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What is the ideal age range for giving birth? How old before you're pushing it?


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Forgive me if this is supposed to be common knowledge. I'm just trying to make some sense of how things were generations ago vs. how they are today.


Most people in my parents generation got married in their early 20s. In historical literature, you often read of teen brides. These days, most of my friends are approaching, or in, or thirties, and probably fewer than half are married. "30 is the new 20", or whatever you want to say. Most people I know consider under 30 too young to be married, given their ambitions and the trajectories they've put themselves on.


There are plenty of easy to understand things going on; in a nutshell, society is becoming less aligned with nature, and because of career and other factors, plenty of people aren't really in a position to have a child responsibly until they're into their thirties.


So my questions are the following:


1.) What is the ideal age range for having a child, ignoring societal factors? AKA, biologically, in what age range is the woman healthiest and most likely to have a complication-free pregnancy/birth?


2.) At what age range does the risk of complication increase significantly? I really don't know, but I do know that I don't know of many women over 40 having babies.


3.) What age range is most common today for having a baby? I know there are plenty of differences accross cultures and classes, etc. But generally speaking, do you know what age most women are when they give birth these days?


If anyone knows of any resources/articles/texts along these lines, I'd be most thankful for a link.


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1) "Biologically" it's supposed to be in your early to mid-20's as your eggs are "fresher" and your body is developed enough to carry a pregnancy and give birth...however....times are changing as woman take better care of themselves these days then they did years ago too. I would argue a 35 year old whom takes care of themselves before and during pregnancy will have a healthier pregnancy and birth than a 22 year old whom is overweight, eats like crap and has little regard for her body. It just depends on her fertility...again, healthier women these days means longer fertility (obesity for example affects fertility).


Complications can occur at any age....I do know a couple friends with disabled children, both whom had them in their mid 20's, or whom had complicated pregnancies....


My mother for example had 5 miscarriages between me and my brother, and she was only 22-24 at the time....my grandmother had 7 in her 20's.....it all depends on your own health as well as certain genetics (there is a gene that can lead to higher risk of miscarriage which genetic counsellors we have talked to suspect my family may carry actually)....


Regardless, I am waiting until I am ready whatever age I am. I take very good care of my health and no my body will physically be healthy to carry a baby. If my eggs don't agree, then I can always adopt.


2) I know MANY women having babies over 40! Many of them have their first after 40 these days..... technically you can have them until you go through menopause (naturally anyway) but you are not as fertile and may not ovulate as often, etc so it is not as "easy" (then again, it may not be easy even if you are 25)...


Generally risks of complications increase around 30-35, there is a higher risk of Down's Syndrome for example....but testing is also far more advanced these days and often these are caught early. Again, most women I know have their children in their 30's and 40's these days and all have had healthy pregnancies and babies.


3) Couldn't tell you...depends highly on your peers and the culture. I do know the average age of marriage is higher now....27 for her, 31 for him....so many do wait later these days. Most of my peers personally do not have children until their late 20's or 30's (and as I said, I know a few whom waited until their 40's) often due to marrying later, career development, personal choice, etc.

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interesting, thank you. how about the famed biological clock? one friend my age ( 28 ) speaks about nothing but, and others don't really mention it all. does this vary accross individuals widely? in terms of age of onset, as well as strength of impluses?

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Who knows....I know some whom whom have a raging desire for children from the time they are teenagers, others who never do. Most I know (and myself personally) have a desire that is stronger at some times more than others so it kind of goes through phases, but I can't say I have yet had a "raging" desire for children yet even though I do want them (and I will be 29 this year)...and this may indeed be related to my own personal feelings about children, and my own goals at this point in my life as well as where I am.

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I think 18+ is really biologically OK, maybe even 17, a womans hips are more rigid later in her 20's and early thirties.


I know 40's and on increases risks of things like Downs Syndrome.


I had my daughter at 29, I was considered medically an "elderly primavera" (sp?) elderly 1st timer, I was insulted! But health and fitness of the mother is equally as important as age, my gyno said he wished many of his 18 yr old patients were as healthy as I was.

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My mum was married at 18, had me at 21 and is now six months preg with her 7th child, 8th pregnancy at 43. She says she always wanted to have a lot of kids, always had the impulse and is hoping to have one more after ths one.

I'm almost 22 and I get the want quite badly sometimes, and I don't really like kids! Just nature doing it's job I guess.

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The scientific answer theoretically would be anytime before 35. Once your past 35, you would become a Geriatric mother and prone to alot more diseases occurring in your offspring.


Geriatric mother? I don't think so.....you are most definitely NOT old at 35 (though it may seem like it when you are 18!)


There is a higher risk, but hardly a "lot more" and young moms still can have babies with illnesses and disabilities.

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my GP and I were were discussing this!


According to her, best time is before 35, past this you are looking at neural tube defects and complications during pregnancy. They say it's best when you are in late 20s.

It may be easier to fall pregnany when you are younger, however, there is actually a higher risk of miscarrying in your early 20s the late 20s.

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  • 5 months later...

My OB/Gyn stated the human body was biologically optimum at 18 - 22. This is due in part to the fact that life spans were shorter at one time and women starter to bear children earlier. Our bodies don't adjust to the social changes as quickly. What made sense 2,000 years ago, doesn't fit with present society, but our bodies do not biologically adjust to social changes that quickly.


In 1981, I was considered an elderly first mother, that was the medical terminology for me.

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