Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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Conceiving in your early 20s is a good plan, but there are certain tips you MUST definitely keep in mind.
From a biological perspective, getting pregnant in the early 20s might seem the right choice. There are fewer physical issues one might face after conceiving in their early 20s, but you also have to consider other factors. The twenties are a time when women are making important career choices, entering into relationships, and trying to be financially stable. If they plan to conceive during this time, it is important to get a clear picture of what that would look like.
Pros of pregnancy in the 20s
It will be easier to conceive in the early 20s as this is the most fertile period among both males and females. As women get older, their fertility rate starts decreasing, affecting the quality and quantity of eggs. This could make conception difficult and sometimes may lead to a risk of genetic abnormalities. However, during the 20s, chances of chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s Syndrome and birth defects are less.
Another advantage of getting pregnant in your early 20s is that you will be less likely to suffer from chronic complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, and some gynecological issues such as endometriosis, fibroids, etc. One of the benefits of getting pregnant during this period is that you have a lower risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth. This means that you can enjoy a healthy pregnancy with minimal or no complications.
Parenting is physically easier in the 20s, as you have the required strength to get up in the middle of the night several times for breastfeeding and taking care of your baby. As you are physically fitter and active, your labour may have few or no complications due to the absence of chronic issues. Also, the chances of a C-section are less, which are usually higher among older women.
Cons of pregnancy in the early 20s
Pregnancy during the 20s can have a few cons, especially related to parenting and career. As you will have less life experience, you will find it a little hard to adjust to several changes after having a baby. You might be less financially stable as you may not have achieved many goals and desires as compared to people in their 30s. Women in their 30s can focus more on parenting as they are more financially stable and independent. Therefore, this becomes one of the disadvantages of conceiving early in life.
Also, read: An unplanned pregnancy and abortion can impact your health. Know the risks
Also, due to lack of life experience, young mothers may feel more anxious and overwhelmed. Taking care of a baby can be emotionally and physically taxing for young couples. So, choosing to become parents at this age should be done after proper consideration and thought. Some people find parenting to be an easier task during the late 30s, as couples tend to have more wisdom and maturity to raise a child.
Planning a pregnancy at any age: Things to keep in mind
No matter at what age you decide to conceive, you must keep a few things in mind. For a healthy pregnancy, you must stay physically fit and active and do the required exercises. Also, do not forget to get yourself checked regularly by your gynecologist, both before and after conception. Regular visits help your doctor provide the necessary guidance and care. This also aids in detecting any complications as early as possible.
Also, read: Happier moms, happier babies! Keep mental health in check during pregnancy, says expert
In the end, it is your choice
There is no one right answer to determine the proper age to have a baby. It completely depends on your personal preferences. Decide on what you want to prioritize in life. There are numerous factors to consider before you decide on embarking on the roller coaster of a journey that is motherhood.
Weigh in your physical, emotional, and financial readiness. Discuss with your doctor about any apprehensions you may have. Take the support of your partner, get to know all the facts, and make an informed decision.
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