Today, late parenthood has become every person’s option.
Never in the past have the parents had their first children as late as in the recent decades. Gone are the days when young people grew up through having kids.
Today, people feel that they have to grow first and plan for the children after they have fulfilled their dreams.
Though it’s one’s own choice to plan their parenthood, it’s worth knowing the reasons people are opting for late parenthood and the implications it has on both the children and parents.
Why is late parenthood on the rise?
Technology should be given the credit for delayed parenthood as it has given us a chance to lead our lives in a proper sequence.
People today opt to achieve their aspirations first, get financial stability and then plan for children.
Higher educational aspirations for women resulted in a significant shift to later ages of childbearing. Better educated women are likely to pursue careers with high profiles, and higher remuneration.
If both are working men and women, they are more willing to establish their career path first and postpone childbearing until they feel they can afford them.
What is the right age for having kids?
There are not any age limitations to have kids. Thanks to the technology evolution, we can see the many mothers who had their children at the age of 60 for the first time.
But parental age is the most important factor and a major determinant of fertility.
The average woman’s reproductive years are between ages 12 and 51 and your fertility naturally declines as you get older, which could make it harder for you to conceive.
Male fertility also wanes with age with an increased risk of ejaculatory dysfunction and decreased libido.
Implications of Late Parenthood
Just like the two sides of a coin, late parenthood has its pros and cons.
Benefits of Delayed Parenthood
Undoubtedly, there is a sense of maturity that comes along with your age.
You will have more time to achieve financial stability and emotional maturity and have more patience to look after your kids. Children will bring you joy, meaning to live in your later age.
Downsides of Delayed Parenthood
Changing the typical timeline for having kids has implications – for both children and parents – that can’t be ignored.
Late motherhood is on the rise with most men and women being unaware of the age-related relationship to an increased risk of infertility, and inability to have children at late ages.
Postponing parenthood is associated with an increased risk of infertility, pregnancy complications, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Delayed childbearing also poses a high risk of diabetes or hypertension in pregnancy and the risk of endometriosis and tubal disease that can negatively impact fertility.
Delayed parenthood is also associated with the risk of breast cancer.
There is an increased likelihood of miscarriages and pregnancy complications on a woman’s body and her baby with an increased risk of mortality and morbidity in newborns.
Along with the risk of multiple births, preterm delivery, stillbirth, and C-section, late parenthood can cause havoc with the next generation’s health. There are higher medical risks of lower birth weight of the newborn, autism, schizophrenia, and developmental delays to children born to older fathers and mothers.
Delayed parenthood sometimes requires the parents to rely on invasive assisted reproductive technology (ART) to get pregnant, which increases the cost too.
Parents will have more stress looking after their elders as well as kids. There is also a greater likelihood that the children of older parents will become orphaned as relatively young adults.
As parental ages are now increasing across the world, so are concerns about the health and well-being consequences of postponed parenthood.
Science will always support you, but keep in mind that fertility treatments work less well with age. It’s not only your reproductive potential that deteriorates with time but also your general health.
It’s not only important to be fit only to bear a child, but also to nurture your kids after birth.
So, it’s always better to plan your pregnancy a little earlier in life to avoid any complications and for the good of your family.