Age 26 is ‘perfect point in life’ to start a family

When is the right time to start a family?

According to a recent survey of 2,000 parents, 26 is the ‘perfect point in life’ to settle down and plan for a family.

A third of parents believe that having children at a younger age would mean they could have a bigger family, while 25 per cent thought that they would have more in common with their children, the Seven Seas Pregnancy Whitepaper revealed today.

A further quarter were concerned about how long it would take to conceive and so wanted to start trying for a baby as soon a possible.

Claire Halsey, Clinical Psychologist and contributor to the Seven Seas Pregnancy whitepaper, comments: “The results of this survey are quite surprising, as we would have expected parents to think the perfect age to start a family to be late twenties to early thirties, as opposed to mid-twenties.

“Contrary to popular belief younger women are planning a family after just a few years of working rather than waiting to establish a career, going travelling or spending time on hobbies.

Owning a house and getting married were two key milestones most parents wanted to achieve before settling down to have a family. Although, six out of 10 parents were happy to be earning a collective salary of just £25,000 a year before having a baby.

“Perhaps there is a realisation that as the recession affects work prospects, planning for a family can come first and career later,” added Halsey.

The survey also asked childless couples about starting a family and found that financial concerns outweighed pre-conceptual health in their plans.

Six in 10 wanted to start saving money months in advance, while only a fifth would take folic acid, vitamins and supplements.

Dr Emma Derbyshire, Nutritionist and contributor to the Seven Seas Pregnancy whitepaper, comments: “It’s disappointing to see that NHS recommendations are still not being followed even when pregnancies are planned. Data shows that up to 72 per cent of neural tube defects (when the baby’s spinal cord does not close properly) could be prevented if all women took folic acid as recommended”.

Folic acid can be found in green vegetables, brown rice, fortified breakfast cereals as well as in supplement form.

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