As the number of older mothers has risen, younger women have become less likely to bear children. Younger women are still much more likely to have babies than older women, but birthrates sank to record lows among teens and women in their early 20s in 2011, the data show.

Some older mothers say they were too restless to have children as young women. Others said they hadn’t found Mr. Right or were absorbed in careers that allowed little time for family.

Older motherhood is hardly unprecedented: Forty somethings were likely to bear children in the 1940s and ’50s, as many women had the last of their three, four or more children in middle age. As the baby boom petered out and birth control expanded in the late 1960s and ’70s, the numbers plummeted.

But motherhood among forty somethings has rebounded, this time driven by women who chose to put off having children.


Nurse Alice Benjamin is a nationally board certified Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialist with over 15 years experience in cardiovascular health. She’s also appeared on a variety of radio shows across the nation as a health expert from Fox News affiliate radio stations, to the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and Los Angeles radio stations KJLH, KDAY and KTLK. Follow Alice Benjamin on Twitter @AskNurseAlice.

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