When to start a family is always a hot topic, with TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp believing women should get pregnant by the age of 27. But a range of new fertility services offered by Apple and Facebook to female staff could be a game changer in the ongoing debate…
Two of the world’s largest technology companies in the US have revealed they’re offering to freeze the eggs of the women who work for them as well as a ‘host of other fertility services’ – so that they can make both their career aspirations and dreams of parenthood come true. How’s that for going the extra mile for their employees?
READ: FREEZING YOUR EGGS JUST GOT EASIER. WOULD YOU?
Facebook has already begun offering female staff members up to $20,000 (£12, 570) to freeze their eggs, so they can hold off having kids until later on in their careers. And Apple plans to offer the same ‘service’ to their employees from January.
Facebook has already begun offering female staff members up to $20,000 (£12, 570) to freeze their eggs
READ: THE NEW FERTILITY TREATMENTS ON THE BLOCK
Freezing your eggs tends to cost between $10,000 and $15,000 and around $1,000-a-year to keep the harvested eggs on ice. So Facebook and Apple’s offer will give women the option to delay becoming a mum for at least five years.
Facebook isn’t stopping at helping its female employees becoming parents – the social network company is also offering to help their male staff become dads. All staff will have the option of help with adopting a child and surrogacy, as well as a ‘host of other fertility services,’ the company said in a statement. And Facebook, who’s chief operating officer is feminist change agent Sheryl Sandberg, also famously gives new parents $4,000 in ‘baby cash’ to use.
READ: KATIE PRICE REVEALS PLAN TO FREEZE HER EGGS – AND HOW MANY CHILDREN SHE WANTS
Both Facebook and Apple hope these services will help make more people want to work for them (and stay working for them longer), lessening the biological pressure of men and women to have children before a certain age.
But while both companies’ fertility options give employees the chance to have children later, Location, Location, Location presenter Kirstie Allsopp has previously urged women to think carefully about timings as being an older mum can come with health complications. Talking about her beliefs in Stylist magazine, the presenter says, ‘Some studies suggest that you have as low as a 10 per cent chance of conceiving a child if you’re over 40.'
READ: KIRSTIE ALLSOPP – WOMEN SHOULD HAVE BABIES FIRST, CAREERS LATER
There also isn’t a guarantee a frozen egg will work as well as a ‘fresh’ one. ‘Technology for egg freezing has really moved forward in a huge way,’ says Dr Dawn Harper on Good Morning Britain. ’10 years or so ago we knew that the freezing process meant that it could damage part of the egg. We now freeze things much more quickly and we know that a frozen egg today is probably almost as good as a fresh egg – but maybe not as quite.’
Do you think UK companies should offer more family-planning support? Let us know in the comments box below.