Friday, February 29, 2008

No similiar warning is given to men even though risk of autism has seen a six-fold increase due to fatherhood over 40

Taken from butterfly-like network

motherhood later by kati at katalinlovasz dot net.
February 28th, 2008 by LK
Women over forty are having more and more babies in Britain, writes the Guardian (via Jezebel). Conception rates are rising among women and even men are increasingly becoming fathers at a later age. By contrast, a month ago the (also British) Independent wrote about how women should worry sooner than they do about their biological clock because trying for motherhood at a later age comes with all kinds of risks, complications, possible infertility, and all kinds of misery because women wait too long.

I’m going to believe the optimistic story, personally… And here’s why: the Independent’s report includes a couple of sentences about fatherhood at a later age also posing risks, such as a six-fold increase in autism among children of fathers over 40 (incidentally, the mother’s age is not a factor in an increased risk of autism). Yet this tidbit is conveniently buried in the report, and the only conclusion drawn is that women really need to start worrying about their age. In a deeply sexist move, no similar warning is given to men, even though, according to the article, older fatherhood also poses risks. Sexism has never struck me as particularly objective and I’m tired of the fear-mongering, especially given that, in reality, I don’t think people have as much choice as they like to think about when they have children.
In other news, my own older-woman’s-pregnancy (I’m 35) is progressing, albeit in a somewhat painful way: a few days ago Baby Girl found a way to position herself so that her head rests on a round ligament on my left side and what feels like one of her knees on a round ligament on my right side. Round ligaments are sensitive and having a head and a knee be supported by them is, shall we say, not the most pleasant sensation for me. Yet she seems to feel this is the perfect position for her, and when I manage to massage her into moving to a different spot, within minutes she settles herself right back. Preferably with a few well-placed kicks against my ribs, but I don’t mind those.

My pelvis is a cradle, literally.

I do have to confess I’m using this as an excuse to rest… instead of unpacking the dishes and books still in boxes after the move.

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