Jewish Women Giving Birth Later Than Others

Many Delay Motherhood Into Late 30s Despite Risks

thinkstock

By Talia Lavin

Published October 31, 2013, issue of November 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(JTA) — American Jewish women are giving birth later than other women, sometimes delaying childbearing into their late 30s or even 40s.

The much-discussed Pew Research Center survey of American Jews released this month found that Jews aged 40 to 59 have an average of 1.9 children, compared to 2.2 children per adult among the same-age cohort of the general public. According to the most recent National Jewish Population Survey, in 2000, Jewish women are substantially more likely to remain childless into their 30s and 40s than American women generally.

“The fertility gap between Jewish and all U.S. women narrows but is not eliminated in later childbearing age groups, indicating that Jewish women delay having children until later years, and then come close to, but do not match, fertility levels of all U.S. women,” the NJPS reported.

So how late can a woman get pregnant?

According to Lawrence Grunfeld, a reproductive endocrinologist and professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, recent studies by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine show that with donor eggs and a healthy mother, pregnancies can be viable through age 55.

“Fertility treatments have improved tremendously year by year,” Grunberg said.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Pregnancy and childbirth after 35 — what doctors term “advanced maternal age” — can present a number of complications, foremost among them the difficulty of conception. After age 35, fertility in women decreases precipitously.

“In patients of advanced maternal age, many women have a decreased ovarian reserve,” said Ilana Ressler, a reproductive endocrinologist at New York Fertility Services.

“That means that the ovaries are producing fewer eggs. Women are born with a set number of eggs, and we have the most eggs we’ll ever have before we’re born. After a certain age, reserves are much lower.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.