There is no right or wrong time to have a baby– different decades have their benefits, with ways to keep you and your little one healthy
'Your egg stock is at its peak'
High. Your egg stock is at its peak, so it’s easier to get pregnant. Although being young is no guarantee of pregnancy – health issues, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), could reduce fertility, so you won’t know until you try.
You’re most likely to be
Be physically fit. ‘You’ll probably feel better and have more energy during pregnancy,’ says fertility expert and midwife Zita West.
You’re least likely to be
Feel emotionally confident or have your career sorted. ‘You’ve only just defined yourself as an adult, so becoming a parent and making decisions about bringing up a child is a big step,’ says psychologist Mia Scotland.
What the experts say
'Research has found that only 6% of women in their 20s take folic acid supplements during pregnancy'
Your pelvic floor is strongest during your 20s. ‘This can make for a more comfortable pregnancy, with less chance of a weak bladder, and a quicker labour and recovery,’ says Dr Penelope Law, consultant obstetrician at The Portland Hospital. ‘You’re also less likely to get pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.’ On the flip side, you’re statistically more likely to smoke or drink beyond what you should. Research has found that only 6% of women in their 20s take folic acid supplements during pregnancy, compared to 40% of women aged 35 to 39.
What can you do?
Get prepped by stocking up on pregnancy vitamins and working on your mindset for labour. ‘Read up on pregnancy and labour, and go to antenatal classes – women in their 20s tend to be less clued up about birth, which can lead to them feeling anxious and not fully prepared,’ says Zita.
One mum reports back:
Nicola Johnston, 25, from Carlisle, a marketing administrator, is 36 weeks pregnant
‘My career is in the early stages, so I’m not worried about taking a break. I’ll be able to enjoy the first few years as a mum without worrying about putting my career on hold. Once my child – or children – are in school, I’ll be able to focus on work. At times, the idea of being a mum has felt overwhelming. I think my hormones got the better of me. I talked it all through with my husband, family and midwife, and found writing a blog useful. It feels like the right time.’
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