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As we face into the summer months and it’s time to get outdoors, we get that opportunity to spend more time with our families, in particular, our children. Living a healthy lifestyle let’s us do more, be more active and enjoy what life has to offer. But have you noticed that first time parents generally seem to be getting older?
According to the CSO’s statistics in 2015 the average age for new mothers was 32.5 with this rising to just over 34.2 by 2018. Furthermore, women are having fewer babies with a decrease in family sizes of 12.8% over the last decade. Data reveals that over half of new mothers are between the ages of 30 and 39, accounting for almost 56.2% and an additional 4.3% are over 40.
Well for a start, the trend toward older parenthood is looking like it’s set to continue due to the myriad of societal pressures we are under. There are more risks involved with pregnancy and birth as maternal age rises.
The reasons that are given include; more women wishing to achieve higher levels of education, greater career advances, improved methods of contraception and a shift in social and cultural attitudes towards religious beliefs, lack of affordable childcare, lower benefit levels, inflexible workplace policies and the current economic climate in relation to housing and unemployment. Life in general is more stressful, not withstanding the additional pressures associated with childbirth.
From a medical perspective, pregnant women over the age of 35, and the number is growing, are termed as AMA or advanced maternal age and they are being referred to as elderly. This alone has its own negative connotations, but the truth is that they are more serious risks for both mother and baby.
Some of these include:
However, despite the risks associated, most women aged 35 and older will have a normal pregnancy with very few birth complications, and go on to deliver a healthy baby. Having older parents for the new baby can also have its own benefits as well.
We have dealt with what you need to do to stay fitter and more relaxed in a previous article, so why shouldn’t starting a family when you are older be just as exciting?