Women Having Babies Younger

02.05.09 New U.S. figures see drop in median age of first-time moms


New federal statistics are pointing to more younger women saying "yes" to motherhood, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The National Center for Health Statistics found that the average age at which women have their first babies saw a decline, the first time since the U.S. government started tracking. Moms' mean age at their first childbirth fell to 25.0 years in 2006 (the most recent figures available), from 25.2 in 2005. Women 20 to 24 years old led the shift, with an increase in the rate of first births, the Journal reports.

The study cites a trend in younger women becoming more aware of the importance of age when it comes to their fertility. The study's co-author notes it's the first time the age has ever gone down, and "certainly that's noteworthy."

There is no perfect age to have a baby. Read through our look at what a woman can gain and what you give up with a pregnancy in your 20s, 30s and 40s. It seems like only yesterday that experts were talking about the midlife baby boom, or the later-in-life pregnancy. Remember, becoming a mom can still be cool when you're over 40.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.