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Postponing Motherhood



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Postponing Motherhood

GREENWICH (AP) –– Connecticut women, as part of a national trend, are delaying motherhood to pursue careers and getting better educations.

A recent report shows that nationally more women are waiting longer to have children and Connecticut is among the top two states where women are postponing parenthood.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that American women on average were 24.9 years old when they had their first child in 2000, up from 21.4 in 1970.

In Connecticut, the average age of a new mom was 27.2 years, the second highest in the nation. The only state with a higher average age of new moms was Massachusetts, where the average age is 27.8 years.

Experts cite a number of reasons for the trend, including the fact that more women are getting postsecondary educations, pursuing careers, and using contraceptives.

The CDC report found that Mississippi had the lowest average age of new moms, at 22.5 years.

“Connecticut is one of the best, highly educated states in the country,” said Leslie Brett, executive director of the Hartford-based Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.

“We have a very high rate of women in postsecondary education and we have very encouraging rates of participation of women in various graduate and professional schools,” Ms Brett said.

As a result, more Connecticut women have entered the workforce –– 57.6 in 2000 compared to 45.6 percent in 1990, Brett said.

Women have more career and educational opportunities than they did decades ago, said Kathy Fluckiger, associate director of the University of Connecticut Women’s Center in Storrs.

Many have decided to take advantage of that and wait longer to have families, Ms Fluckiger said.

“There is still way more to go, but there are definitely more opportunities than 20 years ago,” she said.

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