It’s not just Hollywood stars like Kelly Preston who are having babies in their 40s, a new report says that more women over 40 are giving birth than ever before.
It used to be that once a woman turned 40, her odds of having children were pretty crummy. But now, the number of American women giving birth after hitting the big 4-0 has risen. The American Academy of Pediatrics released the numbers, and the surprising facts are that, while women in their 40s are having more children (the birth rate in that age bracket rose four percent), everyone else seems to be having less. The birth rates for all other age groups — teens, women in their 20s and women in their 30s — all fell, as two percent fewer babies were born in 2008 than the year before. What does this mean? It means that in 2008, a little more than four million babies were born in the U.S., which is the smallest number in years.
Additionally, the number of C-sections rose sharply, as almost one-third of all births were delivered surgically, a stunning rise of 56 percent from 1996, something that is, according to writer Monique el-Faizy at ParentDish.com, “cause for concern.” On the bright side, teen pregnancy rates dropped (always a good sign), and babies are getting healthier, as three percent fewer kids were born prematurely. The report also showed a drop in the death rate of children under the age of 19. Good news!