The Link Between Age and Pregnancy
Wed, April 21, 2021

The Link Between Age and Pregnancy

Becoming a mother has always been one of the biggest milestones for women. However, according to the New York Times, a new analysis of four decades of births shows that the age that women become mothers varies significantly by geography and education / Photo by: ferli via 123RF

 

Becoming a mother has always been one of the biggest milestones for women. However, according to the New York Times, a new analysis of four decades of births shows that the age that women become mothers varies significantly by geography and education. 

As a result, children are born into very different family situations and diverging economic futures. This determines whether they would grow up in the path of a well-off individual or paved for hardship and strife. Aside from this, couples have to consider other factors when having children and determining the best age for pregnancy.

Ages of Women Who Have Babies

As mentioned by the New York Times' Quoctrung Bui and Claire Cain Miller, ages of first-time mothers in 1980 and in 2016 have shifted from a younger range of 18 to 24 years old to a much broader and older age of giving birth between 20 to 32 years old, respectively. More than this, first-time mothers are said to be older in big cities and on the coasts, but younger in rural areas of the Great Plains and the South. Specifically, in New York and San Francisco, their average age is 31 and 32 years old, but in South Dakota and Texas, it is half a generation younger at 20 and 21 years old. Since 1985, nearly all instances of births were five years younger, as found in a study conducted for the New York Times by Caitlin Myers, an economist who studies reproductive policy.

What was noted in the study is that the similarities in age of births and pregnancies are the same distinctions as those that divide the country in terms of education, wherein women with college degrees have children an average of 7 years later or 30.3 years old compared to those without a college degree, or at an average of 23.8 years old. This is attributed to their using the extra years to build a career and gather financial resources before settling down and giving birth. People with a higher socioeconomic status have potentially more things to do instead of just being a parent. College was found to be a stronger factor than geography or home prices in collecting similar data showing actions and attitudes towards the age for having a child. In Minneapolis, the typical home costs $259,000 compared to the average house in Brooklyn at $788,000, but the difference in the average age of first-birth for college-educated women is just one year. States with the oldest first-time mothers include San Francisco with college-educated mothers giving birth at 33.4 years old, and 32.9 years old for those in New York.

The Best Age to Get Pregnant

There are many factors to consider when building a family, getting married, and having children. This includes the committment to teaching future kids and raising them, with the age that women give birth being an indicator of the kind of background they come from with certain limitations. 

Before having kids, many women ask whether there is ever a right time to get pregnant considering factors such as fertility and chances of actually having a baby. According to Your Fertility, an Australia-based online information portal about fertility and reproductive health, the chances of having a child are much higher in women younger than 35 years old, and men younger than 40. Biologically, as men and women age, the chances of having children decrease but vary specifically among individuals. Even if there are individuals who are able to have healthy babies in their 30s and 40s, for others, the baby may have higher chances of developing diseases or abnormalities. Across populations, women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of having a child than older people in natural pregnancies and assisted reproduction such as in-vitro fertilization. 

There are many factors to consider when building a family, getting married, and having children. This includes the committment to teaching future kids and raising them, with the age that women give birth being an indicator of the kind of background they come from with certain limitations / Photo by: Tatyana Tomsickova via 123RF

 

Age is known to affect eggs and sperm, with younger women having more and healthier eggs than older women. In the same way, men have more active and better quality sperm than older men. Women are already born with all the eggs they will ever have. As they age, the eggs also age and their number and quality reduce. Men make millions of new sperm every day, but older men have fewer healthy sperm than younger men. But, the amount of semen or fluid that contains sperm and sperm motility, the ability of the sperm to move towards an egg, decrease as the person grows older.

For individuals and couples alike, there are many reasons to start a family, as well as many reasons getting in the way of being able to. Sometimes, it’s just not the right time to have a baby. Some people find themselves getting pregnant later in life, even if it is more difficult. What matters is that they are prepared for and want the child that arrives.