Intended for healthcare professionals


Rising age of starting family in Netherlands reflects fall in younger not rise in older mothers

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 11 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a773
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

    The late average age at which Dutch women start families not only poses no medical risk to mothers and children but also offers social benefits, epidemiologists said this week in the Dutch Journal of Medicine (Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde 2008;152:1507-12).

    In choosing to have their first child at about 29, Dutch women are practising “prudent family planning,” they argue.

    The doctor and epidemiologist Luc Bonneux of the Dutch Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute writes that it is wrong to deduce that the rise in the average age at which women have their first child in the Netherlands results from a substantial increase in …

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