When Is The Right Age To Become A Mother?
8 minutes read
I married at a scenic seaside wedding in Seychelles when I was 27. Soon after the ceremony, even before the idea of being married sank in, the burgeoning baby questions came.
For three years, it had become taxing to dismiss people’s seemingly harmless probes repeatedly and politely with a simple reply – ‘it’s in the plan.’
Now that I’m expecting, I’m sharing how I dealt with societal pressure and what I’m prioritising to have a positive and pleasant pregnancy.
When should you become a mum?
It’s funny how public opinion is divided on this subject. When you have a baby at a young age, you might be told that you have jeopardised your education and career.
At a later stage in your life, you might be warned about your biological clock ticking or blamed that being too ambitious could cost you creating a family.
This leaves us with mixed messages and also where the magical mid-point lies of when is the best time.
While many factors come into play to pinpoint the right age to become a mother, age is just one factor. It boils down to your and your partner’s willingness and readiness.
Scientifically speaking, some experts agree that the best time to have a baby is between your late 20s and early 30s. This timeline allows women to create an emotional, financial, spiritual and career foundation with the confidence that time is on their body’s side. It’s also when partners may be ready for family life. But this is different for every couple.
Each woman has its timing
Early on in my marriage, I veered away from the baby topic. But I wasn’t just into it. At first, I thought something was utterly wrong with me because when I got married, I got teased about becoming a housewife – there’s nothing wrong with that, my mum is, and she’s the best woman I’ve ever known. But labelling me with something I can’t identify myself was terrifying. So, I became more ambitious than I ever was.
However, my husband and I were hoping someday we’d want to have a baby.
Then 2022 came. I started feeling broody. It was this time that felt not just right but perfect. And it was a mutual decision.
4 things I prepared to have a pleasant and positive pregnancy
I am currently in my third trimester. I got pregnant at 30 (right before I hit 31), and we’ll welcome our firstborn early 2023. But before reaching this stage, I had to solidify and strengthen my relationship with four key things to ensure a pleasant, peaceful, and positive pregnancy.
Before having a baby, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food and my body. I ate unhealthily, especially during the pandemic, and starved to look slim at times. I knew this was not the kind of body I’d want to host my baby-to-be. It took a while to develop a healthy outlook regarding food, and I must say, I’m still a work in progress. I have stopped obsessing about checking the weighing scale and ate what I felt to nurture and nourish my body. However, I still caved into my cravings. I’ve learned depriving myself would cause a relapse into my old unhealthy eating habits. I had to find a balance.
A profound responsibility is one of the best things my pregnancy instilled in me. This includes my diet because I know I’m not eating for myself but for my little one too. And soon after birth, I know I must continue eating healthily to have the energy I need postpartum and beyond.
I’ve enrolled in a Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Plan, The Bump Plan, (£240 billed every 12 months) to support me and build strength during pregnancy and postpartum. It’s facilitated by leading pregnancy fitness expert Hollie Grant and the workouts are customised and designed for my current stage in pregnancy. What I love about it is that I have a 24/7 access to workouts, podcast and growing parental community so I can be active, equipped and supported althroughout my pregnacy and postpartum journey.
Since I’m in the final weeks of my pregnancy, I’m looking forward to the postnatal workouts, which are physio-approved to help with my holistic recovery that will hopefully be instrumental to feeling empowered, strong, and capable of dealing with anything motherhood throws my way.
Read next: Nutritionist-Approved Guide To Clean Eating
I have written a fair bit of bump beauty articles for Beauty Daily, and I have religiously followed the advice of experts from every single one of them.
Clarins’ skin therapists recommend Tonic Oil as soon as you find out you’re expecting, as your skin might have already started changing without you even realising it. So, the sooner you can get into a daily application routine, the better.
Since day one, I slather my bump generously with oils and shea butter. I am nine months in, and I have yet to see a sign of a stretch mark. It is safe to say my Tonic Treatment Oil – Firming/Toning, £44, are my constant daily ritual.
It has become my second nature to massage my belly with tonic oil in the morning, evening, and just when I feel like it (perks of working from home). I’ll continue this body care routine after giving birth until my skin returns to its pre-pregnancy state.
In addition, I make sure to never skip on my SPF regardless of whether it’s sunny or snowy to prevent melasma or the ‘mask of pregnancy’. It’s highly prevalent among pregnant women due to pregnancy hormonal imbalance and unprotected sun exposure.
My face and body care products are mostly Clarins. So, I didn’t have a hard time switching to a new pregnancy skincare routine. All Clarins products are pregnancy safe.
One of the things I’m grateful for before getting pregnant is having to cover a couple of maternal mental health stories. Pre-pregnancy, I had tendencies of depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Experts say one in five women may experience perinatal anxiety and depression during their pregnancy and the first year after giving birth. Psychologists recommend managing this by identifying their emotional triggers.
There are only two things we can control – our thoughts and our actions. So, I listed things that make me unhappy and worked on them, e.g., my unhealthy relationship with food.
This was also when I spent some time evaluating my life’s positive and negative connections. I’ve also learned to filter advice and not take things too personally. All these things made a massive impact on my pregnancy.
If there is one thing that has kept me sane up to this moment, it’s my spiritual faith. Pregnancy is a time of enormous uncertainty. You’re emotionally, physically, and mentally challenged, and it’s pretty draining. So while my husband is my greatest support, it’s different when I’m alone with my thoughts. Having a solid and steadfast faith has reassured me.
Having a baby is a beautiful gift, but the costs of starting a family can be astronomical. The average price of raising a child to age 18 is around £202,660 in the UK. I couldn’t fathom people pushing and pressuring couples into having a baby without even considering whether they’re financially fit for such an enormous responsibility.
Financial security is just as important as physical, emotional, and spiritual readiness. If one of these is lacking, it could jeopardise an expecting couple and pregnant woman’s mental and physical state and, thus, the babies.
Being part of a caring and cultivating company is a game-changer. It has helped me decide to have a child while pursuing a career. The idea that family comes first, and work is second speaks a thousand words about a company’s working environment. Being granted up to nine months of maternity pay and 12 months of maternity leave is something.
I have seen women in my industry thrive and be exceptionally good at what they do, and they are equally great wives, mums, and leaders in organisations. I aspire to be like them, and I know having a child will make me a better person.
Final Word: For me, establishing my own identity beyond motherhood, building financial security, and having health and energy were crucial factors that led to my readiness for raising a family, and so was my husband. It’s a joint venture.
These past nine months into pregnancy have been one of my life’s most pleasant and positive periods because those four pillars were constantly solidified.
Falling under society’s pressure and having decisions influenced is one of the gravest mistakes one can ever make. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to lead our lives, but it must be recognised that there is more than one fulfilling path for women.
-Anne Lora Scagliusi
Here are more suggested maternal beauty and wellness reads for you. Check out: Nutritionists Approved Pregnancy Vitamins To Nurture You And Your Bump or Your Comprehensive Guide To Bump Beauty.
Concerned about using self-tanner while pregnant? Read Your Complete Pregnancy Safe Self-Tan Guide.