Better Late Than Never Baby – Becoming a Mother Later in Life


Author: Kirby, Serena
ISBN: 978-0-9875365-2-5
Formats available: Paperback edition or eBook edition
Category: Reference

$22.99

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The number of Australian women having a baby later in life has tripled in the past 30 years and births to women over 40 have doubled in the past decade. Later life mothers are also the fastest growing demographic in Britain and the US and one quarter of Australian women who have a baby later, are doing so for the very first time. Serena’s own Better Late Than Never Baby (a son) was born when she was 43. This book shares the story of the incredible odds he defied to get here and the unimaginable adventure that mid-life motherhood created.
If you’re about to become an older mother or in a position to support a new mid-life mum, this is the book for you.
Thought-provoking and with splashes of humour, this invaluable resource covers a range of topics and tackles some questions that are highly relevant to later life mothers .
• How will my age impact on my pregnancy and my baby?
• Are all the medical risks relevant to me?
• Will I find it harder to adjust?
• What can I expect regarding fatigue and how can I reduce it?
• Does my child need a sibling?
• What about the MAD (Mature Age Dad)?
This book is extensively researched, filled with valuable contributions from other older mothers, and brimming with practical, fresh and insightful advice.

  1. This book will be of tremendous value to you... Review by Larissa Jepsen, New Zealand.
    Star rating

    Better Late Than Never Baby is a book that needed to be written. In my role as a Parent Educator I am seeing an increasing number of later-in-life Mums. Surprisingly though, this expanding demographic has generated little acknowledgement from society. Unlike other groups, such as Teenage Mothers, Single Mothers, Mothers of Multiples (twins, triplets etc.) who are all openly acknowledged and discussed, older mothers are not.
    Serena breaks this silence. And does so with respect, humour and the wisdom one can only gain from personal experience. An experience she has courageously retold – warts and all.
    This book will be of tremendous value to you if you are, or are about to become, a later-in-life mother. I also feel it will be beneficial if you are in a position of personal or professional support to an older mother. It has increased my understanding of this group enormously, from the factual statistics to the emotional aspects involved.
    A highly enjoyable and informative read.
    Larissa Jepsen, Creator of Help A Mum (facebook community), Parent Educator and mother of three, New Zealand.
    (Posted on 23/10/13)

  2. ... the real value in Serena’s work is her upfront account of becoming a mum. Review by Dr Joan Garvan PhD, Doctor of Philosophy ANU
    Star rating

    “In many ways Better Late than Never Baby is a self-help book as Serena talks about the health and wellbeing issues associated with later life motherhood. She cites a universal experience of fatigue, and talks about having an only child, as well as the mature aged dad. But, for me the real value in Serena’s work is her upfront account of becoming a mum. Her book fits into an ever-expanding body of work on the maternal that have sprung from the 1970s classic by Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born.”
    Dr Joan Garvan PhD, Doctor of Philosophy ANU and first time mother at 42. (Posted on 16/09/13)

  3. Thank you Serena for filling a niche with your informative and successful debut. Review by Fiona Gilbert
    Star rating

    About time! Or is it Better Late Than Never? Thank you Serena for filling a niche with your informative and successful debut. Older mothers all over the world will thank you. Easy to read, complicated subjects made easy, well researched, heartfelt and honest. As a paediatric health professional I meet many older mothers and their babies. I know I will be a better advocate for them after reading this book. I will be recommending this informative, highly enjoyable book to not only older mothers and fathers but all mothers and health professionals.
    Fiona Gilbert Registered Nurse, South Australia
    (Posted on 3/09/13)

  4. We are proud to have Better Late Than Never Baby on our list of Recommended Books. Review by Sharon Munroe
    Star rating

    A great read! Serena Kirby has written an up-to-date reference book on some of the top issues we face as older mothers. In an easily digestible format, she covers many key topics with a bit of humour, including some areas not covered in many books: the “only child” and things to consider as many AMA moms do have one child; the mature-age dad and implications for the family since few of us are married to young men; and understanding fatigue, a common ground issue that many of us share, and some advice on overcoming it.
    Most importantly, Serena is on the same wavelength as our Project: asking readers to consider “what really is the level of risk (in pregnancy) when it comes to you” and supporting them with “…you are not alone (and having a child means you rarely are).”
    We are proud to have Better Late Than Never Baby on our list of Recommended Books.
    Sharon Munroe, first-time mother at 40, Founder of The Advanced Maternal Age Project, Texas, USA
    (Posted on 28/08/13)

  5. I lent my copy of your book to a woman...made a real impact apparently. Review by Nicole Mynott
    Star rating

    “I lent my copy of your book to a woman which she finished the day before she gave birth. I saw her at hospital in early labour, coincidently I was there with my daughter who was unwell, when she came in to give birth. She stopped to thank me for the book, made a real impact apparently. It felt good to have shared.”
    Nicole Mynott (Better Late Than Never Baby book researcher)
    (Posted on 20/08/13)

  6. ...and it felt as though you were talking about me. Review by C. Brown, first time mum at 42.
    Star rating

    "I'm currently reading your book which I came across purely by chance. I was sitting in my car having a huge cry, having just dropped my two year old off at daycare. As I sobbed, I turned on the radio and heard you being interviewed about the book – and it felt as though you were talking about me.

    What has resonated with me so far about your book is what you've said about how different it is being an older Mum; how the person you most rely on is often not there i.e. your own Mum, how you and others assume that your life experience will make you cope better, how it impacts on your relationship when your partner is also older."

    C. Brown, first time mum at 42.
    (Posted on 16/08/13)

  7. Helpful, frank and motivational Review by Kylie
    Star rating

    I’m not yet a mother and, to be honest, I was a little nervous at the thought of becoming an older mother. However, Serena’s helpful, frank and motivational book, has helped me to realise that being an older mother is not something to fear but something to embrace.
    Kylie P, hoping-to-be-a-mother, aged 34. (Posted on 7/06/13)

  8. I thought the mix of personal experience, summarised research and signposts... Review by Pip Brennan, Manager of Community Midwifery WA,
    Star rating

    I heard Serena present at the Australian College of Midwives Conference - and knew that I just had to get hold of some copies of the book for our lending library. I couldn't resist reading it over the weekend so one of the library copies is going to be slightly pre-loved before being put on our library shelves! I thought the mix of personal experience, summarised research and signposts for where to go to get more information or help will greatly benefit mums out there. Serena is also a passionate speaker and can really reach the people she is speaking to. There is such a need for this discussion about support after baby is born and how we are going to navigate this biggest of all life's rites of passage.
    Pip Brennan, Manager of Community Midwifery WA, (not for profit -dedicated to community awareness about choices in childbirth, pregnancy classes and post natal support.)
    (Posted on 6/05/13)

  9. Loved this book! Review by Oona Mansour
    Star rating

    “Serena has a way of expressing her experiences that left me with
    new insights and understanding. Loved this book!”
    Oona Mansour, mother of two, Denmark, Western Australia.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  10. Am only at page 17 and am so into this book. Review by Jane, first-time mother at 42
    Star rating

    “Am only at page 17 and am so into this book. Have to say – your
    world… my world…so similar – scary!”
    Jane, first-time mother at 42, Perth, Western Australia.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  11. ...generously shares her experiences and the years of research... Review by Jennie Fitzhardinge
    Star rating

    “Serena Kirby knows what it is to go through the tsunami of change
    that is late-life motherhood. She generously shares her experiences
    and the years of research she put into understanding the unique
    challenges that older mothers face. By the time I’d finished this
    book, I had a long list of friends I thought would also benefit from
    reading it.”
    Jennie Fitzhardinge, Counsellor, Western Australia.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  12. You turn facts and stats into an interesting and worthwhile read. Review by Sophie Madden
    Star rating

    “You turn facts and stats into an interesting and worthwhile read.
    Thank you for sharing your story and your research.”
    Sophie Madden, first-time mother at 39, Adelaide, South
    Australia.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  13. I feel like I’m reading MY story me I’m not alone. Review by Gina
    Star rating

    “Have only just started to read your book but felt compelled to
    email. I feel like I’m reading MY story. I feel like I’m reading MY story
    me I’m not alone.”
    Gina, Perth, Western Australia.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  14. ...the real delight of the book is the humour that ties together the cold hard realities and the joys and triumphs of the parents. Review by Dr Ruth McConigley, RN, PhD.
    Star rating

    “I loved this book. Its strength is the combination of the intensely
    personal and the facts and figures presented from the evidence
    base in the area. The stories of the author and the many parents
    she interviewed add an authenticity to the book that otherwise
    presents the current knowledge about being an older parent. But
    the real delight of the book is the humour that ties together the
    cold hard realities and the joys and triumphs of the parents. A must
    read for all older mothers and fathers too.”
    Dr Ruth McConigley, RN, PhD.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  15. Full of truth and dare. Balanced by humour and just enough information to make this a very useful read. Review by Kay Winton, Research Administration Manager, Sydney University.
    Star rating

    “Brave, raw, and thought-provoking for any woman thinking about
    starting a family later in life. Full of truth and dare. Balanced by
    humour and just enough information to make this a very useful read.
    I will be recommending this as a must-read to my own daughter and
    others contemplating the parenting journey.”
    Kay Winton, Research Administration Manager, Sydney University.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  16. Just loved this book and it was very informative. Review by Suzanne C
    Star rating

    “I’m 43 with a 19-month-old and want another but not sure my old
    body or my new husband will cope! Just loved this book and it was
    very informative. Finished it at midnight, just couldn’t put it down.
    All the best for the future with your gorgeous son.”
    Suzanne C, Perth, Western Australia.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)

  17. Reading Serena’s book was like having a conversation with a very good friend. Review by Dr Ravani Duggan, RM, RN, PhD
    Star rating

    “Reading Serena’s book was like having a conversation with a very
    good friend. Its light-hearted approach to a serious subject made
    it an easy read, allowing one to reflect on one’s own experience
    through a more humorous lens. I became a mother for the first time
    a month shy of my 42nd birthday and could relate to much of the
    book, and often felt validated while reading it.
    As a midwife, academic and researcher, I could see that a lot of
    work went into producing this book and found that it was very
    well supported by evidence. Information is presented to the reader
    in a way that allows for informed decision-making. Serena makes
    suggestions based on evidence as opposed to providing instructions
    that need to be adhered to. It strongly conveys to the reader that
    flexibility, and doing what suits the individual, is paramount.
    What the book also does well is bring out the gaps in knowledge
    that currently exist around childbearing later in the reproductive
    period and is therefore an excellent read for any researcher interested
    in this area.
    This book is a must for older women who are childbearing, and
    their support network, as it will allow all involved to understand
    what is happening or may happen and to put strategies in place to
    diminish some of the negative aspects of the experience.
    I also recommend it to health care professionals caring for
    such women, and their families, as it provides a view to the ‘lived
    experience’ as well as points you in the direction of evidence to
    support the care you provide.”
    Dr Ravani Duggan, RM, RN, PhD. First-time mother at (nearly) 42.
    (Posted on 17/04/13)


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Serena Kirby

Serena Kirby is a freelance writer who defied the fertility-odds to become a first time mum at age 43. The conception was natural, the birth surgical and the mothering challenging.

Serena’s previous work has included articles on a wide range of topics, from lifestyle and design to business and human interest. Her work has been published in newspapers around Australia as well as in national and international magazines.

For nearly five years she also wrote a highly successful, true-life column for Western Australia’s highest circulation publication – the RAC magazine.

Serena is also a qualified Education Support worker who assists little (and bigger) people to learn and grow.

She currently lives in Denmark, Western Australia with her 7-year-old son who she co-operatively co-parents with her ex-husband.

This is her first book.

  1. Better Late Than Never Baby – Becoming a Mother Later in Life


    Author: Kirby, Serena
    ISBN: 978-0-9875365-2-5
    Formats available: Paperback edition or eBook edition
    Category: Reference

    Learn More
  2. Better Late Than Never Baby – Becoming a Mother Later in Life eBook


    Author: Kirby, Serena
    ISBN: 978-0-9875365-0-1
    Formats available: Paperback edition or eBook edition
    Category: Reference

    Learn More