Apr 17, 2024 - Health

More Minnesota babies are being born to women in their 30s

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

Women giving birth in Minnesota are getting older.

The big picture: Close to 60% of babies born in the state in 2023 had birth mothers in their 30s or older, according to preliminary CDC data.

  • That's a 38% increase from 1997, when just over 40% of birth moms were 30+.

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.

By the numbers: 30.35 is the average age of a woman giving birth in Minnesota — slightly higher than the national average of 29.58.

  • Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, and New Jersey have some of the highest ages, with averages above 31.

Zoom in: Regions with higher income and education levels tend to see older first-time moms partly because women there are deliberately delaying pregnancy for economic reasons, says Jane van Dis, OB-GYN and assistant professor at the University of Rochester.

Between the lines: The decades-old idea that 35 is "advanced maternal age" is a "dated paradigm," Alison Cahill, professor and associate dean at the University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School, told Axios.

  • "There's nothing really particularly magic" about age 35, she said.

Yes, but: Risks, including of miscarriage, increase much more after age 40.

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