The truth is that the right time to have a baby is invariably different for everyone. However, science and our lifestyles do have a role to play.
We could easily delve into the nitty-gritty, the pros and cons, the career highlights and lowlights and evaluate our relationship status when trying to figure out when the right time to have a baby is.
The truth, however, is that the right time is invariably different for everyone. Science, of course, will play a heavy part in determining our biological clock. Our lifestyles will also have a strong opinion. But really there is no secret formula.
What Science Says
Biologically speaking, an opportune time to have a child is when a woman is in her 20s and at her most fertile, with lower risks of miscarriage, stillbirth and ectopic pregnancy. A woman’s fertility starts to decline at age 32 and drops even further from age 37, significantly increasing risks or lowering the chances of conceiving.
What Our Lifestyle Says
Two-thirds of babies in Ireland are born to first-time mothers in their thirties.
The average maternal age is rising meaning childrearing is not necessarily at the forefront of our minds when our fertility is at its highest.
Our lifestyles have changed with many of us exploring the world and ourselves before relationships and children take centre stage.
Considering there is no right time to have a baby, this means there is possibly no wrong time. It can be helpful to put a few things into perspective first when trying to figure out when to start or add to your family.
Minding the Purse Strings
Life can be a very costly business and adding a new little person to the mix can add up considerably. Check your finances to see if having a baby is financial doable or if some sacrifices will need to be made. Consider paid and unpaid leave, childcare costs, and factor in for those unforeseeable expenses.
Consider Your Health
Before trying to conceive, consider going to your GP and dentist for a check-up. Being in your optimum health will not only help with your chances of conceiving but will also ensure you are physically and mentally up to the job.
Examine Your Motivations
Many of us have been in a long-term committed relationship with aunts and cousins constantly asking when the pitter-patter of tiny feet will be shuffling across the linoleum.
It may seem like starting a family is expected of us when we get to a certain stage in our lives, but this is not the case. Check in with yourself and your partner to see if it is what you both want or whether it’s still a few years off.