The official site of the book Better Late Than Never Baby - Becoming a Mother Later in Life, written by Serena Kirby.

If you're over age 35 and about to become a mother - this is the book for you.


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Conception Myth-conceptions and fertility over 35

There are plenty of news articles on the risks associated with later life pregnancy and we all know that good news usually takes a back seat.

I talk at length about the myths and misconceptions in regards to medical complications in Better Late Than Never Baby but there is also growing debate (and conception myth-conceptions) over the true fertility levels of women over age 35.

Many women feel pressure from the reproductive clock (or should that be an ‘egg-timer’ – pun intended) having been conditioned to think that they’ll have excessive difficulty getting pregnant it they wait too long.

Truth is, just like statistics on medical complications, many believe the fertility situation is not as dire as you may think. While some older mothers I interviewed for my book did take the IVF road, an overwhelming number did not.  They, like me, fell pregnant the old fashioned way… with sex (unwittingly) at the most fertile time of the month.

The problem with fertility-fear is that much of it is based on out of date statistics. Year after year lazy researchers replicate previously published statistics without checking the date of the studies.

One of the most jaw-dropping examples is a widely repeated statistic that one in three women aged 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying.  As ludicrous as it sounds, the original source of the data was the French birth records from 1670 to 1830.

“What the…?” I hear you say. Yes, crazy I know.

There are many studies out there that show only minor drops in fertility between ages 35-40. In fact a 2004 study found that, if you’re having sex at least twice a week, 82 percent of women in that age group could conceive within a year. This is compared with 86 percent of women aged 27-34. That’s a difference of only four percent.

So if you’re concerned about fertility over 35 statistics, consider this advice:

  • Always look at the date of the statistic’s source.
  • What, if any, were the inclusions or exclusions of factors that effect fertility – weight, previous medical conditions, number of previous children etc.
  • Health is a big factor of fertility and the health of women in the general population is constantly improving. A snapshot of fertility rates as they are today will not show up in studies for several years to come.

Of course…  if you prefer your sex without pregnancy – don’t rely on your age as contraception. Like me, you may get yourself an unexpected better-late-than-never-baby.

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2013-09-09 17:54:15 Reply

Those stats are very interesting. I was very lucky and fell pregnant the first time by accident at age 36 and then planned at 38. Both pregnancies were incident free and deliveries both induced because of being overdue. At no time did I ever consider I couldn’t get pregnant actually! I’m blessed with a girl and a boy who are fit and healthy and an absolute delight. Having children later in life was not a choice of mine but just the way it turned out. I think if I was honest I would say I wish I was a bit younger but then again I don’t consider myself that old either. My twin brother’s wife “accidentally” fell pregnant at the age of 42 after two successful IVF children 9 and 7 years previously and all went exceedingly well. I think everyone is different and what is meant to be will be! Thanks for a great blog and book!

    Serena Kirby

    2013-09-09 18:32:28 Reply

    Hey thanks Kylie. My Mother also fell pregnant at 42 after losing several babies pre-term.So I’m also a ‘happy (yet unexpected) accident’ myself.Yes, younger may have been better for me too but as you say, life has it’s own path. I’m glad you snuck two babies in… I’d hoped mine would have been twins (crazy).


2013-09-09 22:58:04 Reply

Hi Serena, Those stats are interesting! I feel very lucky & blessed as I fell pregnant almost straight away. I had my baby 3 months before turning 45 years old. He was diagnosed with a heart condition (cardiomyopathy) at 32 weeks in utero. Everything has been a big question mark since my son’s birth & unbelievably he keeps getting better! He is almost 5 months old now. I am looking forward to reading your book as there are many thoughts in all directions I have being a much older mum. I have already experienced much! Every day I am so very grateful I have him. Healing with love & laughter. I look forward to further discussions. I have many older girlfriends who hopefully can be inspired to not think it’s too late for them. Staying young at heart!
Kindest regards.

    Serena Kirby

    2013-09-10 08:22:34 Reply

    Oh Ingrid – all the best with your better late than never baby – wow what a journey you too must be on. Do hope things continue to improve and yes – children have an amazing way of keeping you young. Enjoy my book and know that every mother reading your comment will be sending you bundles of best wishes. (me especially)


2013-09-14 08:12:24 Reply

Hi Serena,

How refreshing it was to read this article. Being 38 and not yet have a child nor have not been trying, societies expectations based on these so called stats does put pressure on one self. I do however am concerned about the health of the baby whilst in utero, as they state it’s an older egg, is this true?

Serena Kirby

2013-09-14 09:56:42 Reply

Hi Regina, True the egg may be older but every pregnancy carries risk. Research shows that there are only a handful of complications that are attributed to age alone. Many of these complications are now treatable and most women over 35 deliver healthy babies without complications. The key is to be healthy, not overweight and to find out which – if any- of the possible complications are relevant to you. I, like many of the women I interviewed for my book Better Late Than Never Baby, had a trouble free pregnancy (at 43) that resulted in beautiful, healthy baby. Stay positive and don’t believe all the scary media articles you read. Best wishes – Serena.

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2013-09-30 01:00:09 Reply

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