Number of 'older' women having babies continues to grow

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  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 1, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    If we all waited until we were proficient (supposed or actually) at something before doing it nothing would get done.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Aug. 1, 2012 5:33 a.m.

    I had children in my 20s and then one at 42. I don't know if it's experience or age, but I am so much better at mothering the last child who is a teen now. I'm calmer, less concerned about "finding myself". I'm more aware of what's important to her and what she needs. I'm less controlling and hysterical. I'm more aware that what I'm doing to raise her is important. An older mom is more in touch with what a miracle it is to have a child. I took it for granted when I was young.
    There are adjustments. I can't stay up until she gets home from dates, but I set an alarm and wake up when she should be home.
    Raising children in my 20s and 30s made an adult of ME; raising this last one in my 50s (gasp) is a pleasure.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 31, 2012 9:40 p.m.

    scojos, I was a grandmother at age 39, and a great grandmother at age 63. By the time I was a great grandmother, I had taught school for about a quarter-century, had many kinds of writing jobs, raised four children, had a bunch of grandchildren (but haven't raised any of them), and none of that seemed creepy. Maybe I just wasn't in tune to creepiness.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 31, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    There are many physical demands on parents, and I'm glad I have merely had those demands placed on me as a grandmother (rather than mom) in my 40s. I am totally supportive of mothers who have babies much later, but I don't think it is good to wait that long if there is a choice. Emotional demands have a wearing effect too.

  • scojos Draper, UT
    July 30, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    The new findings come from a comparison of reported autism cases in California to state singleton birth records from 1990 to 1999. Over that time, there were about 5 million births and more than 12,000 autism cases.

    The results:

    Women over age 40 are 77% more likely than women under age 25 to have a child with autism.
    Women over age 40 are 51% more likely than women aged 25-29 to have a child with autism.
    Women aged 35-39 are 31% more likely than women aged 25-29 to have a child with autism.
    Women aged 30-34 are 12% more likely than women aged 25-29 to have a child with autism.
    Women under age 25 are 14% less likely than women aged 25-29 to have a child with autism.

  • katiefrankie Tualatin, OR
    July 28, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    Whenever I get the chance to be a mom, I'll be "older" - I'm turning 30 this next month and have not been blessed with children, despite being married for enough time to have one or two little ones. Life takes strange turns and I didn't expect to hit my third decade of life childless. This article gives me hope for the future, while RockOn's comments, which I'm sure were meant well, only give me stress. I don't think the author meant to banish 20-somethings to sterility and cheer on 40-something first-time procreation, but those of us without babies of our own yet could use all the hope we can get.

    A 40-year-old grandmother? That's just creepy.

  • MegTaylor DRAPER, UT
    July 28, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    I'm not an older mom (I'll be 30 by the time baby #3 arrives) but I've been around both younger and older parents (and my dad was 36 when I was born). My observations (which should be taken with a grain of salt!) are that yes, younger moms have more physical energy. However, I live in a wealthier community (without my own personal wealth, alas!) and many of the younger SAHM moms I've encountered stock their kids' schedules (four weekly classes for their 4-year-olds) so they can reclaim time to go to the gym and have social hour with their girlfriends. They also seem permanently attached to iPhones and their Facebook accounts. The few older moms I know aren't as energetic, but they seem more in tune with their kids--and less concerned with their bodies or their social media contacts. And they do seem more patient than us younger moms. That being said, there are many younger moms that give parenting their all. But older moms seem to better resist the pressure of social media and the lure of that mystical pre-baby body (which will never return--not after three kids!!!).

  • Aspen1713 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 28, 2012 1:09 p.m.

    Rock On - just because you and your spouse had kids young does not make you an expert on the optimal age to have kids. My dad was an "older" dad and guess what? He may not have wanted to "rough house" with us like a 35 year old, but he had more free time and was less stressed because he'd already established his career before he had his first kid.

    Who are you to say that choosing (or being forced by circumstances) to have kids older is selfish or irresponsible? Personally I think it's a bit irresponsible to have a kid that you can't adequately provide for because you wanted to be a "young" parent.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    [And while you may like it, a 15 year old boy with a 55 or 60 year old Dad won't get the physical contact with his father that a 35 to 40 year old Dad will have. At 55, we get tired sooner. And a 75 year old first time grandpa/ma... no comparison to a 40 year old grandparent.]

    Phsical contact? What do you even mean by that? Like wrestling around? Many fathers don't do that with their children regardless of age.

    A father can be engaged in many ways, not just "physical contact", whatever that means, I'm still not sure. I've known many of what you would obviously consider "older" fathers, and I would make the argument that they make superior fathers at that age. They are more stable, less reckless, and more sure of themselves. They're less likely to make the sudden lifestyle changes that younger men are prone to make, and should be able to make at that age. It's better to know who you are and what you want out of life before you have kids, rather than dragging them through that process.

    You really have no idea what you're talking about.

  • laurenruthie Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    Rock On: "It's nothing to crow about and nothing to make like it is now the new normal."

    I think this statement is simply wrong. I am a single 32-yr-old woman, never married, LDS even, and I am the normal in SLC. There are thousands of us. We're not single and childless because of selfishness, or free-thinking views. We never planned for it to be this way, but have discovered it is the new normal, because we're far from alone. We are women who will make incredible mothers, and have the dream to be mothers. Now, we are thinking (and MUST think) outside of the box, to find hope in having and raising children at an older age. For the benefit of society and community, everyone should understand this and join with us, because we will be the best kind of mothers, and our children are this countries future. Later marriage rates, later parenthood--this is statewide, and countrywide. It is the new normal. To think otherwise is ignorance. The most incredible mothers will be older mothers. We need to be looking at the best ways to make this work for everyones sake.

  • jill17 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Rock on, i disagree. As a 32 year old woman who wants children, but hasn't found mr. Right ...this article gave me hope,but also filld me with concerns--ones that I was aware of, and now, moreso than ever. the article said there were pro's and cons, and then went on to explain the pro's and cons, with real life experiences given by women who explained their happiness,and hardships.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    July 28, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    One other angle not discussed or ignored, was the effects on the child of a new mother at 40 who will not likely have any more children. An "only" child isn't a great thing. Having siblings is good for many reasons. Parents who have children for themselves short-change the child.

    Again, so long as older parents are the quirky part of the stats, that's fine. But those comments about "40 is the new 20" are idealistic and absurd. For a country, that would be the death knell. It would produce a nation of vastly shrinking population as any demographer will tell you, when the average # of children per family drops below 2.3, recession is 20 years away. Ultimately the country will cease to exist. In addition, having a generation without the accessible wisdom of grandparents loses its cultural memory.

    As a last resort, it's good to see a woman be able to successfully have a child at 40, but it is nothing to crow about and nothing to make like it is now the new normal.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    July 28, 2012 8:10 a.m.

    Anything wrong with a woman in her late 30's and her 40's having a child? No. But, is it ideal? You make it sound like it's the new way to live. Yes, have the child, but don't delude anyone into thinking that's where society is headed. Its a poor overall choice. Those who have held off having a child earlier then when they could seem to be the epitome of the "me generation."

    Not talking about ladies who never found the right guy. That's an exception.

    But those who hold off having children to have their career, their fun, their "me time" for 20 years, are playing with fire. As a woman gets older her eggs become far more likely to have a child with such birth defects as Downs Syndrome.

    And while you may like it, a 15 year old boy with a 55 or 60 year old Dad won't get the physical contact with his father that a 35 to 40 year old Dad will have. At 55, we get tired sooner. And a 75 year old first time grandpa/ma... no comparison to a 40 year old grandparent.

  • Caprice PROVIDENCE, UT
    July 28, 2012 2:59 a.m.

    I love this article! I was 43 when I gave birth my last child. He is perfect! Now that he's 22, I can look back and say that my life would have never been complete without him. He has brought me more joy that I can put into words. He was worth any price I had to pay to get him here. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.