More babies are being born to women in their 40s than ever before, according to the Guardian. In Britain, that is. Apparently, our sisters across the pond are telling all those haters who niggle about their biological clocks to sod off: the conception rate among ages 40-44 is now 12.2 per 1,000 women, up from 11.5 the year before. In fact, in the past decade, conception among women there over 40 has risen 50%. (According to the CDC, in 2005, the U.S. had a conception rate of 9.1 per 1,000 among women in that age group, a figure has increased each year since 2000). Julie Bentley, the chief executive of the Family Planning Association, says: "The figures illustrate that the traditional approach of 'get married young and have children' isn't the reality for many British women... Improved education and career opportunities, different lifestyle choices and expectations mean their lives may take a different path."
And "different" lifestyle choices are the norm these days in England and Wales. Conceptions outside marriage increased from 47% to 56%, meaning that now the majority of English babies are bastards. Heh.
Not surprisingly, fathers over 40 are also on the statistical rise. Ten percent of all babies born in 2004 were born to daddies over the big 4-0. In fact, having babies over 40 is such a phenomenon in the UK that there's an entire website devoted to it called mothersover40.com, and it provides fertility info, community and other resources for mamas close to menopause. Says Bentley: "As long as women are aware that their fertility naturally declines over the age of 35, and that it will probably take a bit longer to get pregnant, late motherhood is a valid choice." In fact, three months ago, Helena Bonham Carter, 41, had her second child; and Halle Berry, 41, is expecting her first any day now. Oh, and also? Susan Sarandon had son Miles when she was 46. If it's good enough for a politically aware, intelligent, talented lady like Susan, it's good enough for us.