and my son last year at 41. Just remember that every pregnancy is different; what works for some doesn’t work for all. I was scared of miscarriage and defects, too, and dealt (deal) with depression. Talk to your doctor, talk to your friends, read a lot if you’re a reader. Enjoy the good, commiserate through the bad.

  23. Just had a surprise baby at 42 and whatever you do, DO NOT google “pregnancies in your 40s” because holy CRAP talk about alarmist what comes up.My OB said that in his experience, pregnancy generally doesn’t GIVE you health problems. It can exacerbate them, though. So if you are pre-diabetic, for example, before you get pregnant, don’t be surprised if you have gestational diabetes. If you have mildly high blood pressure, you might struggle to keep your blood pressure in the normal range and should be monitored carefully for pre-eclampsia. Like that. But you’re not suddenly going to develop a heart condition just because you’re pregnant in your 40s. I found this really helpful because in spite of being fat, I am generally a pretty darned healthy person, so I didn’t find any special reason to worry during pregnancy.
    Just to add a data point, pregnancy itself makes me … something. Something not-pleasant mental-health wise. Crabby. Unhappy. Lethargic and unwilling to pull myself together even to do needed stuff. Is this depression? Maybe — it’s a different form than I have experienced before, but maybe. BUT. But after the baby comes (this a dataset with n=3), I literally never felt better, emotionally. The first 6 months, I could take on the WORLD. Up all night? No biggie. Older siblings fighting/falling apart/refusing to cooperate? Patience, patience, patience. Baby crying while I’m trying to help (but not too much!) build a model of the solar system and the toilet is overflowing and ‘he pulled my hair’ and the dog pooped in the family room all at the same time? One thing at a time, it’ll all get done.
    Seriously, if I could bottle whatever it is that happens in my body between birth and the return of menses, I would rule the world. So you just never know how it’s all going to affect you, and there’s no special reason to think you’re going to be miserable.
    Congratulations and all the best wishes to you. I hope you have an uneventful pregnancy and a beautiful healthy baby at the end of it all.

  24. At my booking in appointment ( where your antenatal care is begun and your chosen hospital/centre/homebirth delivery set up in the NHS) the midwife said ” You’re not old girl! ” and I was a low risk pregnancy throughout and I was older than the OP.I am thin but I doubt that had a huge influence. I was fit which helped, but you can be fit at any size.
    I needed support for my hypermobility ( not age related) and some physio, Anti-D ( Rhogam injections due to being rhesus negative) and I had a natural posterior delivery with ventouse related to a narrow pelvis and my hypermobility. Age did not wither me there.
    I did request and got Amniocentesis. As we as parents were old I felt it a horrible idea to leave an adult child who can’t live independently. My mother had mental illness and did not come to a good end so that haunted me. Leaving someone vulnerable. That was age related. Result was negative.
    It’s very common here, lots of mothers in their late thirties and early forties with their first baby.
    I liked the girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy a lot, and avoided what to expect. I liked the BBC pregnancy site best, and didn’t google……..
    I was nervous for sure, and I don’t think like others said better that that was an age thing. It was terrifying to become a mother without an example. And whether I would be able to bond etc.
    That got easier after birth and I had no PND.Good breastfeeding support was vital post natally and the baby and me classes definitely built lasting friendships for me and my daughter.

  25. Seconding or thirding the mothering.com message boards. I found answers to all my questions and much support there.And a big YES to placenta encapsulation. My postpartum situation turned around big time after I started taking the capsules. I only used about half the supply, and took what was left to the hospital with me for my second child’s birth. I was sneaking them when the nurses weren’t around and felt so much better (mentally and physically) again, once I started.

  26. I was 36 when I had my son and vascillated around the bottom of the plus-sized and top of the “regular” clothes. For me, the biggest thing during pregnancy was to stay (or rather get) active. I found a pre-natal water aerobics class at my hospital’s health center that was great. The water feels wonderful, esp. as you get bigger. Buoyancy is a GOD thing in the 3rd trimester. It’s super low impact, but great for your joints, for reducing the swelling in your feet and legs, for strength, etc. In addition, my class was just full of women who were older, or had undergone fertility treatments, or were higher risk for whatever reason so it would be a great support network for you, both during pregnancy and after your baby arrives.I did want to add my two cents on “What to expect..” I think there are people for whom all that info is just scary and intimidating, and people for whom no amount of info can ever be too much. If you are in the latter group (like me) it is useful. If you find reading about potential problems increases your anxiety, PUT IT DOWN & BACK AWAY!
    Take care of yourself! Good luck!

  27. Data point here – I had my son 6 years ago at 45 years old. I was the oldest mother in the advanced age maternity class. Had amniocentesis ( sp?). That was emotionally hard but results were fine. Was gestationally diabetic, controlled with insulin and diet. Baby was born a few weeks early, completely healthy. The first year and a half was rough with sleep deprivation. You just keep going and do what you gotta do. Fast forward to my grade 1 boy, just turned 6. I can tell you that my boy is one of the greatest joys in my life!

  28. I had my DS at 39 and I’m pregnant now at 41.I’m Nth-ing the forums on Mothering.com. The best thing to do is go onto the “I’m Pregnant” forum and check out all the posts with titles like “I’m 42 and Having My First Baby” or “I’m 46 and freaking out” or some such. The replies are so reassuring — lots of women talking about having kids at 38, 42, 45, etc. and everything was fine.
    I too had amnios for both pregnancies. My husband and I wanted all the facts. Both came out negative for abnormalities. Now that I think about it, all my health providers — the GP who gave me the urine test, the midwifery practice I go to, the genetic counselors, etc., all seem completely unfazed with my age. Maybe it’s because I had an uncomplicated pregnancy with my DS just a little while ago. Maybe it’s because I’m in a big metro area with loads of women having kids, many times their firsts, in their late 30s/early 40s (incl. some of my providers).

  29. Congrats! I just had my first baby boy at age 39. Babycenter.com has a lot of groups to join, including one for first time moms over 35. i concur that the docs will scare the crap out of you since you are over 35. Eat healthy, get rest and enjoy your pregnancy.

  30. Hi, I had my daughter at 37. I found the website http://www.pregnantchicken.com/ really useful while I was pregnant. Wondering about soft cheese? Sushi? Hot baths? She really breaks down the research in a non-alarmist way. I found most of what I thought I should or shouldn’t eat/do was either an old wives tale or based on outdated research. I liked Pregnant Chicken because she made me feel better about using my common sense. For the record, I had hot baths and ate soft cheese everyday, which made me a much happier pregnant person!

  31. I was 41 when my son was born. I was also fat. With a history of depression.Z is 5 1/2 now, so I’m out of touch with online pregnancy resources. I think I mainly just kept reading the blogs I’d been reading which had opened my eyes to a range of birth experiences from home birth to high tech.
    The advantage of being overweight was that no one was worried at all when I lost a lot of weight at the beginning and only gained 5 pounds overall. Also, I had a lot of tent-like clothes that I just kept wearing.
    I’d highly recommend Ellyn Satter’s _Child of Mine_ for information about feeding kids from babies to preschoolers. (I just ignored her sleep training suggestions). She’s got other books, but Child of Mine has a lot about the stages of eating / feeding from birth on.
    I had “history of depression” right on the front of the chart and on the card of basic info that went to the hospital. That got me a visit from a social worker to talk about ppd before I left the hospital. Also an immediate proactive response from my ob and nurse practitioner when I had signs of PPD.
    Physically, I did not have complications during my pregnancy. No morning sickness, even, but a fatigue that never really went away. I had enough energy to keep in shape physically, but none left to keep up with the work I was supposed to be doing on sabbatical.

  32. so many congratulations!I was an “AMA” mom of 36 when my daughter was born. After the first midwife they matched me with said, “well, you’re not 16 any more!” I asked for a new midwife and kept asking until I found someone who didn’t make my age an issue.
    Always advocate for yourself.
    You are the best mom for your little one and he/she will be so lucky to have you!
    I joined a birth board especially for moms over 35 on baby center and really enjoyed the support I got there.
    There are a million books on the market, and it all depends on which style fits for you. I recommend getting a few out of the library and reading a chapter or two (rather than the entire books as I did) until you find one that fits.
    baby center will send you little “your baby is the size of this fruit and has this many fingers” updates which are great, and has tons of links to other topics.
    If your aim is a medication-free delivery, I highly recommend Ina May’s guide to childbirth a couple of months before your due date. Especially as older moms, there are so many scary stories out there, when in fact, chances are you will have a smooth, uncomplicated birth. Ina May was the only book I read that focused on everything that can go right, and gave me a lot of strength during the birth process.
    lastly, if you are able, keep track of your thyroid and iron stores during your pregnancy. anemia is no fun, and easily fixed. thyroid irregularity (as I discovered much too late) can have strong ties to depression.
    oh, and moxie is a life saver! keep coming here for any questions that arise.

  33. I think it’s hard to recommend online sources of support to another person, just like it is with parenting books, if you don’t know them well. You’ll probably have to try a bunch of the ones suggested and see what fits, just like the poster suggested trying out local moms’ groups.I know a lot of people recommend Mothering.com, but I found too many anti-science/anti-modern medicine people there for me to be comfortable. I also didn’t find a good fit on Babycenter, so I ended up relying on my own Facebook network, and created a parenting email list for my college alumni, which has been helpful.
    I was also “advanced maternal age” for my second, who’s 2 months old now, and felt reassured by the extra monitoring and tests – my doctor is an excellent fit for me. She told me to call/come in if I was worried about anything, and I did take her up on it a few times (weird itchiness, baby seemed “too quiet”, etc.) Everything was fine, but she was willing to do the right tests to rule things out as needed.
    So I think the key is to look around and find the environment that fits you. Don’t struggle along with a bad fit – there’s always something closer out there, whether it’s mom friends, medical professionals, support groups etc.
    I second the suggestion for Lane Bryant maternity stuff – they discontinued them, but you can usually find them on EBay or secondhand. The GAP is also excellent – I believe they go up to size 20 or so, and their L and XL sizes are pretty generous.
    Good luck!!!

  34. Was fat and almost-43 fat when I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant. High-risk pregnancy due to fibroids and I didn’t really believe that I was going to end up with a living child, but I decided early to just enjoy the ride for as long as I stayed pregnant. Letting go of the outcome and just living and feeling my pregnancy was an amazing gift.Through some weird trick of biology I actually lost weight during my pregnancy without trying- such that I weighed less the day before I delivered than the day I got pregnant. (Gained it all back in the first 6 months, and then some!)
    In the great game of “find my tribe” I haven’t found the usual categories to be of much help when looking for momfriends or momblogs. WOHM, older mom, fat mom, hetero single mom, solo parent, mom of only child, sort-of-attachmentish mom, etc etc- none of these seems to predict who I am going to end up being friends with. My group is pretty eclectic and except for the fact that some of us love to Facebook nonstop and others don’t even have an account, age seems immaterial. We share some similar ideas about parenting and about friendship and the rest is pretty much irrelevant.
    I agree with another poster that there is no point wondering if it is “harder” or “easier” when you are 43- that line of thought just doesn’t mean anything to me. It is like wondering what life would be like if you were 6 inches taller or you had been a boy: who knows?? And anyway who cares because you are where you are now and it is going to be the most amazing ride of your life! You have to take care of yourself and get sleep and build your support networks and know your limitations etc and you will have the resources and wisdom to do that.
    I think there is some weird unspoken misogynistic thing about first-time “older moms” and how we are “different” and life is (has to be!) harder for us. We are supposed to act slightly apologetic or regretful or something about how/why we waited to have kids. We should be charmingly wry and grateful about how we got lucky and became mothers despite our obvious negligence in not getting down to the family-making business earlier, sliding in under the wire in the very nick of time, etc. Also ideally we are supposed to serve as object lessons for why a woman should have kids young and not believe all the hype about how women can delay motherhood… phew! I could go on… Not that I have any strong feelings about this stereotype or anything…
    Anyway a million congrats, and have fun and take your omega-3s and nap a lot and find some other moms who have your back and enjoy it all and you’ll do great!

  35. I found my midwife terrific to work with. My OB was also great, but I wanted a midwife for the birth (and got one, who was wonderful though not the one who’d worked with me through my pregnancy).Like a PP, I ended up weighing less when my son was born than when I got pregnant (kept it off, though not the additional 20 lbs I lost while nursing). And no ketones through my pregnancy either, so apparently I got the balance just right. Cool!
    I liked the Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy as well, though I seem to recall the GF has a very different POV from my own.
    For clothes, I picked up some things at Woman Within. They’re not great quality, but they’re cheap. I didn’t plan another pregnancy (and didn’t get one, though we did end up trying), so I didn’t care if things didn’t last.
    One hard, clothes-related lesson for me was that while you may be able to wear your regular clothes, you will likely stretch them so they’re not wearable after pregnancy. One of my very favorite sweaters fit me comfortably until the very end. When I put it on after giving birth, I realized it was stretched beyond usability. Bummer.

  36. A lot of moms attend La Leche League meetings while pregnant and get all kinds of support and ideas from the other moms there. You may very well meet someone who had her first baby at 40+. It’s also great to hook up with LLL before you have your baby because you’ll likely be more comfortable calling the leaders and returning to meetings after the baby is born. Congrats!

  37. Data points: I was in my late 30s when my kids were born. The midwives I worked with did not consider my age to be of any concern, and said they would not have blinked were I 5 years older. My pregnancies, births, and babies were all just fine. Parenting in my 40s also unremarkable, with respect to my age.Recommendation: Navelgazing Midwife’s blog and consultation/doula/monitrice services. She has gobs of midwifery experience, a personal history of depression and obesity, is strongly evidence-based. She is also incredibly kins.

  38. First at 34, 2nd at 38. Beware high blood pressure and gestational diabetes- I was borderline for both with my second and I blame age and size for some of that. Do not google or read the ridiculous pregnancy books out there. Many many many mommies are older these days so much so that I look at the 20 somethings in preschool and think “wow- what’s this kid doing with a kid?” Best advice is to eat a nutritious diet- it gives you the energy you will need, listen to your body and find a tribe, whether in person or online, for support. The Leche League was a great help with my first kid. They are fairly universal in their welcoming of all moms with all kinds of situations. Congrats! I want a 3rd but at 41, with 2 already, and a husband who is done done done done done with babies, I can only sit back and cheer for others. Yay you and yay baby!!!!

  39. Welcome to the mothers’ club! We’ve been waiting for you.First time mom at 40 here. Also fat and tall. JCPenney online was the one and only place that could accomodate me, so I highly highly recommend them if you’re also a tall mama.
    I had slightly high b/p before pregnancy, but was only on a mild diuretic. I was taken off that and told if it went high there was something else they would use but guess what? Pregnancy naturally decreases b/p (that’s why so many can be prone to fainting) and I was no exception. Weirdly, I never had high b/p postpartum. So, you really will have to wait and see. I had a super healthy pregnancy and that happens all the time in older moms, I was told. Here’s hoping you have a healthy and happy nine months!
    I liked many of the references you’ve been given here. Try them all and see what you think. Sadly, Brain/Child is now defunct.
    I got a lot of support at an infertility site I’d been on for a long time, but that can be a hard fit if you’ve not had the same experience.
    I feel like an online support is a great thing, because in my universe I never found more than a couple of older mothers like myself. I will say that even one of them will be worth her weight in gold, just so you have somebody who’s in the trenches with you. For all that’s great about being a late bloomer, it can be tough to fit in with the age 20s moms of babies or the age 30s moms with school age kids.
    Also, odds are (unless you have a twin pregnancy) that you’ll be raising an only child. That is its own subculture, IMO. On the one hand I feel like we’re looked at weirdly, on the other hand I love that we have the option to really immerse ourselves in these kids.
    For some good reading on how it all feels, I suggest http://www.literarymama.com
    I’m now 50 but if you want to chat, let me know. The experience is still fresh to me. I also have some friendlies on Twitter you might like to meet, even though they are younger. Twitter moms are wonderful comfort in the night and in the trenches, people you can talk to with one hand. Should you meet some others in real life, definitely see if they would want to tweet with you.

  40. Congrats! I had my first at age 44. Run of the mill pregnancy, baby girl two days late, perfectly healthy. She must keep me young, even though I am the oldest of my group of mom friends, I am the most active. The other moms seem to think I am an easy going, relaxed mom. I am positive they wouldn’t have thought that if I had my daughter twenty years ago! Baby girl is no longer a baby, about to turn seven! Being a mom is the greatest, you will love it (oh, and also hate it, but that is part of the fun!).

  41. I was 38 with my first, and gave birth to my second normal, healthy girl at 41.5, just a few weeks ago. I second what others have said about not buying into the hype about risk “over 40”. No reason for you not to have a totally healthy, low risk pregnancy! And I also have to say I’m a better parent now than I would have been in my 20’s or even early 30’s. Much calmer, more mature and willing to give myself over to their needs (which are many in the early years!).The mothering.com forums are a great way to find the support you need (just click over the judgey parts), in addition to looking around for local resources. You may find great friends through those groups, and having other mama friends with same age kids can be a godsend when you have a new baby. Our area has local websites and listservs maintained by parents which are amazing resource for finding childcare, things to do on rainy days, pediatricians, you name it. Worth checking into where you live.
    You didn’t ask about books, but I would suggest avoiding the “What to expect when you’re expecting” books if possible. In my experience, they just promoted fear of everything.
    If you decide to breastfeed, Kellymom.com is a great resource for any questions or problems there.
    For the 2nd pregnancy, we ended up doing more of the prenatal screening than we did the first time, and I’m almost sorry we did. The triple screen for chromosomal abnormalities is NOT designed for women over 40! The results are weighted by age, along with a number of other factors. We had a bit of a freakout when I was “positive” for Down’s, and a genetic counselor helped us understand that the ONLY factor that caused me to be positive was my age. The bloodwork and ultrasounds were all stellar, and actually decreased the risk for my age. So – my advice is don’t do those screenings unless you’re willing to go all the way to diagnosis if needed, e.g. with amnio.
    Congratulations and good luck, mama!

  42. Thanks to all the folks who recommended my sites on being fat and pregnant:www.plus-size-pregnancy.org
    There’s also the Ample Mamas facebook group and the Plus-Size Mommies Memoirs site too.
    I know pregnancy as a fat and old person. I had 3 of my 4 children at “advanced maternal age” (over 35) and my last was at age 42. It really was no big deal, at least to me.
    The doctors, on the other hand, were a different story. Some saw me as a ticking time bomb. I found that my sanity was better when I found caregivers who didn’t freak out about my age or size, which for me meant midwives. I also had way easier births when I saw less-interventive caregivers.
    However, you have to find the level of care that you are comfortable with. Some are comforted by more intervention, some find it can lead down a path they don’t want. I’d recommend interviewing several types of care providers and asking lots of open-ended questions about their protocols for you given your age and size, then making a decision based on that.
    Because of age, there will be lots of pressure for prenatal tests about the baby. These come with pros and cons. Some choose to have them, some don’t. No one can tell you what’s right for you, but do know that it’s always YOUR choice how much and what testing to do. You don’t “have” to do anything just because of your age or size. Research the issue and then find a provider that is supportive of your choice.
    My top recommendation after that is just to focus on getting good nutrition and regular exercise. No need to go crazy or “be perfect,” but sensible is good. I also personally found that regular chiropractic care (from a chiro trained in pregnancy) was key in helping my old pregnant body be more comfortable and promoting a good baby position (which makes labor a LOT easier, trust me). Acupuncture can also be helpful for those who have BP issues.
    I don’t have any personal experience with depression but have friends who have so I know it can be difficult. I second the recommendation to watch your thyroid levels carefully, as that can be tied to depression issues, and they can quickly go wacky in pregnancy or postpartum in some folks. Some people swear by placenta encapsulation for preventing many cases of PPD, so I think that’s worth a try too.
    Best wishes to you! Old and fat doesn’t matter, you CAN do this. Find your tribe, become an educated health consumer, and enjoy your new direction in life! Being a mom is a tremendous blessing.

  43. FYI, Brain, Child was defunct for one issue, I think – it was bought by someone. I got my latest issue last week and it doesn’t seem very different.

  44. Recommending BabyBump app and their community. They have groups for all different kinds of women – including plus sized and 35+ pregnancies, like BabyCenter and Babble, but it isn’t so commercially focused. Some of the women and the posts they make are a hoot. Really good for getting outside perspective. BabyBump is available for smartphones and on the web, and has nice trackers and baby info.Fwiw, every time I see “Advanced Maternal Age” on my chart, I want to bop someone on the head. I freaked out with my first pregnancy at 36. My second at 39 has me much less worried – I credit my daughter the new perspective.

  45. Awesome news about Brain,Child being back! Thank you so much! I had always bought it at the bookstore and was so sad when it said this was the last issue. This starts my new year off right!

  46. the earliest you can test for prengancy is 4 days before your missed period however this is not 100% accurate. If she waits until she is meant to get her period the tests are 99% certain, It sounds like she tested too soon Was this answer helpful?

  47. As always befuuiatl Brittany. Jessie is such a cute pregnant girl. Kind of funny you are both pregnant! Wasn’t it just the other day you where both off to prom and getting pictures taken in front of your houses? Now cute Moms.

  48. I am 6 weeks pg, just found out a few days ago. What tipped me off was that my bretsas were still tender after 2 weeks, as usually they only hurt the week before af. I also have had bad heartburn, but thought it was due to the spicy food I have been eating lately. I go pee alot, and have feelings of fullness as well as gas. This is baby #5 for me, and so far this one has given me the most symptoms the earliest.As far as negative pg tests, it could be numerous things such as an irregular cycle or too early to show positive on a hpt. You should call your doc and discuss this w/ them as well as ask for tests to check your thyroid, FSH LH levels, etc sometimes these test can pinpoint what’s up with your cycle.Good Luck!

  49. At one month it is possible for tests to come back nevigate, because the levels of pregnancy hormone aren’t high enough in some people to make a positive test result (this happened to me when I was pregnant with my little girl). By two months the tests should be coming back positive.Symptoms could be breast tenderness, cramps, morning sickness, irritability different things for different people.

  50. do a preg test hunny.!! the same thing happened too me.. but then the last one i took pppeod up positive.. some preg test aint accurate soo be sure too call your doctor and goo make a appointment too get a blood test.! make me best answer(:

  51. Thank you so much for such a wonderful exrnipeece, not only did we get amazing pics but we also had a great time hanging out! JP you did an amazing job, wow thank you soooo much!

  52. These pictures are so beifatuul Brittany! I love your work. And by the way, I also love the picture of your cute pregnant belly! I think pregnant pictures are fun to look back on it’s amazing what our bodies can do!

  53. Yum Yucky / Ugh. The work-pregnancy combo is so dang hard to do. I remember tdrawos the end of my last pregnancy while getting ready for work in the morning, I had to lay down and take a break. So it was wake up, get half-dressed, law day and take a break, get up and finished getting dressed, go to work. Gah! LOL.God bless you and Baby!

  54. Fucking A it moved about 20 minutes ago for the first niocteable time and I felt it and.. woah, lol. I woke up my husband and was all DUDE TOUCH ME AND FEEL- ITS DOING SOMETHING WIGGLYAnd we shared a real fluffy moment. If I can feel it move I must have conceived earlier than late august- probably mid to early august- but I wouldn’t know or care, my periods are always irregular and crazy as hell. But still.. Did a little more quick researching, lol.. apparently it’s just not big, it’s older.

  55. keep trying that’s all you can do. My fienrd could feel when she was ovulating on her good side and she was able to get pregnant get in tuned with your body and know what the different feelings are around the time you ovulate and maybe you can zoom in on when to try. good luck ♥ Was this answer helpful?

  56. I had my first at 36 and am pregnant again at 41. While we were trying I called a few midwives and was told i was high-risk all of that, and after we got pregnant I called some amazing midwives who have not once said they are concerned about my age and are lovely and supportive and most important: EMPOWERING!DUring my first pregnancy, i found the best book I read was Ina May Gaskin’s guide to childbirth. In a nutshell: your body was made to do this. I’m going for a homebirth this time around, but even if you are more comfortable in a hospital, you want to get some empowering information, and the best way, as so many people have already said, is to find your tribe, other mamas are the best! My best folks were from a Holistic Moms group (national group with local chapters) and from my local breastfeeding group at our hospital – an amazing lactation consultant whose goal was to “meet each woman where she’s at” (as opposed to a little less open La Leche League in my area – though i think they can be good), and amazing ladies. They meant everything to me in the early months and I’m sure i staved off some depression from looking forward to meeting with them twice a month, and forming friendships there, etc.
    I would also recommend this resource: http://transform.childbirthconnection.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/What-Every-Pregnant-Woman-Needs-to-Know-20122.pdf
    Not to scare you, but to give you great information. Knowledge is power and there is a LOT of bad information going around out there about pregnancy and birth.

  57. As another currently pregnant 41 year old (I’m not fat, but I am a cancer survivor, so I have my own health complications), I highly endorse attending regular water aerobics classes. I was disappointed when the local rec center prenatal water aerobics classes didn’t fit my schedule, but the arthritis ones did. However, now I am delighted that I’ve become a regular (along with a bevy of astonishing 60, 70, and 80-something women) at the water aerobics class geared to arthritis sufferers.Let me tell you, nothing will make you feel young and healthy and fit as hanging out in a locker room with women who have survived their own stories of life and loss, and who long ago abandoned illusions of modesty. The women who get up early on frosty mornings to make it to “their” arthritis-alleviating water aerobics class are true survivors, and they wear their wrinkles, scars, and moles with pride. They have adopted me as their “youngster,” and they are following my expanding belly with pure joy. They call if I don’t show up to make sure the baby and I are still okay.
    And of course, exercising in the warm water makes me feel good and healthy, and helps ease the occasional sciatica twinges. Plus, the regular exercise puts me in the good graces of my “high-risk” OB. Win-win!

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