Sharon Munroe is a wife and mother of three. The last thing she wanted was a label because she had children later in life.
However, one label her doctor’s office gave her was “high risk.” She found that other women were in the same boat.
“I had my son at age 40. At 41, I decided to have more children,” Sharon said. “Unfortunately that often is very scary for women whether or not they have risks.”
Sharon fought back by starting a nonprofit called the Advanced Maternal Age Project. It includes a website designed for older moms with questions or concerns.
“Women write in with their stories. We interview women,” Sharon said. “We share information from experts.”
Fertility specialist Dr. Natalie Burger says there are positives to being an older mom, like life experience and financial stability, but there are real health risks after age of 35.
"Doctors are doing a good job informing patients about all the risks of being an older mom, but they a lot of times, aren’t hearing the positives like the values of being an older mom,” Burger said. “Fertility does go down as you get older. Not everyone will have the opportunity of using their own eggs. They might have to open up as to how they’re going to have their family.”
For Sharon, her family is complete. Her advice to older moms to be is to know yourself and stay strong.
“Because women have had children after 35 or 40 for thousands of years,” she said.
The Advanced Maternal Age Project will hold a seminar Sept. 21 in Austin. Click here for more information.