Everywhere you look, real women and celebs alike are getting pregnant in their late 30s and even 40s (hello, Gwen Stefani and Halle Berry!).
In fact, women are actually starting families much later than they used to. In 2012, there were more than nine times as many first-time births to moms ages 35 and older as there were in the 1970s, according to a newly released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
New Study Says IVF Should Be First Choice for Infertile Women Over 40
For women ages 35 to 39 specifically, first birth rates rose—get this—six-fold between 1973 and 2006 (from 1.7 births for every 1,000 to 10.9). They took a little dip from 2006 to 2010, but in 2012 (the last year for which the report had data), they were at 11 for every 1,000. And first birth rates for women ages 40 to 44 increased four-fold between 1985 and 2012, from a mere 0.5 per 1,000 to 2.3 per 1,000.
You can even see big changes in the last decade: Between 2000 and 2012, first birth rates went up 24 percent for women ages 35 to 39, and 35 percent for women ages 40 to 44.
If you're thinking about having a baby past 35, make sure you keep these considerations about health and fertility in mind. And speaking of fertility, check out these seven myths about getting pregnant while you're at it.
5- Foods That Can Help Extend Your Fertility
The first step toward a healthier reproductive system is balancing your hormones through diet, says holistic health counselor Alisa Vitti, founder of the food therapy program FloLiving.com and author of Woman-Code. Here, her list of fertility-boosting noshes to eat now.
The fruit is high in monounsaturated fats, which could improve fertility. One study found that women who ate the highest amount of these healthy nutrients while undergoing IVF therapy had triple the success rate of those who ate the lowest.
Take down a handful three times a week. Rich in zinc, the little suckers can help balance the reproductive hormones that lead to high-quality human eggs.
The spice has insulin-reducing powers and may help increase your ovulation rate. Sprinkle it into your smoothies.
Eat 'em in poached or soft-boiled form (no scrambling!) twice a week. Keeping the yolks runny preserves their vitamin D and B6 content, both of which spur the production of progesterone, a hormone necessary for pregnancy.
The seed is rich in compounds that help lower insulin and testosterone levels, a process that can enhance ovulation. Cook up a quarter cup to eat with dinner three times a week.