Ladies are no longer feeling the pressure to have kids before they are ready, or the pressure to feel prepared for that matter. In previous decades, women felt compelled to have children due to ticking biological clocks and societal norms. Today that has changed.
Recent data reflects that the average age of women having children has increased, and there is some interesting information to support the patterns that are emerging. Research from the Pew Research Center shows that the average age women have children has gone up from 21 in 1994 to 26 as of 2016.
Increases in Later Motherhood
It turns out, women in their thirties are having more babies than younger moms in the United States. Lifestyle influences seem to be at the heart of this change, and these changes are not occurring exclusively in the U.S. The average age for having children in Australia is 31. Salary, education, and technology all impact women’s decisions.
Factors like Education
The New York Times reports that women with college degrees have children an average of seven years later than women who do not. While geography and the price of living are factors, education is a bigger one. In metropolitan areas, despite the cost of living, the average age among college graduates is comparable.
Women are prioritizing higher education before deciding to have children. The median age for a woman with a master’s degree is 30, 28 for a bachelor’s degree, and 24 for those who completed high school or less. A sociologist of the University of Maryland states, “The more each hour of a woman’s time is worth, the more reason there is not to have a child right now.” Women are carrying more monetary value than before.
However, there is a significant influence when it comes to geographic location and how it relates to average age. According to the New York Times, younger averages are reported in rural areas, while bigger cities and coastlines tend to have older.
In major cities like New York City and San Francisco, averages are approximately ten years higher than places like Todd County, Texas. Differences in upbringing and social beliefs about abortion are said to be related.
So, Is Waiting Safe?
Aside from education and socioeconomic information, women are becoming more confident in holding off their plans to start a family for benefits. While financial stability is a factor, waiting may also be more beneficial psychologically. Having a child later allows room for experience and emotional preparedness.
Breaking the Stigma
Besides, risks and stigmas of having a baby over 30 have shifted. With the advancement of technology, complications are less likely, and there is more assistance than ever before. The rise of fertility treatments, genetic testing, and abortion have all played a role.
Coinciding with abortion, fewer teen births are occurring, leaving populations more susceptible to having a choice than previous generations.
Stigmas about waiting are being bulldozed by women that are doing it successfully and healthily. A 2015 study conducted by the University of California challenges that, in fact, women who undergo childbirth after 35 are more likely to live to age 95 in comparison to those who finished having children before 30.
Even with new data that supports the idea that it is perfectly healthy to have babies over 30, there are still some inherent risks. Increased risk of high blood pressure, congenital disabilities, trouble during labor, gestational diabetes, and miscarriage are to be expected. Though, these are not the majority of cases.
With careful attention and planning, having a healthy baby over the age of thirty is possible without complication. The most important factor is your health and ensuring that you’re aware of the facts.