Before You Start Your Family…

Women became mothers for the first time at an average of 24 years old in 1970. These days, the average age is 28. Thanks to higher education and more women choosing when to start their families, women have the freedom now more than ever to choose when to get pregnant. Women want to finish college and establish their careers before motherhood, and with reliable birth control being readily available, women and their spouses have the luxury to wait.

There are various steps you must take before deciding if parenthood is part of your future. The accompanying resource details a brief list of questions to ask yourself before you and your partner choose to become parents.

The easiest time for women to conceive a child is in their 20s. However, women across America are holding off on becoming a mom for numerous reasons, such as being too young and not having found the appropriate partner. The U.S. Census Bureau states that the median marriage age in 1970 was 23 for men and 20 for women. In 2018, it was 29 for men and 27 for women. Having a steady, reliable partner is a main determinant in bringing a child into the world.

In addition to a long-term partner, it’s paramount to take into account personal goals such as travel and other achievements. Also consider finances and budgeting; the infographic goes over well-known and hidden costs of starting a family.

Also, a strong support system of family and friends will help you tremendously. If this is not an option, one alternative would be to join with other parents in a similar situation and solve the issue. Living in a child-friendly neighborhood or community is also a good choice; the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” is true.

Finally, conception, pregnancy, and parenthood are easier if both parents are in good health. You may be somewhat healthy, but still have trouble conceiving because of age, weight, or other genetic factors. If you still wish to become a parent despite these obstacles, it is recommended to be open to genetic testing of you, your partner and the baby’s health in utero. If you have a history of miscarriages, seek answers, and consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) to inquire about your chances of a healthy conception and birth.

We wish you all the best when making your decision and hope a happy and healthy baby makes its way into your home! For more information, please see the accompanying guide.

Visit Natera’s website for more information and resources, such as ctDNA testing

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