Births to older mothers have increased in recent years alongside average ages for childbirth and IVF treatment.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a growing number of women and their partners are choosing to enter the fray of newborn parenting in midlife.
According to a Guardian analysis of the figures, between 2016-18 and 2019-21 there was a 15% rise in the number of women giving birth in England aged over 50. In the 2019-21 period seven women over 60 gave birth, with two of them over 65.
While births to women over 50 are still relatively rare – just 0.04% of all live births in England from 2019-21 – the number is growing. There were 824 new mothers over the age of 50 in that period, up from 701 in the three previous years, a 15% rise, according to the ONS figures.
It forms part of a wider trend towards women giving birth later. In 2021 the average age when giving birth in England and Wales rose to almost 31 years old – the oldest since records began in 1938.
This is not the first baby boom in the over-45s in England and Wales – the years after the second world war also saw relatively high levels of births in that age group, despite the average age of motherhood in the late 1920s being 28 or 29. Recent years have topped the postwar period when it comes to the proportion of mothers giving birth in their late 40s.
One reason for this could be that IVF and improved fertility treatments mean births at older ages are becoming more of a possibility. In 2015, a German woman, Annegret Raunigk, garnered headlines around the world when she gave birth to quadruplets at the age of 65.
The average age for IVF patients increased to 36 in 2021, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the IFV regulator. It was the highest age on record. Patients with no partner averaged 38.1 years old, compared with 36 for those with a male partner and 34.8 for patients with a female partner.
Read more by Michael Goodier- https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/nov/17/ons-data-shows-15-rise-in-births-among-women-over-age-of-50-in-england