Age of Aussie mums on the rise

Pregnancy stock in Sydney, Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING

Brisbane

(Australian Associated Press)

More and more Australian women are holding off on having kids, a new report confirms.

Babies are increasingly likely to be born to older mums, the latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows.

There’s also been a slide in the proportion of younger women, aged under 24, giving birth.

In 2013, the average age of all women who had babies was 30.1 years, up from 29.5 a decade earlier.

Over the same 10-year period, the average age of first-time mums also increased by almost a year, to 28.6 years.

The report confirmed a continued rise in women whose babies are born by caesarean, and it also reflects ongoing concern about the nation’s weight problem.

Of all women who gave birth in 2013, 20 per cent were classified as obese, and 25 per cent were classed as overweight.

The report also showed fewer women are smoking during pregnancy, but younger women and indigenous mums are far more likely to carry on the habit.

THE CHANGING FACE OF AUSSIE MUMS (2013 compared to 2003)

– Mums are older, on average: 30.1 years

– Proportion of mums aged 35 and over is up: 22 per cent (from 19 per cent)

– Average age of first-time mums is up: 28.6 years (from 27.8 years)

– Proportion of mums aged under 24 is down: 17 per cent (from 19 per cent)

– Babies born in 2013: 309,489, up 20 per cent on a decade ago

– Fewer women smoking during pregnancy

– 45 per cent of women who gave birth in 2013 were obese or overweight.

– Two-thirds of mothers had natural births in 2013; one third caesareans

– But caesarean births continue to rise: 33 per cent of 2013 (from 28 per cent)

– 75 per cent of women who went through labour in 2013 used pain relief

Source: AIHW report: Australia’s mothers and babies 2013 in brief

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