BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Research from the CDC shows women are delaying childbirth into their thirties or older. The number of women having their first child after 35 continues to rise, according to the CDC.
“Older and older and Women even in their mid 40’s even have delayed child bearing,” Dr. Maria Corigliano, OB/GYN and part-owner at Audobon Women’s Medical Associates in Williamsville, said.
It’s a different story than the past when women had babies in their early to mid twenties. Now, according to the CDC, the number of older women having their first child continues to rise over the past four decades. In 2012, nine times as many women 35 years or older had their first child compared to four decades earlier.
It’s a trend Dr. Corigliano said she sees with her own patients.
“Now 35, 38, it’s not unusual to start your family,” she said.
So why are women waiting? A report from the CDC shows women who wait are more likely to have more resources, including better incomes.
“When I first got married, even though I was 25, I still felt like a kid,” Elizabeth Waddell, a mother of three, said.
Waddell waited almost five years to have her first child when she was 29-years-old. She said she owned a ballet studio and was busy with work.
“I wanted to get that established more and become stable in my profession,” Waddell said.
Dr. Corigliano said she also waited to have her first child until she was 30. She was busy with her residency after years of school.
“I probably would have waited two more years until I thought, ‘maybe I should have a baby,’” she said.
Still, Dr. Corigliano warns there are some health risks for women and babies as women get older. Older moms are at a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and C-section. Babies are also more likely to be born premature, and it could also take longer for women to get pregnant.
“After 30, it’s more difficult to get pregnant. After 35 it’s even more difficult,” Dr. Corigliano said.
She said it gets harder from there, but it is possible. Elizabeth Waddell had her third child when she was 42.
“I was really nervous when I got pregnant. I said. ‘oh, no. Something is going to be wrong.’ My doctor said, ‘Oh my gosh, women are having babies at 45 and even older now.’”
Besides careers, women said there are other benefits of waiting, like being more mature and spending more time as a couple.
“Years ago people would get married to have kids. Now people get married for love and have kids after,” Waddell said.
Dr. Corigliano said staying healthy is key to having a baby at an older age. She also said how fertile you are at a certain age is different for every woman. You can meet with a fertility specialist to talk about your options.