5 Tips for being supportive to a woman having kids later in life
If your pregnant colleague, family member or friend will be an older mother, rest assured that while there are increased risks, technology has helped with better monitoring. If you are wondering what to do to be a good friend, colleague or family member to someone who is having kids later in life, all you need to do is be supportive.
Below are 5 easy etiquette tips to guide you. Your relative or co-worker is fortunate to that you are thinking of her and are concerned for her.
1. Don’t refer to her as being older
In speaking with someone about her pregnancy, please refrain from mentioning her to be an "older mother" or "having children later in life". Even though she may be well above the average childbearing age, she will certainly be well aware of it herself. It can come across as rude to the listener, even though that is not your intent.
2. Do ask her if there are any doctor’s guidelines of which you should be aware
This can be important if you socialize with her because her pregnancy may affect the types of foods she can eat and activities she can do. Again, stick with rule number 1 when asking her about this. Your concern for her health will make her feel secure and cared-for.
3. Don’t assume that a complication arising in her pregnancy is a result of her age
If your co-worker, friend or family member suffers a pregnancy complication, never suggest to her that this may be due to her being an older mother. Unless you are a physician, you won’t know this for sure, and it will certainly come across as horribly rude. Be supportive and think before speaking!
4. Don’t ask the couple to justify why they are having children later in life
Actually, if you don’t ask, odds are they may tell you later anyway! Remember that the timing of pregnancy is partly up to the couple and partly to chance, but not to please other people’s ideas of what is best for their lives. Working on a stable marriage, prioritizing career goals, meeting a spouse later in life, or having a "bonus baby" can all result in having kids later in life. A thoughtful person should also remember that miscarriages or infertility will delay having children. So stow your curiosity and just be there for the couple! They will be grateful for your undemanding presence.
5. Do remember your pregnant friend is under a doctor’s care
Your role isn’t to provide medical advice about the risks of having kids later in life… that is the doctor’s job – and chances are, your pregnant relative, co-worker or friend has already done her own research too. Your role is simply to be there for her and to enjoy her impending motherhood (see, it’s easy!) She will appreciate your excitement and interest.
There are many health risks to any pregnancy, and these risks include older maternal age. However, unlike many behavior-related health risks, getting older isn’t something which can simply be stopped at will! Use these etiquette tips to focus on being positive and happy for a pregnant friend, family member or colleague, no matter what age. In turn, rest assured that the pregnant person will be thrilled to find such a thoughtful and caring person on her support team.