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More women now having first child in 30s, rather than 20s
For the first time in decades, more U.S. women are having their first child in their 30s, rather than their 20s. According to a 2017 Bloomberg article, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the “birth rate for women ages 30 to 34 was about 103 per 1,000; the rate for women ages 25 to 29 was 102 per 1,000.”
The ‘right’ time is relative
While there’s no ‘right’ time to have a baby, more parents are deciding that the best age to start a family is in their 30s, BabyCenter reported. By that point in life — with a partner or not — many women feel they’ve had time to set a career foundation, save a nest egg and settle in a place of their choosing.
BabyCenter quotes Nicole Rogers, a hospitality industry professional who delivered three children, (one each in her 20s, 30s and 40s) on why she thinks 30-something is prime time for birthing:
“Your career is launched, you still look and feel great, and you have the energy to keep up with your kids,” Rogers told BabyCenter. “You’re more relaxed about being a parent than you were in your 20s, so you can have more fun, and you aren’t as tired as you are in your 40s. You think you can do it all, and in your 30s, you almost can.”
Be mindful of your fertility
According to many experts, a woman’s fertility hasn’t begun to drop significantly in the young 30s. However, many fertility experts caution people to not wait too long once they’ve reached their 30th birthday.
After age 35, the chances of having fertility issues, pregnancy complications and health risks for both mother and baby begin to increase. This is important for women having their first baby, but also a consideration for families who want more than one child.
“I always tell women to think about that second pregnancy,” James Goldfarb, the director of infertility services and IVF at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, told BabyCenter. “At age 35 or 36, many women need only minor, if any, medical intervention to get pregnant. But by the time they’re ready for their next child, say at 39, those same medications are less likely to work.”
Jenny, a 34-year old nurse told LA.com about reaching her decision to have a baby. “In my 20s, I was very career-oriented, very focused.” She continued: “I know a lot more about who I am now than I ever did when I was 26, 28… I wanted to see what it felt like as a woman, to birth something, because we are the only people that get to feel that. As hard as it is, I really love it.”
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