It is true that women become pregnant later – one in five mothers give birth to their first child over the age of 35, and a record number of women give birth after the age of 40. But the reason for all this is probably hidden in financial worries, unstable relationships, and the rising cost of living. And if you think that society only discriminates against more mature mothers, young people are also not protected from this discrimination.
For example, in the UK there is a high number of teenage pregnancies, and about a quarter of all babies in the country are born to mothers under the age of 25. For younger mothers, there is always the expectation that the pregnancy was not planned and the mother will additional financial support is needed.
And suddenly it sounds as if future mothers have to slip into a small window between “too young” and “too old” in which it is acceptable to have a baby. But if a lot of research shows that this window opens in the mid-20s, it turns out that there are positives and negatives at any age.
When you’re 20
When you are young, the advantages are mostly physical. A woman is born with the maximum number of eggs she will ever have in her body and loses eggs every month, with the best ones leaving first. This means that the best physiologically best time to get pregnant is between the ages of 20 and 30, say reproductive health experts.
This will reduce the risk of a number of health problems and syndromes such as Down’s syndrome – at 25 the chances of having a baby with Down’s syndrome are about 1 in 1250, and at the age of 40 the risk is 1 in 100.
The risk of premature birth is lower, and you are less likely to develop problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Giving birth during this period can also reduce the risk of breast cancer.
When the baby is born, you will be grateful for the energy you have.
However, being a young mother also has its risks – feeling constantly in conflict, not having time for all the things you want to achieve – like building a career or traveling more. You may also have less savings in your bank account, leading to financial uncertainty and additional stress. And with rising rents and housing prices, you certainly won’t be able to have the home you want.
However, the truth is that your child will not care where you live and how much money you make. The only thing that really matters to your child is how much you love him!
When you’re 30
This seems to be the perfect time to get pregnant. You have probably already managed to build a career and your financial positions may be more stable, you probably have your own home and savings. Emotionally, you have managed to gain confidence that will help you cope with the little man. Even if you do not have the same energy as mothers of 20 and a few, you will certainly be able to cope with sleep deprivation.
However, keep in mind that becoming pregnant after the age of 35 can be more difficult. Even if you already have a child, your age can be of great importance when you are planning to increase your family. As your reproductive capacity decreases, the risk of miscarriage, preeclampsia and other problems increases.
However, even at the age of 38, 77% of women manage to conceive within three years. Even if you can’t change the amount of eggs left in your body, your overall physical condition can be huge. If you do not smoke, this increases your chances, as smoking damages the eggs and can cause early menopause. There is also scientific evidence for the presence of vitamins such as vitamin D, which may be linked to reproductive ability.
When you’re 40
The chances of getting pregnant at this age are much lower, and the chances of chromosomal abnormalities increase. The risk of miscarriage and baby health problems is also growing. Mothers over 40 are also more likely to need additional medical intervention during childbirth. On the other hand, today women in their 40s are healthier than ever, and doctors can monitor pregnancy very closely.
It is now possible to detect the danger of Down with a blood test, and in-vitro procedures can increase your chances of conceiving. Besides, mothers over 40 are nothing new. Before the contraceptive era, women gave birth to both 30 and 40. It even turns out that in 1947, after World War II, more babies were born to women over 40 than in 2011.
In addition, older mothers are calmer and have a better perspective. The mother at this age also feels calmer when she gives more time to her baby because she has had enough time to do whatever she wants.
According to science, a baby can experience a lot of positives from having an older mother. Studies show that children of mothers over 40 are smarter, healthier and less likely to have accidents.
Ultimately, however, the best time to have a child is not affected by whether you have savings in the bank or you need to pause your career. The best time to have a baby is when you feel ready for this step.