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Average Age of First-Time Mothers in United States Continues to Rise

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average age at which American women give birth to their first child has been steadily rising since 2000 and has skyrocketed since 2009. Researchers attribute this phenomenon to two trends, namely, the decline in the number of women under the age of 20 having their first baby and an increase in the number of older women having children. Unfortunately, there are certain risks of injury for both mother and child associated with delayed pregnancies.

Delayed Pregnancies

The CDC reported that between the years 2000 and 2014, the age of first-time mothers increased from 24.9 years old to 26.3 years old. Researchers posit that opportunities for higher education and career advancement have played a role in the declining numbers of teen mothers and in the decision of many women to delay motherhood until later in life. For instance, the rate at which teenagers give birth has fallen by around 42 percent in the last 15 years. Incidences of women between the ages of 30 and 34 years who had their first children, however, went up 28 percent and first births for women over the age of 35 years increased to around 23 percent.

While the decline in the number of teenage pregnancies in the U.S. is a positive trend, the overall increase in the age of women giving birth to their first child can have serious consequences on the health of both mothers and children. Physicians and researchers warn that delaying pregnancy can lead to additional risks, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and an increased likelihood of passing on genetic defects.

Obstetrical Health and Personal Injury

It is extremely important that physicians keep up with the latest research and data provided by government agencies like the CDC. The statistics published by these groups have a significant impact on the suggestions that doctors make to their patients, and the repercussions for a failure to stay up to date on new research can be devastating to the health of both mothers and babies.

The information published by the CDC helps establish whether a course of treatment or diagnosis in obstetrical matters is safe and appropriate for both mother and child. The age of a mother can play a significant role in the health of the fetus, so it is important that doctors are aware of the different risks, such as the increased likelihood of a miscarriage or premature birth, associated with an older woman giving birth for the first time.

Sometimes doctors negligently fail to warn a woman of the risks of childbirth or to test for problems associated with delayed pregnancy, which can expose patients to a high risk of injury. In these situations, the data and research provided by medical organizations is instrumental in showing whether a doctor adhered to the standard of care accepted by the medical community.

Call an Attorney Today

If you or your child has suffered an injury due to medical malpractice or an obstetrical physician’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for the harm you suffered. Please contact an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., for a free initial consultation.

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