The Stories Behind Postponing Motherhood: A Qualitative Insight From Advanced-Age Mothers in Mumbai

Aishwarya , International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The emerging trend of delayed childbearing in urban areas, particularly in urban metropolises in India signifies the onset of second demographic transition with below replacement fertility. In developing countries like India, where early marriage and early childbearing is more common, rise in late childbearing is a new trend which has not been explored so far. In this study, we explore the factors responsible for delayed childbearing. Based on in-depth qualitative interviews conducted among 25 women who delivered their first child at age 35 and above in randomly selected hospitals of Mumbai, we assessed life course events leading to delay in the timing of first birth. We find that linkages between education, professional career, medical reasons, rise of self-interest, individual aspirations and late marriage as important causes of delayed childbearing. The study found that diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid, poor quality of eggs as common medical problems in the women interviewed.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1