Moms in Minnesota and around the country are waiting longer than ever to have their first baby.

Since 2000, the average age of first-time moms has gone up by 1.4 years to around 26, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers attributed the rising average age for new moms to a significant drop in teen pregnancies. At the other end of the spectrum, the growing number of women over the age of 30 giving birth for the first time also contributed to the older-new-mom phenomenon.

The shift happened in every state and across all racial and ethnic groups.

"We have seen that women are a little older," observed Maggie Pastarr, certified nurse midwife at Hennepin County Medical Center — which has the state's oldest nurse midwife service in the state.

"We're having less teen pregnancies which contributes to that," she said. "We're also seeing professional women who are just waiting a little longer."

Delayed motherhood trends are closely watched by both health professionals and population experts, because they offer a window into the future.

"Over the past several decades, the United States continued to have a larger number of first births to older women along with fewer births to mothers under age 20," the report said.

"This trend and the more recent uptick in delayed initial childbearing can affect the number of children a typical woman will have in her lifetime, family size, and for the overall population change in the United States."

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Allie Shah • 612-673-4488