Source: The San Francisco Examiner
By Sara Gaiser
October 20, 2011
There is a trend amongst women and men to delay the decision on child birth until after careers have been established. San Francisco Examiner reporter, Sara Gaiser, covered this story.
From the story:
San Francisco offers an extreme example of the trend, with a higher percentage of older mothers than both the state and the nation — and those numbers are growing rapidly. The number of mothers ages 36 and up giving birth each year has increased 75 percent over the past 15 years in The City, even as total births increased only 3.2 percent, according to state data.
California, meanwhile, saw a 25 percent increase in births to older mothers during that period, while total births actually declined 6.2 percent.
"Women past 35 are more likely to have trouble getting pregnant, and those who become pregnant are more likely to experience complications. Premature births, low birth weights and genetic conditions including Down syndrome are also more common in the children of older mothers," said Dr. Jeannette Lager (right), an obstetrician and assistant professor at UC San Francisco.
However, Lager said that while the list of potential problems is daunting, the older mothers she sees tend to be healthy and usually have healthy pregnancies.
"They tend to be better educated, have more financial stability and maturity, and they know how to access resources very well," Lager said. "All of those things really make a big difference."
"Men have always been able to postpone parenthood to later in life than women. And while pregnancy and childbirth have greater risks for older women and their offspring, research has found few issues linked to advanced paternal age," said Dr. Lager.
Read the complete story at the San Francisco Examiner website.