Verstandige gezinsplanning: niet te laat, maar ook niet te vroeg kinderen krijgen

Stand van zaken
L. Bonneux, B.M. Zaadstra en J.A.A. de Beer

Sensible family planning: do not get children too late, but not too early either

- Due to family planning, Dutch women are increasingly having their first child between 25 and 35 years of age. Compared to 13 other EU countries, Dutch women are having fewer children both earlier and later on in life.

- From 1970 onwards in the Netherlands, the mean age at first childbirth has increased by 5 years to 29.4 years. The main cause for the rising age at first childbirth is the decrease in the number of young mothers.

- In 2006, 7 of all childbearing women had their first child after the age of 36; this is just 4.7 higher than in 1970. The percentage of women remaining childless by delaying childbearing too long increased by 0.9.

- Considering the social and medical problems in later life, it would not be wise to encourage women to have their babies at a young age, certainly not before the age of 23.

- Women planning a family should take into account the decline in natural fertility after the age of 35; the future mothers of the Netherlands seem to be planning and deciding wisely.

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2008;152:1507-12