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More and more 40-odd-year-olds are currently sitting in the birth preparation course: getting children late is in vogue. What are the reasons for that? What advantages does that have - and which disadvantages?

Would you have thought that? Every fourth child born in Germany has a mother who is older than 35. According to this, mother over 40 is pretty normal today. Granted, compared to the 1960s when women had their first child on average at 23, mothers over 40 may be late. At that time one was already considered 30 from late 30 as "late giving birth". In the meantime, the 40-plus-mothers have become indispensable: no birth preparation course, no delivery room, no children's swimming class and no red carpet. And there are more and more: In the age group 40 and over the statisticians are showing a jump.

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According to the birth statistics in 1990 about 10, 800 newborns in Germany had a mother of 40 or older, in 2000 they were already almost twice as many with about 20, 000, and according to the 2009 figures the number has increased to around 34, 600 - more than three times as many as nearly 20 years ago. For the medical psychologist Tewes Wischmann are the reasons for the ever later coming desire for children on hand: "Especially women with a good education want to establish themselves professionally, be financially secure and have the right partner before they get pregnant."

And thanks to contraception and reproductive medicine, many believe that is no problem at all. But there is also the feeling behind it: Child and career - that is difficult in Germany at the same time. This is shown by a recent study by the University of Hannover: Almost all of the interviewed women over 35 stated that it was a crucial problem to reconcile both. But not only the women push the topic child on the long bench: According to a study for the German Institute for Economic Research, many potential fathers are not ready to back for work in the profession. It does not help that countries like France and Sweden prove how the two go together.

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