First-Time Moms Are Getting Older

The new average age for first-time mothers, according to the CDC, is now officially 26.3 years old. 

In the grand scheme of things, that doesn't sound all that young. In fact, I had actually already given birth to three children by age 26, so I guess you could say I'm behind the times — or way ahead of them, whichever way you want to look at it. 

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But it's a trend that is probably here to say, especially when you consider how much the age of first-time mothers has risen, over two whole years over the past decade. 

Interestingly, the numbers also showed that while the age for first time moms rose, the gap between her first and second child actually shrunk, meaning that women are feeling more pressured to pop those kids out closer together, which also has negative effects on her body and health. 

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Image via Flickr/ kourtlynlott

I really am curious about this move towards delaying parenthood. I feel like the general consensus we have come to as a society is that waiting until you're “ready” to become a parent is best and that the ideal age to have children has been settled as the mid to late 30s. But on the flipside, you shouldn't be a woman who's selfishly wrapped up in her career and misses the opportunity to have children, either. So really, there's an incredibly small window that a woman has to actually get biologically pregnant with a committed male partner. It actually seems like nothing short of a miracle when you really think about it. 

Honestly, instead of pushing women to “wait” until some magical, elusive age when their lives will fall perfectly into place and everything will be ready for them to have babies, I wish we promoted a more healthy and realistic image of parenting — that no one is ever truly fully “ready” to have children and that there is no magical age. There are challenges and benefits at every age, and I really do wish that young mothers weren't punished for doing what biologically actually makes the most sense. 

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I'm biased, of course, because I was a “young mom,” (even though I really don't think I was that young), but I feel grateful to know that as I enter my 30s this year, I have had four healthy pregnancies, and my chances of infertility were diminished simply due to my age. I wish we were able to openly discuss the potential benefits of having children earlier in life instead of simply telling women it's always best to wait because, frankly, sometimes it's not. Everyone is different, and that's what parenthood is all about. 

How old were you when you had your first baby?

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First-Time Moms Are Getting Older

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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3 comments

  1. Profile photo of Tara Tara says:

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree. When I was 20 I was no where near ready to be a parent and I don’t agree that any woman at 20 is ready to be a parent. Most woman at that age are wanting to party and understand who they are. Why would you think its okay for someone to bring a child in their life when all they want to do is party?! I see to many woman who have a child at 19 then don’t even stay with the same father and then go on to meet other guys and have 3 different kids with 3 different dads to their children. No, no one is ever “ready” to have a child. We are financially stable, have a roof over our head, and both working making a decent amount of money to not be on medicaid and food stamps and government assistance for our child. In my opinion, a couple should have children when they are stable in a career, their relationship, and with a man for quite some time, not after 6 months or a year. Woman should have time to party, go out with their friends and travel. Enjoy life before you have kids. I think that’s why woman are choosing to have kids later in life because they actually see the point in enjoying theirs before they bring a child into this world.

    • Profile photo of Larissa Larissa says:

      I agree with you Tara. I was 31. I also waited until I was financially ready. This was not until late 20’s, early 30′. I also wanted to give my child the best of everything! Growing up eating Top Romen and being on government assistance as a child will change your perspective. I’m not saying you can’t be a good parent. It just just harder when you don’t have financial stability.

    • Profile photo of Allison Allison says:

      Your experience isn’t everyone’s. YOU weren’t ready at 20. Life is about finding out who you are. That doesn’t stop in your 20s. Certainly you become more certain and settled as you get older, but a woman who chooses to have her kid(s) at 20 isn’t automatically wrong; nor is one who opts to wait.

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