As more women than ever before wait until later in life to get pregnant, the dated term “geriatric pregnancy” seems unfit to describe any person over the age of 35 who decided they want to have a baby. Fortunately, stars like the model and author Chrissy Teigen are shining a light on a phrase that women are still hearing at their OB-GYN appointments.
Teigen isn’t going to wait for society to catch up to modernity, and instead, she plans to combat the term so that no one ever feels inadequacy or guilt for simply wanting to conceive later in life.
After Seeing a Moving Video, Chrissy Teigen Shared It with Her Fans to Open a Dialogue About Older Women Who Still Desire Pregnancy.
In early March, Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter to share a touching video that she had discovered on the Peanut App of a woman named Tricia Bowden. The hopeful woman described having her feelings dashed following a visit to her doctor.
The doctor told Bowden that because she was 35-years-old, that her pregnancy would medically be considered “geriatric” and thus would be categorized as a high-risk pregnancy.
“I just can’t help but feel really guilty and inadequate right now and that I’m lacking as a woman because I decided to pursue the things I love and build my career,” Bowden said of waiting until later to have a baby.
As a 35-year-old mother of two herself, who had recently lost her 2020 pregnancy and with it, son Jack, Teigen naturally feels passionate about the issue.
“A huge reason I have spoken about my personal experiences publicly was the immense need to destigmatize the way we talk about all stages of motherhood,” Teigen said in a press release she shared with Yahoo!
“When I saw the woman sharing her own story on Peanut, it made me realize so many women everywhere are made to feel shame or undermined just like I did, and that has got to stop. I’m so hopeful with this new project we are working on, and I can’t wait to see real change come from it.”
Yahoo! reports that the Peanut glossary will be called Renaming Revolution and its goal is to find new terms for not only “geriatric pregnancy” but also “barren woman” and “biological clock,” which can be harmful to women, especially those who are trying to conceive at any age. Bravo to Peanut!
Bowden continues to speak out today and advocate for women, CafeMom reports. She has a son and she is trying to conceive another baby after a miscarriage, so it’s no surprise why her doctor’s appointment was acutely difficult for her to process.
“For me, it goes back to the discouragement women have faced historically and the impact it has had on us,” Bowden told the outlet.
“I believe that you are the words you speak and think. The more we hear other people use these terms when speaking about ourselves the more we think it, even if subconsciously … these words become part of us and how we define ourselves and interpret the world around us. When these words are outdated and have negative connotations it brings us down.”
Amen! Thanks to Tricia Bowden and Peanut and now, Chrissy Teigen, for their advocacy around these issues. While there is a medical case to be made about using caution with a pregnancy that occurs after the age of 35, better language should be employed to discuss it. 35 is hardly “old” these days and doctors and other health care providers must accommodate the changing landscape to better address the needs of their patients.
You go, Chrissy!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
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