Monday, May 20, 2013

Smoker kate Garraway tells women to be aware of fertility drop

Apparently Kate Garroway didn't mind being made up to look like a pregnant seventy year old because she thinks it will help women be more aware that fertility dips as you get older. No, really.
here she is in the campaign photo for GetBritainFertile which wants women to think about having children eralier rather than when they have run out of the energy needed to run around after the kids.

GetBritainFertile is a campaign by the pregnancy test manufacturer first response and the poster is fueled by the kind of misogyny we see in women hating press like the Daily Mail. Although first response claim this is a campaign aimed at men and women there is no corresponding male poster and from what I can gather the questions they asked on the yougove poll (which annoyingly I can't find) were geared towards asking people how they felt about older motherhood, not older parenthood. Apparently 70% of over 55 year olds who were questioned "opposed and [are] uncomfortable with the idea of women having babies at 40".  Apparently it's the increased risk of health problems for mother and child that makes them uncomfortable, yet statistically these risks are still small.

Ms Garraway has been interviewed several times by the Daily Mail in recent years, mostly talking about having kids as an older woman. In her most recent she says
‘I had my second child at 42 and never questioned at the time that it might be too old’ she says. ‘But I do look back now and realise that leaving pregnancy late can be a risky bet as diminishing fertility can stack the odds against you. 'That’s why I agreed to become Ambassador to the campaign - I want to alert women to start thinking about their fertility at a younger age than our generation did. They should get prepared and make informed choices early so there is no chance of sleepwalking into infertility.’

Previously she has talked about wanting four children, then just wanting a third, then the realisation that her fertility had dwindled making another one almost impossible. I can't help but wonder if her regret at not starting a family earlier has somehow powered this drive to educate feckless career women? She claims to have empathy for those who are unable to conceive without help yet clearly she was able to fall pregnant fairly easily, twice. So now she has fallen into that trap of wanting to tell other women to get a move on, to not leave it too late. ... and all because she was unable to have a third child at 45? Maybe her intentions are good but no one wants a mother of two children lecturing them on how hard it is to get pregnant.

I absolutely agree that it is worth being aware of fertility and how age can effect it, my own story of 'unexplained infertility' and IVF shows that it is not always easy to get pregnant when you are older. However I don't think this kind of poster sends out a positive message, it just screams out that 40+ mothers are old and knackered and bad. Of course no one is asking Kate Garroway how she felt her smoking before and during pregnancy might have effected her fertility and the health of her children.

Here's a blog about it.

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