A recent study in the US has found that over the past two decades educated women older than 35 are now giving birth more than in generations before.
Researchers at the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC, said the change can be put down to women completing higher education to establish their careers, the desire to stay in work longer and delaying marriage until they are older.
Using data compiled by the US National Center for Health Statistics, the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC, found that between 1990 and 2008, the number of births to mothers in the US older than 35 dramatically increased from 368,000 to 603,000, or from 9 percent of all births in 1990 to 14 percent in 2008.
Almost one in four of these mothers older than 35 were first-time mums. At the same time, the rate of teenage mothers in the US has decreased from 13 percent of all births to only one in 10.
"This delay in age of motherhood is associated with delay in age of marriage and with growing educational attainment," the researchers wrote in an executive summary of their report, The New Demography of American Motherhood.
"The more education a woman has, the later she tends to marry and have children. Birth rates also have risen for the most educated women, those with at least some college education, while being relatively stable for women with less education," they wrote.
"These dual factors have worked together to increase the education levels of mothers of newborns."