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More Women Putting Off Starting A Family For Fear of Change In Looks, Career and Lifestyle

A generation of young women have been put off starting a family because it will damage their lifestyle, career and looks, a survey shows. However a new study showed that women who delay having a child until their late 30s can't necessarily rely on artificial techniques to help them become pregnant.

Based on computer calculations, Dr. Henri Leridon found that if women postpone trying to conceive for the first time from age 30 to age 35, assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) will make up for only half of the fertility they lose over the course of those 5 years.

"Do not wait too long before consulting for infertility," Leridon warned, "because the effectiveness of medical techniques is also decreasing as you grow older."

One in three childless women quizzed now say they don't ever want to become a mother while increasing numbers of thirty-somethings in stable relationships and with good jobs have different priorities.

Almost half would rather get on the property ladder than have a baby while 28 per cent would prefer a $100,000 salary, according to a poll of 2,000 women.

The Grazia magazine report commissioned to coincide with the release of Sarah Jessica Parker's latest film I Don't Know How She Does It uncovered a whole new tribe dubbed the 'I Don't Know Why She Does It' generation.

The film portrays the life of a high-flying professional woman Kate Reddy, who also looks after two children in the evening and is happily married to an out-of-work architect.

Childless women just aren't willing to make the sacrifices they now see are necessary for motherhood with 44 per cent feeling sorry for working mums struggling to have it all, the survey said.

A quarter think working mothers always look exhausted and one in five say it looks so difficult it makes them think twice about having children.

Half of childless women over 30 look at stay-at-home mothers and think it will be difficult for them to get back on the career ladder and a fifth believe they've lost their identity. 

Body issues are also a factor with three in ten worried about the effect pregnancy would have on their appearance.

Almost a third think having a baby would make them less body confident while almost one in three mothers miss their pre-baby figure and feel judged by society thanks to coverage of glamorous celebrity mums.

Four in ten childless women say they're not ready to give up their lifestyle - and a quarter still feel too young for a child,

Meanwhile 26 per cent admit they are fearful of the effect motherhood would have on their career.

Almost half think having a child would make them poorer and over half say they couldn't afford a baby even if they wanted one. 

Grazia editor-in-chief Jane Bruton said: 'We were really surprised a third of childless women admitted they didn't want to start a family.

'It's clear from our survey 'having a baby' has just dropped off the to-do list for a whole generation of twenty-somethings.

'Yet with women bearing the brunt of the recession and headlines about rising costs of childcare forcing working mothers out of their jobs, is it any wonder these women are questioning whether motherhood is really worth it?

'It's time we started looking at the support systems out there for women so the new generation don't feel pushed into making a choice between motherhood and a career.'

The survey also identifies a rise in the 'emotionally infertile' - childless women who feel they have left it too late to have a baby with women admitting they put their career first or they didn't meet the right man.

Reference Sources 89, 231
September 15, 2011


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