Apr 17, 2024 - News

Charted: Changing motherhood

Share of Iowa babies born to mothers in select age&nbspgroups
Data: CDC Wonder; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

More than half of U.S. babies born in 2023 had birth mothers in their 30s and older, according to provisional CDC data.

Why it matters: In the last few years, age 35 has gone from the start of "geriatric pregnancy" to potentially a maternal age sweet spot, Axios' Carly Mallenbaum writes.

Zoom in: The number of Iowa babies born to moms ages 30-34 went up to 30% between 1997-2023.

  • Meanwhile, babies born to those ages 20-24 decreased to 18% during that time.

The intrigue: Some research suggests that being 35+ and pregnant could lead to more brainpower after menopause and a smaller gender wage gap.

💡 Reality check: Pregnancy risks do increase with age. But the effects are much more pronounced after age 40, compared to 35.

  • Women considering having kids by their mid-30s should be acquainted with their own physiology and possible fertility challenges "much earlier than 35," says Jane van Dis, OB-GYN and assistant professor at the University of Rochester.


Subscribe for more Axios Des Moines in your inbox.

Read the full edition

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more