Stats up for women over 40 having first child

Stats up for women over 40 having first child

It may seem uncommon for a woman in her 40s to be giving birth to her first child, but over the past four decades a study by the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) proves it’s not so uncommon.

The NVSS found that the birth rate for first-time moms between the ages of 40 and 44 doubled between 1990 and 2012. Among the U.S., 46 states, including D.C., saw a large growth in first-time births for women ages 35 to 39 and for those between 40 and 44-years-old rates increased in 31 states and D.C. in the last 14 years.

The study revealed that women of these ages typically have higher income jobs, have already completed schooling and overall are more mature with a steadier support system.

Although these are all positive attributes of older child-bearing, experts say there are still health risks that women need to be aware of. According to the Southern California Center for Reproductive Medicine (SCCRM), women over 45 have a one percent chance of conception, and have a 50 percent miscarriage rate.

The birth abnormality rate is about one in 1,200 in your 20s, one in 600 in your 30s, and jumps to about one in 12 by the age of 45, according to the SCCRM. This can result in conditions that range from smaller birth sizes to Down syndrome.

Women only have about 2 percent of their eggs by the age of 45, so many women may turn to donor eggs if trying to have a child later in life.

Dr. Ian Jasenof, obstetrician/gynecologist with Advocate Medical Group in Glenview, Illinois, says that he’s definitely seeing a higher rate of women with pregnancy above the age of 40.

“Aside from the increased abnormal chromosomal risk, they will have a higher risk of preeclampsia, growth restriction issues and preterm delivery,” he says. “But for the most part, the majority of the patients can expect a healthy outcome!”

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  1. ANGELA REYNOSO May 19, 2014 at 1:25 pm · Reply


  2. Great story with interesting stats!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.