The age-specific fertility rate is the number of live births per 1,000 women in five year age groups per year. Since 1986, in Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario, there has been an overall trend toward older women having babies.
Women with increased maternal age are more likely to develop health problems that could affect their pregnancy. They are also more likely to experience complications during pregnancy including high blood pressure, diabetes, preterm birth
, fetal growth restriction
and low lying placenta
On the other hand, women who delay childbearing often have a higher level of education and socioeconomic status, which decreases some of the health problems associated with their pregnancy. So women who choose to have their first baby at an older age and who have no chronic conditions, generally have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
The fertility rates for 30-34 year olds and 35-39 year olds in Simcoe Muskoka have increased since 1986. At the same time, there has been a decreasing trend in the fertility rates for 15-19 year olds, 20-24 year olds and 25-29 year olds. These trends are also seen in Ontario’s age-specific fertility rates. In Simcoe Muskoka, women in the 25-29 year old age group and 30-34 year old age group had the highest fertility rates in 2011 at 102 and 103 live births per 1,000 women respectively.