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Call for Submissions: Motherhood Initiative

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40 Weeks at 40
Moms Talk about Pregnancy and Childbirth at Age 40 and Older

Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement is seeking submissions for a planned collection of firsthand, nonfiction narratives about the personal experience of pregnancy, up to and including childbirth, among mothers age 40 and older. A search for a publisher is under way and will not be limited to academic presses, since this collection is meant to serve scholars as well as a wide popular audience.

Writers are encouraged to reflect on emotional health, physiology, community, home and work life, and family relationships. In addition, writers should consider telling stories related to age, gender, cultural perceptions, and surprises that led to learning and personal growth.

Essay topics may include but are not limited to:

Gender Studies perspectives from women pregnant at/after 40
Medical perspectives from doctors, nurses, midwives, technicians, and doulas pregnant at/after 40
Preparation for pregnancy and childbirth after 40
Nutrition while pregnant at/after 40
Yoga and pregnancy (including, e.g., meditation, breathing exercises)
Athletes and physical conditioning (safe sports, regular exercise, even Kegeling, etc.)
Natural childbirth in a clinic or at home (e.g., waterbirthing) at/after 40
Fertility issues (IVF, etc.)
Surprise pregnancies over 40
Lesbian and heterosexual women (gender) and pregnancy at/after 40
Perceptions based on race and ethnicity when a pregnant woman is 40 and older
Perceptions based on class when a pregnant woman is 40 and older
Single motherhood at/after 40
Parenting with a partner who is also at/after 40
Drugs and other interventions during childbirth
Tests (Down syndrome, blood tests, sonograms)
Cesareans and childbirth after cesareans, whether scheduled C-sections or VBAC
Multiple births
Having an "only" child at/after 40
Adding another child to a family at/after 40
Sex and pregnancy/postpartum
Risk of postpartum depression
Respect and disrespect to older pregnant women and older moms
Delivery room politics
"Having it all" and career trajectory
Stay-at-home motherhood, including leaving a career due to parenthood
Legal/political issues and workplace discrimination
Awareness of children's lives that we didn't have at age 20 or 30-choices
Women who had abortions earlier in life and chose to get pregnant again
Women who had to terminate pregnancies at/after 40
Putting off having children due to desire for income, for stability, for right partner

Please send submissions (approx. 1500 words) and queries to ivyfern (at)msn(dot)com or to opdebena(at)plu(dot)edu with "40 MOMS" in subject header. Include complete contact information.

Hard copies may be directed to:
Nathalie op de Beeck, Associate Professor
Department of English
Pacific Lutheran University
227K Hauge Admin. Bldg.
Tacoma, WA 98447-0001

Deadline: July 15, 2011


The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editors are Laura Roberts and Rudri Patel; read their bios here and here.


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