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When is the right time to have a baby?

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where I am going with this post. It’s a long ramble so maybe grab a cuppa or a cold Diet Coke or maybe some wine if you’re feeling fancy. Maybe some biscuits because, you know, winter is not the one.

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What age is the best age to have a baby? This is something that has been playing on my mind since I was in the ward after having my baby. I was only there for four hours but I couldn’t help but notice the difference in mums. One woman was 37 and another was 18. At first, I judged both of them. I thought one was too old and one was too young. But after spending time with them, I feel guilty for making this fleeting judgement. It was obvious that they both loved their child so much and would do anything they could for their babies.

I was at the awkward age of 23 where some people would consider me to be too young to have a child but others would start to expect this to happen. I’ll be honest, I am in a fortunate position given my age. I am in a relationship. I had some money in savings and I have enough money to provide Spencer with everything he needs. I became pregnant (is that the right verb, idk) in my final year of university. Yep, I graduated with a sassy little bump. OK, maybe not so little. So apart from the nightmare of finding a nice graduation dress that would actually fit me (thank you New Look, you absolute stars) I am not that far behind other graduates when it comes to looking for a graduate job and applying for a masters.

I suppose the downside is that I haven’t started my career as I am still working in the same job that I had to support myself at uni. It means I will have to forge my career, whilst looking after a baby.  I’ve also had to grow up significantly quicker than most of my friends and spontaneous nights out can’t really happen.

A lot of people my age are also travelling frequently. Whether they are living abroad or just going on lots of weekend breaks, they always seem to have a holiday planned. Booking a spur of the moment holiday isn’t really an option with a one year old as there is so much more to consider. However, many people use travel as a way to escape reality. To make themselves seem interesting, like they have a fun life.

Many people believe 27 is the right sort of age to have a child but the reality for women this age is different. At this age, it is likely that you are still trying to build your career and taking time out at this stage could hinder your progress in the future. Also, it is possible that you could still be trying to hold onto your youth as you realise that you won’t be able to make the spontaneous plans you once did. Although, this may not be an issue as your friends will probably be in the same position so you will have someone to relate to. You are also likely to be healthy at this age as well.

Medically speaking, your body is best suited to pregnancy and childbirth at 22. If you are younger, you are more likely to be healthier and have more energy making it easier to play with your baby. However, there is a lower risk of post-natal depression if you are slightly older. It is also worth noting that age does not correlate to health and a 22 year old can have as many complications as a 30 year old. I was at the ‘best’ age when I gave birth and I still ended up with an emergency C section.


So, really, whatever age you have a baby does not make much of a difference. No matter what age you are, nothing really prepares you for having a baby. 40 year old women are just as terrified of holding their newborn babies as an 18 year old.  As long as the baby is bought up in a loving home and is happy, then I guess not much else matters.

 

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