UAE residents weigh in on the perfect age to have a baby

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UAE residents weigh in on the perfect age to have a baby

"I don't think the age or time-frame really made a big difference."

By Janice Rodrigues

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Published: Fri 15 Jan 2016, 8:03 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:20 PM

Mehnaz Anshah, who works with children in the UAE, had her first child, daughter Jihan when she was 22 and according to her, no age can really prepare you when it comes to having your first kid. "When I was pregnant, by pure coincidence, two of my other friends were also expecting," she explains. "One of them was older and the other younger, and I noticed that the excitement and terror of having a child was similar for all of us. I don't think the age or time-frame really made a big difference."
However, she mentions that, when it comes to having children, she believes 'the earlier, the better'. "I have two kids right now, and it takes a lot of energy to take care of them," the mum explains. "I've seen people who have kids when they're older - a friend of mine had a baby at the age of 40 - and they do get tired a lot faster. But the winning factor is that by the time I'm 50, I will have a daughter who is independent and I can enjoy that. My mum had kids at a very early age too, and today she and my daughter are almost like close friends! This would never have happened if both my mother and I hadn't planned to have kids early."
Kaya Scott, founder of, on the other hand, has a contrasting opinion. The mum of three admits that she had her kids later in life than she expected, with her oldest being born when she was 35. However, she believes that there is no 'perfect age' to have a baby - and would have it no other way. "I think the most important thing is really committing to the idea of having a baby and being ready to put someone else's needs above your own. If you are ready to do that, then nothing else all that matters."
However, she does note that her pregnancies were not hassle-free. "I had gestational diabetes with all three pregnancies and I lived in a permanent state of exhaustion - but isn't that true with all parents? Generally I do feel like I have energy because my kids keep me on my toes and I enjoy life with them."
Danielle Wilson Naqvi of the ZB Foundation echoes similar sentiments. Having had twins at the age of 36, Danielle also went ahead and adopted her third child later the year. "I was very active throughout the pregnancy - right until I delivered my twins. I tried really hard to stay positive throughout the pregnancy but I did have preeclampsia which made the birth pretty traumatic. For a mum of three, it was hard not having enough sleep but I stayed healthy and my body seemed to cope with the pressure post pregnancy."
Having her baby at a later age worked out for her, despite the fact that she always wanted to have children early, since she was a teen. "I believe that age is just a number. Having kids later in life felt right in my case since I had met the right partner, experienced life more and was also more financially secure."

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