A few years ago, women under 18 or over 35 were considered to have unsafe pregnancies. Today the percentage of women who decide to get pregnant at 35 is higher and the age of risk has risen to 40.
When deciding to be a mother, many sociocultural, economic and personal factors influence. The age to become pregnant also influences and a pregnancy or delivery with 20 is not the same as with 30 or 40. We see what advantages and disadvantages each decade has when facing motherhood.
Motherhood at 30
The access of women to higher education and a subsequent consolidation of the job have meant that the average age of access to motherhood has been increasing .
A priori, we can consider that an optimal age would be the 1920s, but there are multiple scientific and sociocultural studies that establish the optimal age for motherhood at 30-35 based on the following arguments:
- The woman’s body and its reproductive function reach maturity in the 1930s. Menstrual cycles are much more regular in this decade than in the previous one, and the female body is much more consolidated and mature. However, in very young women the body has not acquired sufficient development and pregnancy involves a physical overload that can be an added risk factor for pregnancy.
- Over the years we gain experience and wisdom, which is why, in general, we are more psychologically mature at 30 than at 20. Women who plan their pregnancies after 30 tend to take better care of themselves and have more medical supervision than women younger. This affects better neonatal outcomes, as well as better feeding and caring for the baby.
- In the same way, the way of stimulating children is different according to the age of the mother, and it is considered that the children of mothers in their 30s are better stimulated than those of their 20s.
- Statistically, the group of women who are mothers from the age of 30 have a higher level of education and better jobs than younger ones, which can be interpreted as allowing them to provide a better education and a healthier lifestyle.
Maternity from 35
Regarding postponing motherhood beyond 35 years:
- From the age of 35 the chances of conceiving begin to decline . After 40 this process is accentuated. This is due to the aging of the eggs , which substantially decrease their quality. Chromosomal abnormalities can also appear, increasing the risk of pathologies (such as Down syndrome) and even eggs that are not suitable for developing an embryo.
- From the age of 40, women experience menstrual cycles that, although ovulatory, are not fertile .
- Pregnancies in women over 40 have a much higher incidence of gestational diabetes , hypertension , pre-eclampsia and there is a higher rate of cesarean sections compared to vaginal deliveries in these women than in younger women.
- The postpartum recovery is also significantly slower and more difficult the older. In this sense, the younger they are, the better they recover. The elasticity and flexibility of the tissues is lost with age.
- The ability to cope with day to day after caring for a newborn who wakes up every three hours all night is also reduced the older you are …
- Different studies suggest that the children of older mothers are more overprotected and have more sedentary activities than those of young mothers, which would affect their psychomotor development.
Obviously, all these are generalities and statistics , as there will be perfectly qualified 20-year-old mothers who will stimulate their children and give them the best care. Similarly, there will be physically fit mothers in their 40s who will tolerate pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum without problems and who will be able to keep up with the pace set by the children without exhausting themselves.
What you should know…
- There are multiple scientific and sociocultural studies that establish the optimal age for motherhood at 30-35.
- But after 35, a downward curve begins in the possibilities of conceiving, which slowly decreases until 40 and very rapidly thereafter.
- Pregnancies in women over 40 have a much higher incidence of diabetes, hypertension, and pre-eclampsia.