Woman hits back at trolls after being mum-shamed for having baby at 45 years old
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Featured Image Credit: TikTok / pattiaveryschmidt
*Content warning: Discussion of infertility and miscarriage.*
A mum-of-four has spoken out after being criticised online for giving birth at the age of 45.
Influencer Patti Avery Schmidt has four children - three sons who she gave birth to in her 20s and a daughter she gave birth to when she was 45 years old.
Schmidt has faced trolling online for giving birth to her daughter later on in her life, however, she's swiftly hit back at one comment in particular and defended becoming a mum for the fourth time in her 40s.
In a video posted to her TikTok on 30 August, Schmidt responded to a comment she received about her and her daughter on another of her videos.
The comment read: "When she's 20 you'll be 60 that's so sad."
Schmidt corrected the TikToker, noting she was 'actually 45 when [her] daughter was born, not 40' before going on to 'address some of the common criticisms that older moms sometimes get'.
She continued: "First of all, women having babies in their forties isn't a new thing. Childbearing years span decades so why this is shocking to some people is beyond me. I know so many older moms, both now and when I was growing up.
"One of the most common criticisms that I see online is that it's not fair to have children in your forties because those children won't have as much time with you as they would it you had them when you were younger.
"The truth is nobody knows how much time they have but let's say for the sake of the argument we all get the same number of years and we all expire on the same exact day, does that mean we owe it to the next generation to give birth as young as possible?"
Schmidt went on to note 'not everyone is ready or willing' to have a child when they're younger, either in their teens or 20s and some people prefer to wait to find the 'right partner', become 'financially stable' or 'reach other goals first'.
The mum also broached the topic of infertility, raising awareness of secondary infertility by opening up about her experiences suffering multiple miscarriages in her 30s, meaning her plans to have her last child in her 30s didn't quite work out.
"The most carefully laid plans can be completely out of our control and it's mind-boggling to me that anyone can think a child has more or less right to exist based on the age of her mother," she added.
Schmidt reflected on concerns surrounding 'the increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities with advancing maternal age' but emphasised how small the increase of risk is.
"I had a greater than 97 percent chance of having a baby with typical chromosomes who was perfectly healthy," she said.
The mum-of-four also shot down the notion older mums have 'less energy'.
"I've had babies both in my 20s and in my 40s and this hasn't been true for me, and I really believe that whole there are genetic factors that are out of our control, our overall fitness and lifestyle choices have more to do with our mental and physical health than our age does," Schmidt concluded.
If you are worried about infertility, you can visit the NHS site for more information here. Or for free, impartial support, call Fertility Network UK on 0121 323 5025 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or 07816 086694 on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 4pm.