Today there has been another wave of articles generated from the latest “fertility time bomb” warning from reproductive scientists. However, we are concerned that these admonitions are issued in a way that completely ignores the reality of women’s lives and the very understandable reasons why women are choosing to have children later in their thirties.
In our experience there are many
factors which lead women to delay starting their families into their thirties.
Career pressures may be among them, but this is often closely related to women
wanting financial security before having a baby, and indeed their own home. The
importance of being in the right relationship is for many women paramount, as
few want to take on the responsibility of parenthood with a partner they are
We also need to be wary of
overstating the risks of later motherhood. If anything many women now
overestimate the difficulties of getting pregnant after the age of 35 - we see
many women in this age group with unplanned pregnancies after taking chances
with contraception because they believed their fertility had declined
dramatically. We need to work harder to understand the reasons for later motherhood
and not scaremonger or stigmatise those who make the rational and considered
choice to delay starting their families until they are ready.