Older mums, new attacks
Here we go again. A male doctor is telling women what to with their bodies and when to have their babies.
Dr Barry Walters, an obstetrician at Perth’s King Edward Memorial Hospital, told The West Australian:
“I see many, many women with diabetes, high blood pressure and all sorts of medical problems and, of course, the older the woman is, the more likely she’s got medical problems,” he said.
“The medical side is only part of it. It is selfish and self-centred of older women to have babies because they are not just babies – they are babies for a little while and they become people.”
“[Their children] are starting out in life, having a family, working, getting mortgages and have to deal with geriatric parents,” he said. “It’s just not fair.”
Don’t hold back, Doc.
What the good doctor fails to recognise is that there are often extraneous circumstances surrounding a woman falling pregnant. And this is where most women taken exception to his argument.
Many more of us would be falling pregnant earlier if more men willing to do their side of the baby-making heavy lifting.
I spoke about this very issue here.
Thing is, some women would like to start a family much, much sooner, but factors including multiple miscarriages, unexplained infertility, even not finding the right man all play a part.
“I don’t consider myself selfish or self-centered in having had children at 46,” says Marisa, now 50, a mother of twin toddlers who also has two adult children. “Before I even got pregnant, I made sure my health was at the best possible. I had a perfect pregnancy and had healthy twin girls, who keep me young, on my toes and on the go, and I can keep up with them. My girls will not be needing to worry about looking after their mummy as I’m sure that my 16-years-younger husband will!”
Adds Karen, 37, “My mother had my brothers when she was in her late teens, and me at 37. By the time I came along my parents had done the hard yards and were in a sound financial situation. My mother was able to be a stay at home mum and I have a much stronger bond with her simply because she was always physically and emotionally present. I’m a huge advocate of having children later in life! Now, as a 37 year old woman I am finally ready to have a child of my own, something that was the furthest thing from my mind 10 years ago.”
Some of the women I interviewed for this piece also brought up a very valid point: the fact that [some] men linger in relationships, refuse to commit, then run – fast – when serious baby chat comes up.
Meanwhile, the woman has ‘lost’ valuable baby-making years, perhaps scrambles to meet a more suitable partner, and hopes to fall pregnant.
That metaphorical clicking clock is certainly no myth. By her mid to late thirties – for some women – it’s deafening.
Dr Walters also blasted some intro-vitro fertilisation practitioners for enabling older women to get pregnant, calling them “unethical and money-grabbing.”
Way to go, Doc. Make women even crapper for failing to become pregnant when they really wanted to. Perhaps he’d do better addressing his comments to his own gender. Does anyone ask men why so many aren’t committing to having children earlier than they are?
Do you think the doctor was out of line – or does he make some valid points?