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Women aged 30-34 currently have the highest fertility of any age group.’Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: 'The average age of mothers in this country has hit 30 for the first time as many women are deciding to start their families later in life.

Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.

The average duration of courtship varies considerably throughout the world.

“The difficulties of getting on to the property market and economic difficulties in general make people put the decision off because a lot of people would like to feel financially secure first.” Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said of today's data: "This demonstrates very starkly the changing demographics of childbirth.

"More older women are giving birth and this has an impact on maternity services.

Courtship is the systematic process that one undergoes in order to ensure compatibility with a lifelong partner.

Walters Art Museum Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind.By contrast in the late 1960s and early 1970s more mothers were under 25 than above.The ONS said possible explanations for the rising age of motherhood included: “increased participation in higher education, increased female participation in the labour force, the increasing importance of a career …"Older mothers tend to have more complications in their pregnancy and therefore often need additional care and attention from midwives and maternity services."This of course places additional pressure on time and resources."These figures feed into the wider pressures on maternity services.

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