Doctors Say Women Should Not Delay Having Children Until It Is Too Late

17/06/2009 09:14 | Updated 22 May 2015

Doctors have warned that women should have babies before they are 35 or risk infertility and other health problems.

Experts at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) say the 'optimum age' for childbearing is between 20 and 35 and it would encourage women to consider having families during this time.

But that's easier said than done for a lot of women.

The RCOG says there is an "urgent need" for better public information on the issues surrounding later maternity.

I'm sure most women are aware that they will find it harder to conceive if they put it off until their late 30s.

But when it's so difficult to forge a career, particularly in the current economic climate, and so hard to get on the property ladder, many just don't feel it's an option.

The doctors agree there is a growing trend in the UK for women to put off having children, for many reasons including building a career and achieving financial independence.

But, they say, 66 of women over 42.

Women over 40 are also considered to be at a higher risk of pregnancy complications.

I agree we should know the facts but I'm not sure encouraging women to have babies before they feel they are ready is really the answer.

There are bigger problems here. When my parents were starting a family in the early 1970s, they could afford to buy a house on one salary. Now, for most people in their 20s, that isn't an option.

There's more pressure on young women to build a career and it's hard to do that if you take a break. I know many people at work were surprised when I decided to have a baby at 29.

It's almost as if career-minded women are expected to wait until the last possible moment and then pop out the perfect family as well. It's like a version of chicken, only with babies.

What do you think? Did you wait until it was too late, or did you buck the trend and have a baby in your early 20s?

Source: [The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists]

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