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Too Old to Be a Mom?

The issues.

All in Good Time

Indeed, some doctors say they are reassured by the stability of older parents. "They've made a conscious decision to have a baby," says William Gilbert, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. "That's very reassuring to me, as opposed to younger parents who haven't grown up themselves."

"Older parents are also better established financially," he says. "Biologically, we should have babies in our early 20s, but emotionally and financially, we should be older."

Older moms, to no surprise, tend to agree. "You don't know if you'll live to see your grandchildren, and that's kind of sad, but that's where we are," says mother and physician Nancy Pelzig, MD, of Nyack, N.Y., who had her first baby at 42 and a second at 46. "Overall, it's just such a blessing, you think, 'Why didn't I do this sooner?' "

"I'm in no way belittling younger parents," says Hemenway, "but I think I am much wiser and more equipped to raise a child now than I would have been in my 30s."

Karin Evans is a journalist, older mom, and the author of the recently released nonfiction book, The Lost Daughters of China: Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past (Penguin/Putnam).

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