Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
At 35 weeks into my twin pregnancy, I’m 36 years old—with my 37th birthday coming up in two weeks. I have joked all along that these kiddos are welcome to enter the world any day they’re good and ready, with the exception of July 15, because that’s my day to be a princess forevermore!
All birthday jokes aside, I know all too well from personal experience that being pregnant after 35 comes with a huge swirl of scary rhetoric, with the phrase “advanced maternal age” following you like a dark shadow to every appointment and every test result. Even scarier, perhaps, is the swirl of rhetoric surrounding women in the 35-and-up category (so, basically, all of my closest friends) and their reduced chances of conception.
Well, there’s good news out now for those consumed by such worries: The Daily Beast notes that commonly cited statistics that suggest one out of three women older than 35 will not get pregnant after trying for a year come from an analysis of statistics as old as 350 years! And indeed, more modern studies suggest much better results: “About 80 percent of women 35-39 will get pregnant naturally in a year of trying,” according to the Daily Beast. “That’s barely different from the 85 percent of under 35’s who will succeed.”
And beyond even that, the Beast cites a study that suggests 92 percent of 35 to 39-year-old women had at least one normal embryo to transfer after a single IVF cycle. So to sum up, these newer studies both conclude that stats for both natural and IVF conceptions seem much stronger for women through their late 30s than prevailing discourse might otherwise suggest.
And furthermore, a new study published last week and cited in the Washington Post found that women who conceive naturally after age 33 have a greater chance of living longer than women who had their last child before the age of 30. (Though that statistic is not uncomplicated, as this analysis shows.)
So what do you make of all this: Are new studies convincing enough to crush mythologies surrounding pregnancy after 35?
TTC? Talk to other women trying to get pregnant. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!
New baby image courtesy of Shutterstock
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Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Regardless of your personal feelings about pregnancy outside of marriage, it’s apparently time to accept that it’s the new reality in America.
We’ve all seen anecdotal evidence of this—including all kinds of examples set by Hollywood types—but new research findings make the trend officially, statistically clear: According to a new Johns Hopkins University study using results from millennial parents, 64 percent of all mothers gave birth out of wedlock at least one time. Yes, that’s well over half. It’s approaching two thirds. So it’s safe to say, it’s a completely ordinary lifestyle across the entire category that includes the newest generation of parents—like it or not.
Drilling down a bit, the paper shows the biggest divide along the lines of education: People with four-year college degrees more typically had children later in their 20s, and most were married at that time. Women without such degrees were typically younger when they delivered, and three-quarters of those were not married at the time of at least one child’s birth.
Even more specifically, in the category of women who dropped out of high school, 87 percent had at least one birth outside of marriage. But in the category of four-year-degree holders, it was just 25 percent.
Further parsing the data, Slate points out that many of the non-wedlocked women in the study were not single, but living with partners at the time—so the kids were technically born into two-parent households. But, “the problem is that cohabiting couples don’t always last. Their relationships fare better than parents who aren’t living together at all, but frequently the mother ends up raising a child alone,” Slate notes.
The fact is, the youngest generation of parents is playing by different rules than their own parents and grandparents. And instead of debating whether or not it’s right for them to make the choices they are making with respect to their reproductive timelines, our efforts as a country are probably better spent figuring out how to channel resources to modern families—the kind of families that actually most commonly exist, not the kind of families that people with outmoded philosophies wish could still be the norm.
Pregnant? Estimate the big day with our due date calculator. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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