Older mothers are the latest trend in the United States, according to recent government statistics.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reports that birth rates in the United States are at a record low, yet the birth rates for women ages 40 and up are the highest they’ve ever been.
Women over the age of 40 giving birth has become increasingly common since the 1980s as birth rates have decreased for women in their 20s and 30s. Although the “ideal childbearing years” are generally understood to be between the ages of 20-35, more women are choosing to put off starting a family until later in life.
The gradual rise of the feminist movement has encouraged women to focus on their own lives and careers during their 20s and 30s. Coupled with the advancements and discoveries made in the field of fertility treatments, these two factors has have enabled women to wait until later in their lives to conceive.
In addition to the pregnancy rates of women in their 20s and 30s dropping, teen pregnancy has also seen a drastic decrease over the last 30 years. In 2016, roughly 56,000 teenage girls became pregnant, which is a significant improvement when compared to the 113,330 teenage girls who became pregnant in 1990.
In modern society, young women simply don’t have time to start a family. More women are delaying parenthood to instead focus on completing their education or succeeding in their chosen careers. According to USA Today, many young women claim that they are not financially or emotionally ready to support a dependant.
Women are also putting off finding love. Youth is the perfect time to be selfish. More young women than ever before are choosing travel over marriage and freedom over commitment, which is a perfectly understandable decision considering the complicated dating culture our society entails.
Many women are choosing to forgo finding a partner altogether as fertility technology has made family planning for singles more accessible than ever before.
Women are also finding inspiration in celebrities who choose to delay childbearing. For instance, Janet Jackson recently gave birth at the age of 50.
Despite all of the reasons to delay childbearing, there are some biological limitations that women must consider. The chances of becoming pregnant decreases substantially after age 37, and the chances of complications and birth defects increase around that time as well.
Even though giving birth later in life is popular and possible, many medical professionals advise against it. Women are being socially empowered to do whatever they desire, yet unfortunately there are many medical reasons as to why delayed childbearing may not be effective. Pregnancy and fertility are different for everyone, which is why individuals should contact their doctor when planning for the future.
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