Statistics show that we’re leaving it later, sometimes to our cost. The average age of women giving birth now is a year older than it was a decade ago; 29.5 in 2010 compared with 28.5 in 2000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Department of Health research shows the abortion rate for women aged 30-34 increased by 10% between 2009 and 2011 too, indicating more women choosing to delay motherhood until their late 30s.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the biological reality is stark. “The aim should be to have a baby before 35, certainly by 37,” says Dr Magdy Asaad of London Fertility Centre. “It becomes much more difficult after 35. The number and quality of your eggs are reduced. It’s difficult for women because life expectancy is increasing – it’s now 80-85 years – so a 40-year-old still feels young. But it’s a different story with your ovaries. If circumstances allow, you should be considering babies in your late 20s or early 30s.” Ah, yes, “if circumstances allow” – and that’s the crux. When do any of us feel the timing is 100% right? There is no completely perfect time to become a mum