Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why the new baby boom?

Sydney Morning Herald
Kate Benson Medical Reporter
October 30, 2007

AUSTRALIA's birthrate has risen again - thanks to women in their 30s who are fuelling a baby boom - but experts warn that many are leaving pregnancy until too late "and expecting science to save them".

The nation's fertility rate is at its highest level in 12 years, with about 265,900 babies born last year. But it is women between 30 and 34 who are having more babies than any other age group, and more than their age group has had in the past 43 years, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released yesterday.


Jan Roberts comments:
It's time the prophets of doom recognised that it's not increasing age that compromises fertility, but 35+ years of modern diet, lifestyle and environment! Sure, reversing the trend of this accumulation of factors takes some commitment (from both prospective parents) but it doesn't involve a high-tech solution and it does allow attainment of financial and professional 'security' if that's what you want. Security aside, older parents generally bring greater wisdom and patience to the job - becoming the mother of two sons at 38 and 42 - I made positive parenting choices that would never have occurred to me a decade earlier. But the most inspired decision was our preconception preparation - fabulously healthy babies just one of the many by-products!


James Frame, Dr Henry Meissner, Dr Peter Bablis, Jan Roberts, Dr Corey Schuler and Dr Christina Youngren said...

Jan you are so right. Maybe if our social structure went back to tribal days when the wise, experienced and most importantly patient grandparent raised the children instead of the child raising the child we could afford to have younger people having children. But the way things are today having to raise a child, support a mortgage, develope your own relationship with your partner while you are still figuring out who you are is probably a little bit to much to do for any person. So having children later in life is definitely health from a psychological and emotional standpoint for both the parent and the child. Now what we need to do is make sure this is mirrored from a physical health perspective. And your books certainly provide that guidance.

Anonymous said...

And the government gives out money to encourage young women to have babies... so society puts major value on generating babies, but where's the focus on the values of preconception and wellness focussed pregnancy? Imagine if the baby bounty was linked to education on preconception and better baby'ing. That you only got the full amount of money if you proved you were doing responsible conceiving. Then we'd have a baby boom that brought forth better people, healthier people and ultimately better lives.

Unknown said...

Your point is absolutely valid James - but sadly we've lost our extended family, so grandparents are often out of the picture (and more and more occupied with their own lives). Society has also placed such importance on material achievements and external careers as the only ones to have real value. Somehow we need to elevate parenting to its rightful place as the most important job you'll ever do. I think Grant has made a great point about linking the Baby Bonus to education about preconception, and I'd include reinforcement of parenting skills along with that!