Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

More U.S. Women Having Kids in Their 30s and 40s

Meanwhile, births among teens and women in early 20s fall to historic lows

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- More women are waiting until later in life to have children, U.S. health officials reported Friday.

The birth rate for women in their 30s and early 40s rose in 2012, even as birth rates for teenagers and young adults declined to record lows, according to figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rise in the number of births to older women was not surprising to Dr. Edward McCabe, chief medical officer for the March of Dimes.

"If we just look at our anecdotal experience with women who are friends and colleagues, we know a lot of women are delaying birth until later in life," McCabe said.

Preterm births fell in 2012, as they have done since 2006, the CDC reported. This news comes during the 10th anniversary of the March of Dimes' campaign to reduce preterm births, McCabe said.

"Back in 2003, it was quite lonely because it seemed like rising prematurity [was] one of those intractable problems," he said, noting this is the sixth consecutive year that the preterm rate has decreased.

There were about the same overall number of births in 2012 as the year before -- 3.95 million -- arresting a decline in the United States birth rate that had occurred between 2007 and 2011.

Birth rates for women aged 30 to 34 increased by 1 percent in 2012 to about 97 births per 1,000 women, while the birth rate for women aged 35 to 39 increased by 2 percent to about 48 births per 1,000 women.

The birth rate for women aged 40 to 44 also increased by 1 percent, to 10.4 births per 1,000 women.

McCabe said the trend toward having children later in life is somewhat troubling, given that the risk of birth defects, autism and other childhood disorders increases with maternal age.

"It's something we want to follow," he said. "It's important for women to know the risks for certain birth defects and risks for preterm birth may increase with age. It's important for women to be knowledgeable about those risks, to the extent they plan their pregnancies and get a pre-conception health assessment so they go into a pregnancy as healthy as possible."

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy