Would-be parents now consider their finances to be more important than the state of their relationship when considering when to have kids, a study has found.
The optimum time for a baby is 3.5 years into a relationship and it should be considered for 10 months before trying, according to the poll of 1,500 adults with kids up to 16. But with the cost-of-living soaring, couples now worry more about whether they can afford a baby (39 per cent) than the stability of their relationship (34 per cent) or if they are ready for the responsibility (32 per cent).
Other considerations include whether the house is big enough, how it might affect their sex life, if other friends had started families and whether the house could be ‘babyproof’. Some would simply think about whether they were ready to give up nights out and if they could quit smoking.
But 69 per cent feel there is never a ‘right time’ to have a baby.
It also emerged that while 37 per cent take the woman’s health and lifestyle into consideration, 15 per cent believe the man’s health has little or no impact on proceedings.
The research was commissioned by vitamin brands Pregnacare Conception & Wellman Conception, , which have teamed up with Dr Lauren Rockliffe, a Pregnancy Health Coach and Health Psychologist to provide tips for couples hoping to improve chances of conception. Dr Lauren, from www.bloomwellpregnancy.co.uk, said: “If you’re trying for a baby, there are various lifestyle factors that can affect fertility for both men and women.”
“It’s therefore just as important for men to consider making healthy changes when trying to conceive, as it is for their partner. “Making these changes together can help with motivation and make them easier to stick to in the longer-term, which is important, as it can take up to three months for some lifestyle changes to affect sperm quality.”
Vitabiotics’ spokesperson, maker of Pregnacare Conception and Wellman Conception, added: “There’s a lot to think about when bringing a child into the world. “It's not just about wanting a baby, but also about being physically, emotionally, and financially prepared to give them the best start in life. Clearly it is essential to be in the best shape possible.
DR LAUREN ROCKLIFFE’S TOP TIPS FOR CONCEIVING
- When you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to try and minimise stress as much as possible. Try to take some time for yourself each day to do activities that you find calming or relaxing.
- There is some evidence to suggest that caffeine may affect fertility, so both partners may want to consider limiting their intake to no more than around 200mg a day (that’s about 2 mugs of instant coffee).
- Staying active can help to improve the likelihood of getting pregnant. Try to aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (e.g., brisk walking or cycling), spread out over a week.
- Both men and women can improve the chances of conception by eating a nutritious diet and trying to keep their BMI within the healthy range, which is between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2.
- Quitting smoking can help to improve fertility for both partners. If you don’t feel you can stop straight away, set a quit date, and start to gradually reduce how much you’re smoking each day.
- If you’re wanting to improve your fertility, it’s important not to regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week (for both men and women). This is roughly equal to 6 medium glasses of wine or 6 pints of beer. Better still, try cutting out alcohol altogether.
- Getting enough sleep is vital to ensure our bodies are functioning effectively and for supporting conception. Both men and women should be aiming to get between 7-9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep a night.
TOP CONSIDERATIONS WHEN THINKING ABOUT HAVING A BABY:
- Whether I could afford it
- If my relationship was secure enough
- If I’m ready for the responsibility
- If I was fit and healthy enough
- My age - that I’m ‘getting too old’/beyond my optimum fertile years
- If my job was secure enough
- Whether my house was big enough
- My age – that I’m the right age for optimum fertility
- If my partner and I (if applicable) would be able to handle someone’s salary dropping to help with childcare
- If I was married
- If I’d have a strong enough support network around us
- If I really wanted to do it, or if it was just what was ‘expected’ of me
- If my home was secure enough
- If I wanted to bring a child into a less-than-perfect world
- If I was ready for the loss of independence
- If I could handle the early mornings and late nights
- If I was prepared to put my career on hold
- If there were good schools nearby for children to go to
- If I can live without a full night’s sleep
- If I’m ready to give up nights out
- If my home was ‘babyproof’
- Whether my diet is healthy enough
- How it will affect my sex life
- If my friends had started having children
- If I could quit smoking