To celebrate Alternative Families Week 2015, I provide five reasons why having a baby won't ruin your working life.
Women have been urged by fertility experts for years not to wait before having a baby. Many more women than before are starting their family later in order to focus on their working lives. While many believe there is no right time to have a baby, especially while they search for the perfect partner, we look at five reasons why having a baby won't ruin your career.
1. Keep in touch days
Keep in touch days allow you to return to work for 10 days during a full maternity or adoption leave period, without bringing your maternity leave pay to an end. That means that if you feel anxious about important meetings, which will take place during your maternity leave - you don't have to miss out. These 10 days can come in very useful to stay on top of what's going on at the office or finish a project.
2. Fertility treatment is better than ever before
Fertility experts are getting better and better at what they do. So if you've focused on getting your career to that crucial level and need information about getting pregnant during the latter part of your fertile years, there are still options. The Alternative Parenting Show has experts in all areas of fertility. The UK's first clinic to offer treatment to single women and lesbian couples, the London Women's Clinic, is this year's headline sponsor and will be present offering help and advice. Whether it's IVF, egg counting, freezing or sharing or donor insemination, they can give you the advice and contacts you need.
3. Company daycare
Many companies offer daycare centres to their employees. In addition, the rise of flexible and shared working hours shows that employers are beginning to recognise the benefits of efficiently delivered work, rather than the ability to sit behind a desk for eight solid hours.
4. Knowing your rights
Rules about shared parental leave came into effect earlier this year, meaning the baby's father will be entitled to equally split the 12 months leave previously afforded to new mothers. Splitting parental leave early on in this way might even help to set a precedent for the child/house care balance between you and your partner. Modern families come in all shapes and sizes and many children are raised in families where their primary carer is a father, or a second mother for that matter. Shared parental leave allows families to freely decide if or how to split the shared parental leave around their family circumstances.
5. You can be a single mother
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority announced last year that the number of single women choosing to have IVF has doubled over the past five years. Donor conception has greatly improved in recent years, giving a wide range of choices to women who, for whatever reason, decide to become single parents. Nearly half of all babies in England and Wales were born outside marriage or a civil partnership - a rise of almost 7% in the last ten years. The worry that a child's development will be affected was put to bed by a study for the Economic and Social Research Council, which found that children's development is affected very little by the structure of their family. As a single mother, there are benefits you may be eligible for, like Working Tax Credits. The London Women's Clinic is hosting and INSEMINAR seminar for single women to better understand their fertility at the Alternative Parenting Show on Saturday 19th September in London.
Find out more about your fertility options at the Alternative Parenting Show on Saturday 19th September at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Please visit the website for more details: www.alternativeparenting.co.uk