"Doing it properly": the experience of first mothering over 35 years

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Carolan-Olah, Mary ORCID: 0000-0001-5908-9685 (2005) "Doing it properly": the experience of first mothering over 35 years. Health Care for Women International, 26 (9). pp. 764-787. ISSN 0739-9332


First mothering over 35 years is an increasing phenomenon in developed countries, and this “greying” of maternity raises some interesting questions and dilemmas for clinical care. In a qualitative study conducted in Melbourne, Australia, the motherhood experiences of 22 primiparous women were explored. Participant age ranged from 35 to 48 years. Women were interviewed over three junctures: at 35–38 weeks gestation, 10–14 days postpartum, and 8 months postpartum. Becoming a mother was found to occur in a temporally ordered sequence, with clear markers at 1–4 weeks, 1–4 months, 4–6 months, and 6–8 months. Themes that emerged from the analysis included the project “doing it properly,” vulnerability, “finding my own way,” and “being older.” The continuing and increasing trend of primiparity older than 35 years makes this account of interest globally. Findings from this study offer an alternative explanation of early mothering over 35 years and offers direction to health professionals for easing early motherhood experiences for this growing group of childbearing women.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1740
DOI 10.1080/07399330500230987
Official URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0739933...
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1110 Nursing
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Keywords maternal support; motherhood experiences; childbearing; maternal maturity; maternal age; maternal maladjustment; postnatal depression
Citations in Scopus 65 - View on Scopus
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