CDC study shows more women are having babies after 40
More women than ever are embracing the fact they have the option to have a life before having kids. A recent National Vital Statistics Report supplied by the CDC tells us more women 40 or older are having babies than ever before, which is sure to put the mind of many women at ease.
This upswing shows that two percent more women ages 40 and 44 are having babies, which appears to be a steady trend over the last several decades. The most likely culprit for the shift is more women being given the opportunity to advance in the workplace, which hasn’t always been the case. Three cheers for the fight for gender equality!
There’s also something to be said for the number of celebrities who are post-40 moms as well. Tina Fey was 41 when she had her daughter. Halle Barry was 47 when she gave birth to her second child and Gwen Stefani was 44 when she brought her third kid into the world. Many of us feel camaraderie with those in the public eye and seeing strong, successful women pull off motherhood well into their 40s may let the rest of us know that we can do it, too.
Whether you’re a celebrity-phile or not, one thing is certain: Women aren’t at the mercy of their biological clock anymore. Your great aunt Bessie needs to calm her tits — just because you’re 32 and nowhere close to wanting children doesn’t mean anything these days. Society is finally realizing that women waiting until well into their 30s and 40s to have kids is perfectly ok.
Thanks to that societal shift and Science, which has brought us many fertility treatments that mitigate the effects of age on a woman’s reproductive system, women no longer feel they have to stop what they’re doing at 30 to start a family. The clock may still be ticking, but it’s a lot more faint than it was even 10 years ago. While it’s true that a woman’s fertility begins to wane at 30, and after 40 there’s an increase in miscarriages and complications, that doesn’t mean it’s over for good by any means.
It comes down to the fact that women now feel like they have a choice. Society used to impress on those of us blessed with a uterus the importance of getting married and popping out kids and having the Normal Rockwell family before they reached their 30th birthday. And now? Screw Norman Rockwell and his pastel color palette. This is 2016 and women are doing things their way.
Women want to work on their careers first. They want to travel. They want to do things on their bucket list before they even feel the need for a bucket list. According to this study, women are making it happen now more than ever. Whether it’s by having what doctors call a “geriatric pregnancy” or by using IVF if their body isn’t cranking out eggs the way it used to, or them having the foresight to freeze some of those eggs for use at a later date, women are now reveling in the fact that they can live their life before dramatically altering it by having kids.
While it used to be a stigma – my mom was 42 when she gave birth to me and my twin sister so my own upbringing can attest to that – it’s pretty awesome that more and more women are doing what they want to do in the order of which they want to do it. You may have a friend in her 40s whose kid is filling out college applications while your kid is filling up diapers, but it’s not the norm anymore. If a woman wants to spend a few years in Europe or work her ass off and build a career for an extra decade before starting a family, she totally can and the societal backlash won’t be nearly as strong. Plus, when it is time to have a family, she can do it on her terms and most likely alongside someone at Mommy & Me who took the same longer road to motherhood.
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