More Than 90 Women Over 50 Gave Birth Last Year As The Average Age Of Motherhood Is Increasing

There were more than 90 women aged 50 and over who gave birth between April 2014 and the end of May 2015, although the numbers are falling year on year, new data shows.

There were 94 births from women aged 50+ last year, compared to 107 in 2013/14 and 114 in 2012/13, according to new figures on women giving birth in English hospitals collected by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Most births were to women aged between 30 and 34, with 194,086 babies being born to women in this age group. This is very similar to the previous year's figure of 194,398. Overall, women in their 30s accounted for 47% of all deliveries.

A spokesperson for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said, according to PA: "The overall average age of motherhood is increasing as women wait longer to begin their families, and complete them later."

The most popular age group of women giving birth was 30-34

"Maternity services need be organised to ensure they can cater for the slightly different needs of older women, who may be more likely to deliver by Caesarean section," the spokeswoman continued.

"A small number of women in their 50s gave birth last year. Accidental pregnancies have long occurred among women of this age, who may well believe they are no longer fertile, but they may also be the result of assisted conception.

"Whatever the age a woman decides to have a baby, her choices should be supported, and she should have access to the best possible maternity care and postnatal support."

Between April 2014 and May 2015 there were also high numbers of women in their 40s having babies. There were 23,194 births to women aged 40 to 44 and 1,298 births to women aged 45 to 49 in 2014/15.

The number of births to girls aged 14 and under also rose slightly from 133 in 2013/2014 to 143 in 2014/2015.

The latest data also showed there were 23,262 births to teenagers aged 15 to 19, slightly down on the figure of 26,306 the previous year.

Overall, there were 636,600 babies born, a 1.6% drop since 2013/14 when there were 646,900.

Natika H Halil, chief executive of the Family Planning Association (FPA), said, according to PA: "Figures from the Office for National Statistics released last year showed the number of women over 40 having a baby has risen fourfold in the past three decades.

"With that in mind it is important for women who are not planning to have children, or have completed their family, to continue to use contraception until menopause.

"When we see stories in the media about women struggling to conceive as they get older, it is easy to assume that as you get into your late 30s, 40s and beyond you might not need to use contraception any more."

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