The ages of first-time mothers in the United States are going up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in a new report.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showed that the average age of women who have their first baby rose from 24.9 to 26.3 between year 2000 and 2014.
In the report, the researchers suggested that the increase in age may be due to two factors: an increase in the percentage of women who have their first baby after the age of thirty, and a decrease in the percentage of women who have their first child before the age of twenty. The report was published on Thursday (Jan. 14).
According to the report, the percentage of first-time mothers under the age of twenty decreased from twenty-tree percent in 2000 to approximately thirteen percent in 2014.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report also found that the percentage of women who have their first birth between the ages of thirty and thirty-four increased from almost seventeen percent in 2000, to twenty-one percent in 2014.
About seven percent of women older than thirty-five were first-time mothers in 2000, compared with nine percent in 2014, the report stated.
Dr. Brooke Hodes-Wertz, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at New York University Langone Medical Center, said that as women continue to pursue professional goals, this pattern is likely to continue in years to come.
Currently, there are also more options when it comes to having children at a later age, such as freezing ones eggs, according to Dr. Hodes-Wertz.
Older women suffer a decline in fertility – meaning that the quality of a woman’s eggs goes down – which is why it may be more difficult for them to get pregnant naturally. This decline is more visible in women older than thirty-five, rather than in women ages thirty to thirty-four, Hodes-Wertz said.
The risk of gestational diabetes, miscarriage, and high blood pressure during pregnancy also increase with age. According to Dr. Hodes-Wertz, these conditions may cause preterm deliveries, as well as other complications. Chromosomal abnormalities in the baby are also more likely to occur when the mother is older than thirty-five, she added.
That being said, women in the age group of thirty to thirty-four are still in the low-risk category, Dr. Hodes-Wertz said. However, from a fertility aspect, women should not wait too long before having their first child, Hodes-Wertz stated.
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