Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

Women should have babies before 35

Posted by hannahflynn on June 16, 2009

The Daily Mail has been the first to report the recent findings of a report by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists which has highlighted the difficulty many women face reproducing after the age of 35.

The study claims the optimum age to have children is between the ages of 20 and 35. One of the most likely reasons for this is the risk of preeclampsia which increases in frequency in pregnancy women under the age of 20 and over the age of 40.

Since the story was published earlier today on the Mail’s website, comments have been predictably split. Though, it is Jillie in London who almost hits the nail on the head:

Outrageous advise ( if you can call it that) responsible people might want to be financially secure, or have a partner/husband on the scene when they start a family, to scare and badger women into having children before 35 is unforgivable, or is this a ploy by the government to ensure that there are enough young bloods to provide pensions in the years to come?”

The issue of social responsibility to reproduce or not reproduce has become increasingly antagonistic, particularly since the Optimum Population Trust launched their Stop at Two Pledge. However, this has never been an issue in Scandinavia.

Norway in particular, is responsible for launching social policy which enables women to reproduce during the optimum time period without loss of finances and therefor loss of taxes paid. Many of the Nordic countries, unlike many other developed Western countries have an increasing birth rate. It is believed that this is due to the implementation of policy including extended parental leave, subsidises child care and economic support packages for families.

Interestingly a study published in Demographic Research in 2004, showed longer maternity leave with better pay had a positive impact on the number of women reproducing in their twenties and thirties, suggesting policy can have a significant effect on when women chose to have children.


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