Objective: to explore the experiences of Taiwanese women who become pregnant for the first time after the age of 35 years. Design, setting and participants: a phenomenological method was used to collect data by interviews. This study was undertaken in a 1600-bed university hospital in southern Taiwan, with a purposive sampling of 10 first-time pregnant women aged 35-44 years. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed to develop data categories. Findings: participants amply demonstrated that the core experience was 'jubilant apprehension' (Yu-Shee-Zhun-Ben in Mandarin). Five subcategories were expressed among pregnant women over 35 years of age. These were 'surprise and worry about childbirth outcomes;' 'embarrassment about being outside the societal age norm for pregnancy;' 'ambivalence about impending lifestyle changes;' 'loneliness and lack of support;' and 'concern about the safety of pregnancy and childbirth'. Conclusion and implications for practice: although pregnancy was a pleasant surprise for these women, they were concerned that their childbearing was beyond the social expectation for their age. We highlight new aspects of midwifery professionalism that should address the childbearing experience of women over 35 years of age, and provide a basis for care of this group.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by a grant from the National Science Council, Taiwan Republic of China (NSC 89-2320-B37-040).
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Lived experience
- Older women