HEALTH

More women waiting until later age to have babies

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(WJLA) - Rebekah Kuschmider had her son Charlie at age 34, and her daughter Nina at 38.

"Our planning was less around particular ages, rather than, that's where we were in our relationship," Kurschmider explains.

Whether intentional or not, nowadays, more and more women are starting their families later in life.

Demographers with the National Center for Health Statistics analyzed birth statistics from 1970 to 2012.

"The number of first births to women 35 and over - just the total - was nine times higher in 2012 than what it was in 1970," said demographer TJ Mathews.

In the past two decades, all races saw an increase in older, first-time moms.

Between 1990 to 2012, first-birth rates for women ages 35 to 39 were up 41 percent in non-Hispanic black mothers, up 34 percent in non-Hispanic white mothers, and reached their highest level ever for Asian or Pacific Islander mothers - 19.7 percent.

"So it's sort of a changing pattern in demographics in the United States right now," said Mathews.

It's a trend happening all across the country - but D.C. has some of the highest increases since 2000 - up more than 40 percent for women in their mid to late 30s, and up more than 60 percent for women in their early to mid 40s.

Donatella Henry had her son Brody at age 35.

"A lot of it had to do with my husband's career, military," she said. "A little with my career as well."

She said if she could do it all again, she would start at age 30 instead.

"For me, time didn't permit me to have a second [child] because I started later," she said. "So that's my main reason."

But Kurschmider is perfectly happy with the way her family timed out.

"I'm glad I waited," she said. "I have no regrets - I did the things - the fun things, the cool things - when I was younger, and there are no questions of 'what if' in my mind."

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