BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – More than 12,000 babies were born in Maine last year as the number of births continues to decline.
This as new data from the Center for Disease Control has found women in their thirties are having more babies than younger moms for the first time ever.
"Keep it in mind that is something that can affect your health and everything else in your life,” Dr. Olamide Sobowale, an OB/GYN at Eastern Maine Medical center said.
At 32-years-old, Sobowale just gave birth to her first baby sixth months ago.
"We see people who are teenagers all the way up to their thirties even a few people in their forties too,” she said.
But are their risks for putting off having a baby?
Dr. Sobowale says 35 is a point where the decision should really be made. After that, getting pregnant is less likely and poses more risk of miscarriage or complications.
"I don't want people to come in at 40 and say, ‘Okay we're ready to have kids,’ and I'm like, ‘Ah okay. Well we can, but it just might be a bit of a longer process,’” she said.
As for why the shift is occurring, sociologist Amy Blackstone said there are societal and economic factors at play.
"There's nothing wrong with people wanting to you know feel secure before they have a child,” Blackstone said.
Blackstone is a professor at UMaine and focuses on the decision to remain “child free.” She said that security is often economic. It is taking young people longer to find the right job and pay, especially here in Maine.
There’s also another element: fewer teen pregnancies.
“If you look between 2005 and 2015 teen birth rates in Maine were cut almost in half,” Blackstone said.
This of course as the number of births statewide continues to decline and our population ages.
"Parenthood is a very important aspect of people's identity,” she said. “I mean if you're going to do it it should be important to you."
For Dr. Sobowale, it is very important. She said she hopes to continue to grow her family—even in her thirties.
"Have the baby when you feel most comfortable and everything will work out then,” Sobowale said.