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Older Mothers

  • By: Karin Sardadvar
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In the field of social sciences, older mothers are usually defined as women who are 35 years of age or older when they get pregnant or have a child. Most studies about the topic have focused on first-time older mothers; that is, on women who have their first child when they are 35 years of age or older. However, regardless of the number of pregnancies or children a woman has had before, the term older mother usually refers to the 35-plus age group. In some cases, it is maternal age at conception that is used as reference point; in other cases, it is maternal age at giving birth.

A crucial basis for delaying childbirth is the availability of birth control methods, which allow women to prevent ...

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