Author: Bettina Gordon-Wayne

Review by Sheila Lamb

As the book title and subtitle suggest, this book is about becoming a mother for the first time when you’re older; over forty to be precise. The author herself had her first child at forty-four and it was whilst feeding her newborn son that she Googled ‘Older mothers’ and found that all the results were from fertility clinics about how they help women in their late thirties and forties get pregnant.

She couldn’t believe it was only her who had a healthy baby naturally in her forties. Could she be that lucky? So, she made it her mission to find out if there were other women, which there certainly were, and that’s how she came to write this book. She wanted to add a new perspective to a topic that is maybe more common and natural than we are led to believe.


Bettina has been a journalist for over twenty-five years, and using her skills she interviewed a number of women who also got pregnant naturally between the ages of forty and forty-six.

As well as their stories, Bettina also explores the connection between the mind: (which either supports or hinders your body), body: (which needs to be nurtured and well attended to long before conception) and spirit: (trusting in divine timing and relinquishing control in order to receive the miracle).

She also refers to the expertise of several holistic health practitioners, such as Claudia Spahr, Alisa Vittie and Aimee Raupp. Bettina doesn’t condone fertility treatment – this book started life as a collection of stories from women who had also become mothers through ART, surrogacy and adoption.


You don’t have to be approaching your forties to benefit from the advice and thoughts in The Joy of Later Motherhood, as it’s a great resource for anyone who wants to have a family, regardless how that may happen.

It wouldn’t hurt to read it even before you’re thinking of trying – call it pre-conception reading, but at the very least, six to nine months before starting on your journey to motherhood.


Review by Sheila Lamb, author of the This is series of fertility books, and My Fertility Book: all the fertility and infertility explanations you will ever need, from A to Z