At some point in their life most women ask themselves whether they’d like to have children and, if so, when is the best time. It’s not easy to answer this question, because there’s not really a right or wrong time to have a baby – and sometimes pregnancies are unplanned. However, if you’re thinking about starting a family, you may want to consider the following:
Maternal feelings: Am I ready emotionally for a baby – and all the changes a child brings?
Age: The number and quality of eggs in your ovaries decreases as you get older. As the quality of the eggs determines the ability to conceive, women up to the age of 40 have the best chance of getting pregnant.
Relationship: Is our relationship stable? Is my partner ready for all the changes that a child brings? Is he realistic about them?
Job: Is there a way I can balance my career with a child? It’s a good idea to have built up a solid foundation of qualifications and work experience before starting a family. It will stand you in good stead if you want to return to work after having a baby.
Money: Do we have enough money to have a baby? If you’re a bit short of money, you may be eligible for a reduction on your health insurance premiums. The responsible authorities in each canton are listed here (available in German only). In twelve cantons in Switzerland, families are entitled to supplementary benefits under certain conditions. These include, for example, allowances for young children and integration. More information is available here.
Support: Can I rely on help from parents, siblings, friends, etc. in case of emergencies or difficult times? Stiftung Mutterhilfe (foundation supporting mothers) was set up in 1932 to provide support for expectant mothers, fathers and their partners in cases of psychological or financial need.
Once you’ve decided to have a baby, the most important thing is that, even if you feel ambivalent – which is completely normal, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy – you look forward to welcoming your baby to the world, love it and take care of it. This way you’ll be able to tackle any challenges that arise, no matter how much your baby turns your world upside down.