Parenting

If you've put off starting a family, you're not alone.

In the U.S., the average age a woman gives birth to her first child has been rising. And, a study published Thursday in Human Reproduction shows dads are getting older, too.

In 1972, the average age of fathers of newborns in the U.S. was 27. Now, it's closer to 31 years old (30.9 years to be specific), the study finds.

Stemming The Cycle Of Toxic Stress – For The Kids’ Sake

Sep 25, 2015
Children exposed to "toxic stress" are at risk for problems throughout their lives.
Kristyna Wentz-Graff / The Oregonian

PORTLAND—Samantha McVey brought her 4-month-old daughter, Ruby, to The Children’s Clinic for a routine check-up and vaccinations. But within minutes of sitting down with Dr. R.J. Gillespie, McVey was describing her turbulent childhood with a drug-addicted father who spent time in prison.

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit national health policy news service. 

In a recent piece for Time magazine, Susanna Schrobsdorff presents an unexpected challenge for people starting families later in life. She tells NPR's Arun Rath about the variable she calls the grandparent deficit.

I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has hovered over a newborn's crib, wondering, "Is she breathing?" Tech companies are now offering to help parents manage that anxiety with devices that monitor a baby's vital signs and beam them to a smartphone.

But that might not be such a good idea, according to Dr. David King, a pediatric researcher at the University of Sheffield. He first heard baby vital signs monitors being discussed on the radio, and "I suspected there wasn't much evidence behind it, because I knew cardiovascular monitoring wasn't recommended in SIDS."

All of Philadelphia’s major birthing hospitals have now stopped giving out discharge bags filled with formula to new moms. The city joins about a quarter of hospitals nationwide in going “bag free” as part of a broader push to encourage breastfeeding.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Elana Gordon at WHYY’s “The Pulse” reports.

When Elizabeth O'Connell was expecting her first child, she knew she wanted to breast-feed. And, she says, she sort of expected it to just happen, naturally.

That's not quite how it panned out. "I was experiencing very tremendous pain," she says.

At first she figured that was normal — but soon it became too much to handle. "I was devastated," she says. "The reality is nursing is a wonderful bonding experience, but when you're in pain, you aren't really thinking about that."