We Heard from the Women Who Delayed Motherhood
Would they make the same choice again?
Many women dream of having a family from the time they are children themselves, but between finding the right partner, establishing a career, and wanting to achieve personal goals before parenthood, a variety of life circumstances can delay the timeline to start a family.
As the biological clock keeps ticking and the social pressure to have a baby grows, women approaching the “infamous” age of 35 may start to feel concerned about the challenges associated with having children later in life. However, a recent WIN survey reveals that there is no longer a stigma around choosing to become a parent later in life. In fact, 79% of women who became mothers at age 35 or older would make the same choice again despite these challenges. The survey also indicates that access to fertility treatments and benefits is critical to empowering women, giving them the freedom to accomplish relationship, financial, and careers goals before becoming mothers.
One of the predominant findings from this survey demonstrates that relationships are the most significant factor for women planning their family timeline, with over half of respondents (53%) saying that they intentionally delayed parenthood until later in life because they were single or their relationship wasn’t at the right stage yet for having children. Beyond romantic relationships, 64% of women were empowered in their decision to delay childbearing because of the support they received from their families. In fact, having a robust support system, including positive relationships with fertility professionals such as a nurse care advocate, was noted as a crucial resource during their fertility journey. Ultimately, 40% of women said that by choosing to have children later in life, they ended up fostering better personal relationships.
Having it All
Other significant factors in deciding when to have children include lifestyle and finances. In addition to dreams of having a family, many people also wish to travel, pursue their education, advance their careers, become financially stable, and enjoy their independence as a young adult. Balancing these ideals against the biological clock can feel daunting, but with the support of family-building benefits, women don’t have to choose between accomplishing goals and becoming a parent. By waiting to enter motherhood after 35, a whopping 93% of women were able to accomplish lifestyle and financial goals.
Deciding the right time to have children is oftentimes a lengthy internal debate that women can have with themselves for years, but many do open up to their support system with 82% of women having shared their decision to delay having children until age 35 or later with friends and family. Many of those women indicated that once they did begin their family-building journey, they relied on nurse care advocacy and professional emotional support services as well.
Empowerment through Benefits
Cost can be a daunting barrier for women who need additional resources in order to have a family, such as fertility treatment, egg preservation, adoption, or surrogacy. However, as an increasing number of employers are offering fertility benefits, access to these resources continues to improve, empowering women to feel confident in their choice to have a family on their terms. “At WIN, our mission is to help build families taking all different paths by providing access to the best doctors, and support so they can enjoy their personal journey at whatever age feels right for them,” says Dr. Roger Shedlin, M.D., CEO of WIN.
Ultimately, it’s no wonder why 81% of survey respondents feel it is important that an employer provides fertility benefits and support.
Click here to see what else these women had to say about feeling empowered in delaying motherhood.