Delaying Having Kids Is More Normal Than Ever—Here’s What You Should Know

Whether they’re too busy crushing it at work, scaling mountains, waiting to pay off student loans, or waiting until they settle down with a partner, there are tons of reasons women today are waiting longer to become parents. 

Across the U.S., the average age of first-time moms rose to 26.3 years in 2014, up from 24.9 years in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Washington, we’re among a handful of states with the largest increase in average age at first birth from 2000 to 2014.

And in 2016, for the first time, women in their 30s were having more children than those in their 20s, according to preliminary CDC data. This is great for many women’s lifestyles, but it also carries risk, especially for women 35 and older, says Melanie Andersen, M.D., acting professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Washington School of Medicine.

Here’s what you should know about pregnancy after 35, often referred to as “geriatric pregnancy.” (We’ll stick with the less terrible term for it: “advanced maternal age.” Because, for the record, 35 is not old.)

Read the Right as Rain by UW Medicine article