Barely a week seems to pass without fresh statistics revealing how British mothers are getting older. The average age of first-time mothers is now 30, and the number of 45-year-old women having babies is soaring. Meanwhile, women are warned that the chances of getting pregnant drop drastically in their thirties, and the quality of eggs deteriorates with age.
So should we be urging the next generation of women to start families younger? And what needs to change in society to encourage young people to have children sooner?
Martha Kearney discusses these issues with Jill Kirby, chair of the education group at the Centre For Policy Studies and Kate Stanley, head of family policy at the Institute of Public Policy Research.