Age and pregnancy: is there a perfect age to become a mother?María Arellano
Chart: The effect of age on fertility, via Baby Center
Pregnant in your twenties or in your thirties
Unplanned or planned, your age at time of first pregnancy has effects on your health as well as the future development of your child.
In today’s post we will talk about the benefits of having your first child in your twenties (or earlier) versus waiting until the decade of your thirties (or beyond).
In the realm of science these two options are differentiated as the biodevelopment option versus the biosocial view in a study published by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2005).
Pregnant at 20: the Biodevelopment view
The biodevelopment view on the best age for first pregnancy gathers facts and arguments in favor of an early start: you should draw on the resilience and energy of youth as soon as your reproductive system is mature.
This means that you can aim to have your first child between the ages of 16 to 28… when your reproductive system is in optimal health. According to this view, you should even aim to have your child closer to the beginning of this time period.
Pregnant at 30: the Biosocial view
The biosocial view on best age for first pregnancy takes into account factors such as your financial situation, your family relationships, home situation and the support system you have in place, the need to lengthen education, as well as the need to establish an employment history and a stable marriage.
When taken into account, these factors are weighed in as decisive counterweights in the balance against the need for speed suggested by your aging reproductive system. Yikes!
If you are still navigating out of your teen years take a moment to read on. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggest early age at first birth is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Basically, being younger than 20 years of age at time of first birth has been associated with an adverse cardiovascular profile by mid-life- you are more prone to heart disease.
Ultimately, you are the one who decides when to have a child. It should be a free, informed choice between you and your partner.
The hiMama monitor lets you know when you are ovulating so you can live the life you dream of- which means you get to decide if you want to be a mother or not.
Did you know:
Humans mature reproductively about a decade before Americans mature socially.
-via the journal of Health and Social Behavior (2005)
Age and pregnancy: Tips for Teens and women over 40
If you are sexually active, preconception health care should already be a routine practice.
Mostly this is because unless you have gone through surgery to prevent pregnancy or have a chronic disease that impedes pregnancy, it is much more likely that you will become pregnant if you are having sex.
If you want to get pregnant and you are over 40 years old, or still in your teens, your pre-pregnancy measures are different than a woman who is within her optimal biodevelopment and biosocial reproductive life span.
First off, ask yourself why do you want to get pregnant so young?
Did you know teen pregnancies are at higher risk of preterm labour, preterm birth and preterm pre-labour rupture of membranes?
Something to take into account when dreaming of having a child before getting your Bachelor’s Degree!
If you are in your teenage years and already pregnant treatment and prevention of these conditions is possible- ask your most trusted and valued physician. Professionals will know how to help.
Also… if you are a teen and already on the path to motherhood, open some psychological space by your side when visiting your obstetrician – give the baby’s daddy some room by your side.
Turns out studies say your mood and ultimately your baby’s health will be much better off if the baby’s father and your partner accompanies you as much as possible!
Not all guys who you love or that love you are meant to be a daddy. Take a look at our post on how to know if he is the perfect father for your future children.
Women over 40
Pregnancies in older women are increasing. Bad news is over 40 also means a higher risk of comorbidities, which means higher risk of having two chronic diseases or conditions simultaneously such as hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes.
This in turn contributes to low birth weight, and delivery by cesarean section of the baby.
You should look into having the delivery take place in a tertiary care center able to offer optimal care to the mother and the newborn.
The doctor and your pregnancy
No matter your age, going to the doctor and being aware of your menstrual cycle are super important for your health.
Medical practitioners recommend making preconception part of routine medical check ups.
As long as both the woman and her partner are healthy, the baby’s chances of a healthy gestation go way up! It doesn’t matter if the pregnancy was planned or unplanned.
Unplanned pregnancies do not directly affect the health of the baby. On the other hand, they have been shown to affect the mother’s emotional health, especially if she is going through the pregnancy on her own and, ultimately, depression in the mother-to-be DOES affect the baby’s development.
Healthy hiMama Mama-to-be
If you are under 18 and over 40 and looking to get pregnant, medical accompaniment is mandatory when taking into account both the biological and the socio-economic factors that lead to an enjoyable and healthy pregnancy.
Teenage hopeful mothers-to-be PLEASE give yourself the gift of time and wait.
Any questions about how the hiMama monitor can help you find your best practice for health on the expectant mother front? Let us know!