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More U.S. Women Are Having Babies After 30

First Posted: Jan 14, 2016 04:57 PM EST
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More women are having children later in life and as teen pregnancy rates continue to drop, the average age of a first-time mom in the United States has hit 26; it was 25 just 15 years ago.

While it seems like a rather small change, researchers note that the findings push on some pretty big changes, including a wider access to birth control and more women pursuing career opportunities.

"Over the past several decades, the United States continued to have a larger number of first births to older women along with fewer births to mothers under age 20," CDC researchers wrote in the report. "This trend and the more recent uptick in delayed initial childbearing can affect the number of children a typical woman will have in her lifetime, family size, and for the overall population change in the United States."

The information also points on how the percentage of women having their first child between ages 30 and 34 rose to 23 percent in 2014, according to Reuters; that's up from 16.5 percent in 2000. Furthermore, 9.1 percent of women having their first child in 2014 were 35 or older (which is up from 7.4 percent in 2000.)

While women who may conceive later in life are at an increased risk for certain health issues, Dr. Brooke Hodes-Wertz, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University Langone Medical Center, notes that for women between the ages of 30 and 34, the risks are still relatively low. 

"From a fertility aspect, we don't want [women] waiting too long, but for now, this is OK," she said, via Live Science

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