What is the best age to have kids?

By Lisa Hunchenko

Published Feb 26, 2021 at 08:45 AM

Reading time: 3 minutes

There are many concerns and myths about picking the right time for getting pregnant. In fact, the general number to mark in your calendar as ‘this year I’m having a baby’ simply does not exist, as it should be determined based on every woman’s individual health information and life circumstances.

However, it is vital to allocate enough time to get pregnant—if you’re planning on doing so. For example, many women have different reasons for birth control pills intake (other than preventing pregnancy) and will sometimes have to deal with any health issues first. In any case, the best way to start is to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

When it comes to determining a perfect age to get pregnant, it is crucial to consider not only your and your partner’s health but also factors of other nature such as your psychological readiness, financial capability, and possible social inhibitions. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Physiological point of view

The ability to get pregnant usually occurs after the woman’s first menstrual period (the average age is 12 years old), but it does not mean that the body is ready to carry a child just yet. Physiologically, a woman becomes prepared for pregnancy when she is around 18 to 19 years old. By this age, the hormonal balance is established, the reproductive system is fully formed, and the internal organs can withstand intense physical exertion.

However, after the age of 25, the body’s resources begin to deplete, and by the age of 30, the supply of reproductive cells (fertility) significantly decreases, accompanied by hormonal changes. Thus, the best age to get pregnant tends to be between 20 and 25 years from a physiological perspective. The age of 18 to 35 years is considered conditionally safe.

Geriatric pregnancy (which is when it happens to someone over the age of 35) may be challenging and take months of trying to get pregnant due to the risk of exacerbating chronic diseases in women (hypertension, diabetes, kidney or liver issues, etc.).

Another thing is that in women over the age of 35 to 40, the possibility of developing various gene disorders at the level of germ cells increases. It can cause congenital disabilities, including genetic (such as Down syndrome) and malformations in the child. However, if a woman is healthy and does not have chronic diseases, she may well give birth even after 40.

Social factors

Ensuring stable employment and position in a society, which, on average, is possible by the age of 25, is essential before starting to expand your family. It may require finding additional ways of income for many people, for instance, driving for Uber on weekends (you can find more information about it at www.hyrecar.com). But creating financial stability will reduce the significant part of worries and result in being more mentally prepared to have children.

It is not an exaggeration or a cynical approach to say that having a baby is an expensive project. It indeed will take not only most of your time and energy but also finances, and you should be prepared for it! For many people, money remains a crucial aspect to postpone first-time pregnancy by the age of 32 and up to 35.

By that time, you should be sure you can provide for yourself and your baby, or that you will not be suppressed by new categories of expenses, which vary from buying new clothes every couple of months to already saving college money.

Psychological factors

For many things in life, age is just a number, but being 40, although being entirely healthy for pregnancy, does not guarantee being ready for raising a child. Hypothetical assumptions that responsibility will come simultaneously with the birth of the child have no grounds in practice. On the contrary, such unreadiness may result in several internal conflicts or even hidden claims to the child, related to the fact you cannot go back to your previous, pre-maternity life anymore.

Psychological unpreparedness may lead to postpartum depression, mistakes in parenting, mistreating your child (even unintentionally), and other family problems. Future parents’ psychological readiness is the only indirectly related factor of choosing the right time for getting pregnant to the physiological age, which depends more on the existing social experiences.

Getting pregnant at different ages has its benefits and risks, so determining the best time is an individual matter. Nevertheless, there are common factors that you should consider, and they are not limited to physiology only.

Indeed, the best biological time for childbearing is by 30 years old. Fertility starts decreasing in the early 30s and significantly reduces the chance of getting pregnant between 35 and 40 years old. However, the level of modern medicine allows a woman to give birth in her 30s, 40s, and even 50s—from taking fertility drugs to in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

That’s why, what matters the most is to make that decision while considering your psychological readiness and excluding any rush. All in all, there’s no great time to have kids—either way, you’ll probably be freaking out.

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