Written by: Jacqueline Wilson

The number of women giving birth in their late 30s and early 40s is on the rise–from movie stars to moms next door, it seems like older moms are everywhere. However, there has been a buzz around in the past few months calling older moms “selfish” and giving birth after 40 “unethical.”

Dr. Barry Walters, an Australian obstetrician, stated in an interview with The West in 2011, “it was selfish and self-centred of older women to have babies because they were likely to be elderly and infirm [sic] when their children were in their teens and early 20s.”

Some are also saying that waiting until after 40 to give birth may even be unethical due to increase in birth defects. However, according to a post on League of Ordinary Gentlemen, although the chances of children born with defects and disabilities increase with moms over 40, they are still rare.

“Women in general have a 97-98% chance of having a child without a birth defect. About chromosomal abnormalities: a 40-year-old woman has a 98.5% chance of having a baby with no chromosomal abnormalities. A 45-year-old has a 95.2% chance of having a baby with no chromosomal abnormalities.”

Andrea O’Reilly, an associate professor of Women’s Studies at York University, told ParentCentral.ca, “‘Selfish’ is the criticism often leveled against older mothers. It’s assumed that the mother won’t be around to perform the necessary duties that, today, last well beyond 18.”

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