Birthrates 'Treble' For Older Mothers

Figures have shown that the number of births to older mothers has trebled in the past 20 years.

In 2009, figures for England and Wales show that 26,976 babies were born to women aged 40 and over, compared to 9,336 in 1989 and 14,252 in 1999.

Among those aged 35 to 39 there were 114,288 births in 2009, a rise of 41% on the 81,281 in 1999.

Published by the Office for National Statistics, the data showed a 3% drop in the number of births.

The typical age for a first-time mother rose to 29.4 in 2009, compared with 29.3 in 2008 and 28.4 in 1999.

In 2008, the birth rate for women under 35 had fallen. There was a 2.3% drop among women under 20, from 26 births per 1,000 women in 2008 to 25.4 in 2009.

Rates for women aged 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 fell by 1.6% and 1.4% respectively, while for women aged 30 to 34 there was a 0.4% decline.

However rates for women aged 35 to 39 and 40 to 44 continued to rise in 2009, by 1.2% and 2.4% respectively.

On average, woman had 1.95 children each in 2009, down from 1.97 children the previous year.

The study also showed that the proportion of births to mothers born outside the UK continued to rise, from 24.1% in 2008 to 24.7% in 2009.

Deputy General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, Louise Silverton, commented that the decline in the birth rate was "a tiny morsel of good news".

She continued: "The birth rate has gone up by 19% since 2001 yet the number of midwives has risen by only 11% over the same period.

"The figures also mask the fact that an increasing number of births are becoming more complicated, requiring more of midwives' time.

"This very small decrease in the birth rate should not be used as an excuse to stop or reduce the promised rise in the number of midwives."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 February 2004
UK sees 20% increase in multiple births over 10 years
Mothers are having 20% more multiple births than they were a decade ago, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Statistics have revealed that in 2002, the multiple birth rate was 15 per 1,000 women giving birth, compared with 12.5 in 1992.
19 September 2013
Mother Denies Manslaughter Of Son Found Starved To Death
A 43-year-old woman has been charged with the manslaughter of her son, whose body was found in his cot almost two years after he had died. The mummified body of Hamzah Khan was found at his family home in Bradford, West Yorkshire in September 2011, having laid in a cot in his mother's bedroom for 21 months after his death.
03 December 2014
Home Births Best For Mothers - NICE
More women are being urged to give birth at home or at midwife-led units rather than traditional labour wards. In updated guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) evidence shows that midwife-led care is safer than hospital care for women having a straightforward, low risk, pregnancy.
13 May 2014
Nice Suggests More Midwife-Led Home Births
Women who are healthy and experiencing a 'straight forward' (low risk) pregnancy should be encouraged to give birth in a midwife-led unit rather than a traditional labour ward, according to draft proposals from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
23 November 2011
C-Section Guidelines Revised
The guidelines covering caesarean section births have been changed, giving women the option to give birth by the operation if they are suffering from anxiety over the delivery.