U.S. women delay mother as never before since the median age of women in the U.S. to have their first baby has spiked to 26 in 2015, a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. CDC researchers believe that the changes are mainly caused by fewer young women that decide to have a baby in their teen years.
Nevertheless, many older working women wait longer to become mother than their mothers and grandmothers did. T.J. Mathews, lead author of the research and a CDC investigator, said that the average age of first-time mothers hit an unprecedented level – 26 years old, which is four months more from the 214 levels.
CDC investigators noted that the findings mark a huge difference from the 1970s when the average age was around 21. The team found that teh average age increased steadily since then and had an abrupt rise in the past five years.
Study authors believe that the current situation is due to a 1973 ruling of the nation’s high court which has legalized abortion, a birth control method used by single and teen moms. Better oral contraceptives and other birth control opportunities for U.S. women also delayed the age of their motherhood.
John Santelli, a professor at Columbia University who was not involved in the CDC investigation explained that U.S. women along with their counterparts in other developed countries usually delay motherhood because they go to school, have a job and wait to get married to have children. Santelli noted that this farem of mind first emerged in teh U.S. in the 1950s.
CDC researchers also found that women delay motherhood regardless of their race or ethnicity. The report revealed that the most notable changes were observed in black women and white women from the West Coast since 2000.
But the highest age of first-time moms was reported by Northeastern states. Women in District of Columbia and Massachusetts have their first baby at the mean age of 29, while in New York and Connecticut they do it at the average age of 28.
In Brooklyn, for instance, it is fairly common to see mothers in their 30s with small children. Meisha Welch, 42, recalls that she had her first baby at the age of 38. And many of her friends did the same.
Welch acknowledged that 38 was considered an old age to have your first child, but she noted that this is slowly becoming a general trend in her community.
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