MHLU - Health Status Resource

Maternal Age and First-time Mothers

Maternal Age and First-time Mothers

Key Findings: 
  • The age distribution of mothers of newborns in Middlesex-London is similar to that of Ontario but with a slightly younger profile overall, and similar to the Peer Group but with a slightly older profile overall (Fig. 9.2).
  • The majority of mothers of newborns (62.6%) are between 25 and 34 years of age in Middlesex-London (Fig. 9.2).
  • The numbers of Middlesex-London mothers of newborns has increased from 2001 to 2009 in every age group (Fig 9.3).
  • The largest percent increase in numbers of mothers of newborns from 2001 to 2009 is 42% (from 92 to 131 respectively) in the 40 to 49 age group. The next biggest increase was 19% in the 30 to 34 year age group (Fig. 9.3).
  • The percentages of first-time mothers within age groups in Middlesex-London was similar to Ontario and higher than the Peer Group particularly amongst the older age groups (Fig. 9.4).
  • The likelihood that a birth was a mothers first was highest for teens (ages 15-19) and decreased substantially until ages 35 to 39 (Fig. 9.4).
  • From 2003 to 2007, about 11% of births to teen mothers (ages 15 to 19) in Middlesex-London were second births or higher (Fig.9.4).
  • About one in four births to mothers ages 35 and older in Middlesex-London were their first-born (Fig. 9.4).
Interpretive Notes

Mother’s age at the time of delivery is a potential reproductive health risk factor. Mothers of newborns who are particularly young (ie. teenagers) or old (ie ages 35 and older) tend to experience more problems with pregnancy, delivery and various birth outcomes, eg. low birthweight, preterm birth, and neonatal mortality. Teen mothers, in particular, are also more likely to be in a disadvantaged social environment. Older mothers, in particular, are more likely to have chronic illnesses and have babies with certain genetic disorders or that are large-for-gestational age. Younger and older mothers may therefore require more supports before and after birth than mothers in their twenties and early thirties. 

How this Indicator was Calculated: 
Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol - Section 1