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Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Older motherhood 'becoming more acceptable'

According to the latest figures by the Office of National Statistics, the conception rate for women over 40 has risen by 5.2%, and has more than double since 1990.

Cari Rosen, author of The Secret Diary of a new Mum aged 43 and a quarter, told the Today programme's James Naughtie that it was much more acceptable to be an older mother today than in the past.

"Hair dye blurs the gap at the school gates," she said.

Dr Daghni Rajasingam, consultant obstetrician from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, agreed that society and societal pressures have changed the choices of mothers, but also pointed out that there are "fantastic assisted conception techniques" now which have helped older women who could not have children earlier in their lives.

Dr Rajasingam said that the risks are increased for older women and that optimising health before getting pregnant is critical - so support for older mothers is very important.

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