Parenting

Turns out there’s a ‘right’ age to start a family (did you get it right?)

Want two kids? Then you better have your first at the age of 27. This is the latest findings from a reproductive medical professional in Western Australia.

Professor Roger Hart has designed a family planning ‘baby calculator’ that can not only determine your chances of falling pregnant based on your age but also the best times to start the procreation process depending on how many kids you would like to have.

 

Sascha Farley bump happy face

Start young. This is the main advice that University of WA professor of reproductive medicine Roger Hart has for couples considering having children. In fact, start really young! 

While the average age of mothers in Australia continues to increase – statistics show the average Aussie mum is 30.1, compared to 27.9 in 1991. And Hart revealed that starting ‘later’ in life poses a series of problems, especially in your chances to conceive naturally.

Close up of pregnant woman holding ultrasound scan

And the magic age for baby making is…

For women who want three kids, then they had better get cracking at the ripe old age of 23.

For women who want two kids, they can enjoy their 20s for a few more years. Roger suggests the prime age for procreation is 27.

If a woman is happy to have one child, then she can start trying at the age of 32, Roger suggests.

The rise of IVF

Women who are not adverse to IVF have a little more time to prepare for this life change. If you want three kids, you can start at 28, two kids, 32, and one child, 35.

And it would appear many women are opting for this route with one in 25 children born in Australia now the result of IVF. One in seven children born to women over the age of 37 is an IVF baby.

Family or freedom?

Many women want to enjoy their 20s before trading in their cocktail dresses for cloth nappies. More importantly, many young couples simply cannot afford to start a family at such a young age. At the age of 23, I was barely able to pay my phone bill let alone consider the costs that come with raising a child!

But could delaying your plans to start a family really mean missing out completely?

Of course not. There are no guarantees when it comes to parenting and conception follows this same rule. His findings, however, do support that a mother’s age impacts her chances of easily falling pregnant.

According to his research, a 25-year-old’s chances of becoming pregnant within three months of trying is 18 per cent. A 35-year-old woman has a 12 per cent chance of falling pregnant after three months of trying while a 40-year-old woman’s chance of falling pregnant after three months of trying drops to 7 per cent.

There are always going to be exceptions to the rule and while the baby calculator may be able to provide a general rule of thumb to help with family planning, every woman’s biological clock ticks to its own beat.

So according to the baby calculator, have you had your children at the ‘right age’? Or did you, like me, miss the prime procreation memo?

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Healthy Mummy Smoothie Vanilla

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jenna
written by:

Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna traded in the cold mountain air for the laid back lifestyle of Australia nine years ago. She is now a mum to one son, one daughter, one dog and one cat, all of whom live with her and her partner in Cairns, QLD. When not writing about the ups and downs of parenting, she is usually outside doing some form of physical activity or indulging in a glass of antioxidant-infused fruit drink. Okay, it's wine.