Many friends whom I know, including myself, would love to start plan B (B for Baby) after they have enjoyed their marriage for about 2 years. That’s a reasonable time before committing themselves to parenthood for life. Well, statistics show that many are putting off marriage till early 30s or mid-30s. That could only mean that plan B will start mid-30s and late 30s and there comes increasing complications, particularly in health. Not to mention that waiting for a successful pregnancy may be longer.
What is in store for those who start plan B late?
1. Fewer kids
If a couple were to have their first baby at the age of 32, they will be less likely to have more than 2 kids. It is more ideal that there is a space of at least 18 months between 2 pregnancies for the womb and body to recover from childbirth stress. Family planning will see that the 2nd child be delivered at the age of 34 and beyond, and the 3rd will be over 35 which the woman will fall into the high risk category. Exceptions will probably be those delivering twins or triplets.
2. Energy level goes down with age
Those who have children will know that children’s energy levels will always surpass that of their parents. It’s tiring to keep up with the kids’ energy level. From day 1, they demand night feeds which really zap energy like a thirsty hippo. In toddler days, the wobbly walking and head over heels running will keep you on your toes behind them, back bent forwards with arms outstretched to anticipate falls. When they master running, you wonder why they hardly walk anymore. I often imagine XX and YH’s feet fitted with rockets. Whenever we return from my parent’s house for dinner, we have to walk through this long corridor at about 830pm. Then their “rockets” start to propel them down the corridor despite countless fore-warnings to walk quietly. Kel and I wonder if the opposite would happen if we have shouted “RUN! RUN FASTER!”.
3. You may be mistaken as your children’s grandparents
Unless you upkeep your image, you may be mistaken for your children’s granny or grandpa if you are not careful. By the time your youngest child reaches 20 years old, you could be near 60! My parents were already grandparents when they were 50 and 55 years old. But those were the generation of early marriage and parenthood. This would only get worse with each generation procrastinating plan B.
4. Complications in pregnancy and health
There are many risks with getting pregnant beyond the age of 35. Rates of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy go up with age. In fact, these women will have to go through genetic counselling and genetic testing to screen or diagnose for birth defects. Of course, all pregnancies may come with birth defect risk, but age factor raises this risk substantially. The older you are to get pregnant, the higher the risk of getting chronic disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. You can visit babycenter for more information on this.
5. Better handle kids when you are older
This is perhaps the only positive reason I can think of for having children at an older age. Being older may mean that you can handle babies and young children with more patience compared to when you were in your mid-20s. You may be at a more matured mental state to handle crying babies and demanding children and you’ll be able to enjoy your children more. I find myself handling my 3rd baby better than I did when I had my first child. Experience plays a part, but I am calmer and more at ease to face the challenges of child-rearing now than before. Financially, you may be more stable and that eliminates one major stress factor, making plan B more affordable.
Considering the above factors, I think it is good to start plan B as early as possible into your marriage. When I delivered XX, my first child, I was 26, YH when I was 28 and now YT when I was 33. I could feel lots of difference when I was pregnant in my 20s compared to my 30s. The greatest difference was my energy level. It was much lower when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. I got tired easily and was sleepier than before. I was not as agile as my first 2 pregnancies and walked with much difficulties during the last 2 weeks before I delivered. Even the delivery saw me push 4 times before the baby was out compared to 2 times with my other 2.
Have children early and never think that you are not ready for them. The moment the crying newborn is put into your hands, you are a MUM or DAD. There will be no doubt that the baby trusts you entirely for his happiness. If such a little one can trust you, you can do it!
What’s your ideal age for having kids?