Recent preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that in 2016, for the first time in three decades, birth rates among women aged 30 to 34 surpassed those among women aged 25 to 29 in the United States.
The average age that women are having their first child is currently at around 28 years of age, up from 26.4 in 2015, and 26.3 in 2014. Experts often focus on average or mean maternal age due to the birth outcomes that are associated with the age of the mother, such as multiple births and congenital disabilities.
Studies report that people may delay parenthood until 35 or older for a number of reasons.
These reasons include women reaching higher education levels, establishing their career, improved methods of contraception, social and cultural shifts that have left women feeling not ready to have children, lack of childcare, low benefit levels, inflexible workplace policies, economic or housing uncertainty, and unemployment.
Another reason why women are going through pregnancy later in life could be down to improved fertility options, such as IVF.
Pregnant women over the age of 35 and having their first baby have been termed as being advanced maternal age (AMA) or older mothers, or they are being referred to as an elderly primigravida or elderly primipara. The terms “advanced age” and “elderly” have negative connotations for someone of just 35 years. Are these terms unfounded, or does being over 35 pose a serious risk for the mother and baby?
Risks of delaying pregnancy until age 35 years or older
Everyone is aware of the ticking of the biological clock, but does your 35th birthday represent a particularly special milestone in biology? Do you hit 35 and suddenly become “high risk” overnight?
Women are delivering healthy babies throughout their 30s and beyond. The age of 35 is simply an age that certain risksbecome more worthy of discussion.
While these risks become slightly more likely after hitting 35 years old, this does not mean that they will have a significant impact on everyone in their mid-thirties and older.