Is there a right time to have a baby? It’s a great question but a difficult one to answer. That’s because the decision to start a family is very personal. Typically, parents-to-be try to be financially, emotionally and physically prepared to welcome a new life into theirs.
But is there a right age for pregnancy? Today, women have more freedoms and opportunities than ever before. We can choose to delay settling down and starting a family to enjoy other things like building a career, furthering our education and travelling the world. According to The Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists of Canada, the average age of first-time Moms increased from 28.7 in 2012 to 29.2 in 2016. For all births, the average age of mothers at childbirth has been over the age of 30 since 20101.
In your 20s
As women, we’re born with about 1 million eggs in our ovaries, and this number decreases as we get older2. Biologically speaking, women are generally most fertile and are more likely to conceive without medical intervention in their 20s3.
In your 30s
As we roll into our thirties, female fertility slowly but surely begins to decline – with the most significant decrease creeping in at approximately 32 years of age. By the time we reach the age of 37, experts say women have about 25,000 eggs left4. However, advanced maternal age does carry some risk – miscarriage and genetic abnormalities begin to rise after 35. Women might also face more complications during pregnancy or delivery.
In your 40s
Now you’re forty and obviously fabulous. Not everyone plans on having babies later in life – sometimes, it just turns out that way. By the age of 40, around 1 in 10 women will get pregnant per menstrual cycle5.
It’s very important to note that not all women experience a decline in fertility at the same age. For some, it happens sooner, while others are able to maintain above-average fertility at older ages6.
Speak to your healthcare provider about the specifics around age and timing in pregnancy.