The number of 45 years women and over giving birth is at the highest level since records began 80 years ago.

The current mother’s age of the first child pregnancy is on the rise in Western societies. It has increased to 45 years.

Our Observatory is following this trend because it has objective social, medical, demographic and ethical problems. Some culture facts and  specialized medical services encourage this option as we published in previous articles.

In this sense, last Friday The Guardian published an article (read HERE) titled,  “Record number of over-45s giving birth in England”.  Below are some of the most relevant points, in our opinion:

The number of live births in this age group rose from 1,619 a decade ago to 2,366 in 2018. In 1938, when records began, there were 2,085 births to women over 45, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Birth rates to women aged 25 and under decreased

Births to women aged 25 and under have steadily decreased since records began. The figures show the average age of mothers and fathers increased for the 10th successive year, rising to 30.6 and 33.6 years respectively.

The standardized mean age of mothers and fathers has increased by a total of 4.2 years since they were at their lowest on record in 1975 and 1974 respectively.

Effect of maternal age on the risk of preterm birth and other complications confirmed by a large study

Public health challenges

Some specialists point out the lack of infrastructure and medical training adaptation as one of the problems, in this respect, “Gill Walton, the chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said the latest figures highlighted the “sustained and unrelenting pressures” on midwives, maternity support workers and maternity services because the risk of complications rises for expectant mothers and their babies as women get older” […] “ “I repeat the call in our recently published election manifesto for a root and branch review of maternity services funding and resources. It is needed and it is long overdue. The government has lofty ambitions which we are behind, but they need to ensure the service has what it needs to achieve them.”

The ONS figures show the number of twins, triplets and quadruplets also declined for the third consecutive year. Of every 1,000 women giving birth, 15.4 had multiple births in 2018, which was the lowest multiple maternity rate since 2007.”

Bioethical opinion

From a bioethical point of view is urgent to adequately inform of the risk of complications rises for expectant mothers and their babies as women get older. We also ask, in which measure this trend could affect the demographic Winter in Western countries.


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