Women often wonder what the right age to have a baby is. Our in-laws and relatives provide us with a number which they think is correct but which may not necessarily be accurate. Although this topic is broader than it appears, we can draw fair conclusions based on the advice given by doctors and experts. Also, the number (right age) is surprisingly bigger than what we have come to believe for years.
Most women face menarche (onset of the menstrual cycle) at the average age of 13 and hit menopause (permanent stoppage of the menstrual cycle) by the age of 45. It is in-between these ages that women can conceive and have a baby. While the definition of ‘Best’ age may differ from person to person according to the factors that are at stake, let us have a look at a few common ones.
Biologically, the late teens or early twenties are the best age to have a baby since the oocytes are fresh and the body’s reproductive systems are at their youthful peak. Women in their twenties are least likely to develop any chronic disorders or health problems that might put them or their baby at a risk. They also have the lowest rate of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and infertility.
However, in today’s social construct, it is undesirable to have a pregnancy in this age group since it might interfere with educational and career goals. Modern day families are much smaller than before and full-time employment is a common thing among women from all backgrounds.
In such a sociological construct, the biological best age is certainly out of question. There is also the question of maturity and level of responsibility that comes with a baby. There is a saying that humans mature reproductively a decade before their minds do, and rightfully so. How can a person be expected to take care of another human being when they themselves are trying to get their bearings together?
If the baby’s health and lower birth defects are factors that are considered, then the best age to have a baby is set at 26. If survival rate of the infant is considered then the age is set at 32. Likewise, if the mother’s health and pain bearing capacity is considered, then the age is set within a range of 29-45. Quite a flexible range, is it not?
All being said, the best age to have a baby cannot be set in stone. Every woman has a different body type and hormones vary. You may come across countless articles in the newspaper and on the internet, all getting you to believe that a particular age is the best to have a baby. But again, age is just a number. If you are still concerned and curious about when would be the best time for you to have a baby, you can consult your doctor. Your doctor will take into consideration many factors such as – medical history, height, weight, etc. to give you an approximate number.