Regardless whether you are a man or a woman, if you are an adult in a serious relationship, people around you likely ask you constantly: “When are you going to have a baby?” If you are one of the lucky ones and don’t get asked this often, it is still highly likely that you’ll eventually start to think about it yourself, and need to consider when actually is the right time to have a baby.
Of course, the answer depends on various factors. The 10 questions we mentioned in one of our articles will help you find out whether you are ready for a baby with your partner.
Researchers worldwide are also obviously interested in this matter, so on numerous occasions they have carried out studies in the name of finding satisfactory answers. Naturally, they have indeed managed to come to their own conclusions, but we’ll tell you in advance that many of the things they discovered will surprise you.
Firstly, you don’t have to rush.
While there are many women whose biological clock starts to tick around the age of 25, this is by no means a given. It is all very individual. There are women who long for a child even earlier, and there are some who don’t want to have a baby at all. It is a free choice for everyone.
This Study, which was recently carried out by the University of Southern California (a non-profit research university that was named “University of the Year” by Time magazine in 2000), came out with a very interesting finding. The results of the study showed that apparently the best time for a woman to have the first child is the age of 35, because a mother's mental abilities are then at the highest possible level.
Benefits of pregnancy at an older age
A total of 830 women, recruited post-childbirth and post-menopause took part in the study. The researchers decided to examine their planning skills, visual imagination, verbal memory, ability to concentrate and their attention.
It turned out that women who had had their first child after reaching the age of 24 passed the tests of mental skills, verbal skills and problem solving better than women who had become mothers at the age of 15-24. However, women who had had their last child after the age of 35 did the best at the test.
Opinions of researchers differ
Of course, The University of Southern California’s researchers are not alone in this field - more studies have dealt with the question of when really is the right time for a child. One of them was published by the Medical News Today portal, and it states that the adult brain is fully developed after the age of 25.
After this age, we develop many more qualities that are necessary in raising a child, such as patience, adaptability, the ability to plan or empathy. But as the scientists themselves point out, their findings cannot be applied to every single person, as each of us is different. There are individuals who reach such a mental state much earlier, but there are also people who take even longer to acquire these qualities.
Pregnancy at an older age can be dangerous
When talking about the perfect age for childbirth, we have to remember that this is a coin with two sides. Of course we shouldn’t neglect the psychological side but we should also keep the other one in mind, and that is the biological one.
The first problem is that a woman's fertility decreases significantly with age. As Dr. Blair A. Bergen claimed in an article written for Good House Keeping: “Women are most fertile and have the highest chance of getting pregnant in their 20s. At 25 years of age, the probability of getting pregnant after 3 months of trying is about 20%. Fertility then gradually begins to decline at the age of 32, and after the age of 35, the probability of getting pregnant after 3 months of trying is only 12%”.
Dr. Blair also points out that even women over the age of 40 can give birth to a healthy baby, but the risk is already very high. For example, caesarean sections or premature births are very common, along with the risk of low birth weight, birth defects, stillbirth or preeclampsia.
It is always up to you
As we said, it’s impossible to define the “perfect” age for having a baby as such a recommendation varies from person to person. So the recommendations of scientists can certainly help you in making a decision, but in the end, the decision will always be up to you and your partner.