Chief Medical Officer highlights 'worrying' trend of delayed pregnancies
The average age for a British mother giving birth is 30, the highest figure in the world
Friday 17 January 2014
The trend for many women to choose delaying motherhood is 'worrying', warns England's Chief Medical Officer.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, who stressed she was not telling women what they should do, said people appeared to believe it was possible to have children in later life, but this was not always the case.
Professor Davies, 64, had two children when she was in her 40s, but said she was “lucky”.
The average age for a British mother giving birth is 30, the highest figure in the world.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has previously advised women who want to have children to so between the ages of 20 and 35.
Professor Davies told a group of health practitioners yesterday that the number of women delaying pregnancy was a “worrying issue”, The Daily Telegraph reported.
“The steady shift to have children later, there are issues with that. We all assume we can have children later but actually we may not be able to,” she said, adding: “It's not for me to tell women what to do.”
She said it was well known that a woman's fertility declines with age. “As couples we have to face that,” she said.
Professor Davies was also concerned that “many more women” were “choosing not to have children”.
Patrick O'Brien, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said the average age of motherhood had been rising steadily for years.
“In my experience it is usually because women want to get an education, maybe travel and get established in their careers before they think about starting a family and often don't appreciate the difficulties that can mean,” he said.
“Quite often we will see businesswomen of 42 or 43 who will think that with IVF they can easily have a baby, whereas really success rates are very low for women using their own eggs.”
He added that women in their late 30s and early 40s had higher rates of miscarriage, foetal abnormalities and health problems that can affect childbirth.
However, Natika Halil, a spokesman for the Family Planning Association, said: “Fertility doesn't just disappear overnight. While women should be mindful, let's not panic - you don't wake up at 34 and suddenly discover you can't have kids. There are a myriad of reasons why women can't conceive, it's not always linked to age.”
Life & Style blogs
Men in crop tops seem to be trending thanks to Kid Cudi, the social media and the catwalk
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Greggs Google fail: bakery chain falls afoul of search engine's algorithms with 'unofficial' logo
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Is this the end of apps? New research says a third of us don't bother to download
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...
£35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: One of the best known and most pr...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Linux, SQL Se...