Too Old to Have a Baby?

Women having babies in their thirties and forties is nothing new. For generations, and still in some areas of the world, it was common place for women to have children until menopause. My paternal grandparents both came from very large families. I myself, born well after my older siblings, had older parents. What has changed is what the census bureau refers to as a delayer bloom. The average age for women to begin having children is 29, and the number of women waiting until their thirties is climbing.

Photo by surlygirl (Flickr)

While optimal fertility occurs in a woman’s early twenties and women interested in becoming an egg donor must be between the ages of 21 and 30, new educational and employment opportunities available to women are resulting in later births as a whole.

Women over the age of 35 who become pregnant can look forward to the medical community referring to their pregnancy as a geriatric pregnancy. Statistically speaking, older mothers are more likely to be educated about pregnancy and birth choices than their younger counterparts and have more confidence to stand up for themselves. It’s no wonder the traditional medical community, which forces unneccessary interventions and scoffs at women who come in with birth plans or refuse procedures, has labelled these women high risk.

There isn’t any right age to start or stop a family. Learning about pregnancy, birth, and parenting is beneficial at any age. Loving your child and treating him or her with respect is what matters.