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Do I Want a Baby?

The human body is programmed to reproduce in order to prevent extinction. Women’s bodies even have a special alert system, “the biological clock”, that can wreak havoc on the mind.

Life's Crossroads: Contemplating Parenthood in 'Do I Want a Baby?

There are endless considerations when it comes to the topic of having kids: being prepared mentally, emotionally, physically and financially—not to mention being irrevocably changed as a person. Your body may or may not decide to ignore these factors as your thirties approach.

Your biological clock is ticking

All women are born with a large, but limited number of eggs cells that slowly decreases during her lifetime. The average woman’s fertility peaks at 24. As her body ages, a woman’s chance of conceiving a child goes down, and the chance of a miscarriage or abnormal pregnancy go up. By the time she’s in her 40s, about 90% of her eggs have chromosomal defects affecting their viability.

Modern technology offers us some resources in the battle against time—if she would rather tackle parenthood at a later date, a woman can choose to freeze her eggs in order to increase the likelihood of pregnancy when she’s ready.

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive age—although pregnancy can still occur until there has been no menstruation for twelve consecutive months.

At ages 25–35, the biological clock is particularly loud—this is when sex hormone levels in the female body are at their highest and the body is best suited to conceive and carry a child. During this period a woman may experience something called...


Baby fever is a sudden, strong desire to have a baby at reproductive age. The change can be quite drastic, and manifests as something akin to obsession:

  • Children are everywhere. Until recently, you may not have thought about children much, and probably didn’t pay that much attention to them. Now they’re everywhere. You notice every swollen belly and every stroller, and you’ve developed a hypersensitivity to the voices of people under five. You wave to kindergarten excursions and find yourself smiling when you walk past a playground. 
  • New interests. You feel compelled to enter toy stores and linger in the toddler section when buying clothes. Perhaps you’ve even bought a pair of those adorable little booties. You start bringing up kids in conversation with your friends and spend hours reading articles about childbirth, learning through play, and interpreting the contents of diapers. Anne Geddes’ photography makes a lot more sense than it used to.
  • Nesting. Perhaps you’ve thought about moving to a bigger place, or you may already have a room that’s just right for a nursery with sky-blue walls and a crib in the corner. Those booties you bought earlier are now accompanied by a onesie and several plush toys.
  • Increased sex drive. Your body now has one specific goal—to get pregnant. Your libido is through the roof, and there’s a nagging feeling that sex feels more “right” without contraception. You’re thinking about when to bring up parenthood with your partner.

Exploring Parenthood Desires: Nurturing Instincts Beyond Biology

This happens to men, too

Nurturing is part of our psychological makeup—men can want children just as much as women do, although a man’s desire for offspring might be less biologically determined and more of a social, cultural, or emotional need. Unlike women, they retain their reproductive ability throughout their lifetime but male fertility also diminishes with age, as does the viability of their sperm.

Humans are social animals, and most of us live our lives with others around us—if not at home, then at the grocery store and on public transport. Many of our decisions are influenced by the behavior of friends and relatives and by the system of values we were taught growing up. A person belonging to a very family-oriented culture may find themselves under pressure to settle down and reproduce—especially if they are part of a large family (grandbaby fever is nothing to be sneezed at).

Childless by choice

Modern lifestyles have many other clocks ticking away—education, work, and social status often take priority over the biological preset and, thanks to various methods of contraception, a woman is able to enjoy a healthy sex life with a much smaller risk of pregnancy than ever before. She may even decide not to have children at all.

After all, bringing a brand new person into the world turns your life upside down. Nine months of pregnancy followed by labour and childbirth takes an incredible toll on the body and comes with very real dangers, such as becoming crippled for life or dying, although modern medicine has also made childbirth much safer than it was in the past.

Raising a healthy child takes nearly all of your time and energy to for the first few years, and there is always a chance of complications. In any case, the nature of the new parents’ relationship is bound to change and some couples don’t want to risk the upheaval to their way of life.

The financial aspect of raising children is also significant. As any parent will tell you, it takes a lot of money to pay for all the diapers, wipes, clothes, food, furniture, toys, books, health care, hair cuts, insurance, schooling, extracurricular activities, etc....

One can also argue that there are too many people in the world already—and an alarming number of children who have no one to care for them. Statistically, adopting a child is a better decision for the planet than having one of your own. Additionally, our planet is in crisis and the future of our young is uncertain, so it should come as no surprise that many men and women make the deliberate decision not to have children.

Some people just don’t want kids.

Although they are wonderful, magical beings that bring light and joy into the world, each of us has the right to choose for ourselves if we want to take on the responsibility of raising a child.

You can track your cycle and see predictions of fertile days using WomanLog. Download WomanLog now:

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