CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 14 The latest Jennifer Lopez movie premieres April 23 as the latest evidence of art imitating maternal life, say North Carolina fertility doctors, who report a strong upswing locally in single women choosing to parent alone without male partners.
In the new film "The Back Up Plan," Jennifer Lopez plays a 30-something single woman who would prefer childrearing with a committed partner but feels she has a choice of parenting alone or not at all.
Fertility specialists at Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte (REACH) note that about one in ten patients they treat is a single woman, in contrast to negligible numbers a decade ago.
"While fertility centers like ours were established to help couples, we are seeing a societal shift toward acceptance of women starting families without male partners," said Dr. Nancy L. Teaff, reproductive endocrinologist at REACH.
"Women feel pressure to find a suitable partner ready for the responsibility of raising children before their biological clocks prevent it. They older they get, the less willing they are to postpone a birth, even if it means going it alone."
Nicole Epstein of Charlotte, 36, became a single mother at age 33 with Teaff's help. "I asked Dr. Teaff if she thought I was crazy to seek treatment when I was so young," Epstein said. "She said it was better than waiting until I was 37, when I would probably need more complex treatment to get pregnant." Epstein's daughter is now 2, and she would like to have more children.
Childbearing by unmarried women has reached historic levels, according to the most recent preliminary data (2008) from the Centers for Disease Control. Single mothers accounted for the birth of nearly four in 10 American babies (1.7 million of 4.3 million total births nationally, a 27 percent increase from 2002, when steady increases began).
About Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte
REACH is led by a nationally recognized team of six physicians who offer state-of-the-art assistance for infertile couples and women with reproductive endocrine problems. REACH is renowned for its high pregnancy rates and the finest patient care. REACH is a member of IntegraMed. For more information, visit www.REACHdrs.com.
SOURCE Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte