Joanna Moorhead: Adele has the right idea - have children young

Share
Related Topics

I loved Adele from the first time I heard her earthy voice pulsing out those sassy lyrics. When I discovered she'd been a pupil at the comp on my road, and worked out that she must have been one of those teens-with-attitude around whom I had to swerve my buggy, my affection notched up further. (It's not what you'd call the capital's most sought-after school; the girl really has "done good".)

Now, though, my Adele admiration is at a new zenith. At 24, she's pregnant. What a sensible, sussed, clever woman she is. And what a great role model for girls like my own four young daughters.

Because the reality is my generation of women left it far too late to have children. I thought I was starting early, at 29, but when I hit a run of miscarriages in the middle of my childbearing career, I realised that 29 wasn't a moment too soon. And many women, of course, are leaving it far later than I did: it's not uncommon to start "trying" for a first child at 38, 42, even 45.

Some, of course, are successful – the number of births to women over 40 has trebled in the past 10 years, up from 9,717 in 1990 to 27,731 in 2010. We hear plenty about Carla Bruni, who gave birth to Giulia at 43. But such pregnancies often aren't easy: many women who have children in their forties have had to resort to IVF or, as in the case of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, 44, the services of a surrogate mother. None of this comes cheap. There's a cost, too, in the months or years of heartache and invasive medical treatment. The worries don't even end there: older mothers are more at risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, more likely to have a difficult delivery.

And for every woman who does make it over these myriad hurdles, there are others for whom the dream of a family never comes true. The tragedy is that the vast majority of women who have problems conceiving a baby in their forties would have had no trouble whatsoever getting pregnant at 24. Physically, Adele is the ideal age to have a child: the teenage body is too young (birth is best when a woman has finished growing) and by her thirties a woman is already less efficient at producing eggs.

There will be those who say it's easy for a multimillionaire like her – she can afford it. But there's more than funding in the mix here: some stars would have decided maternity would be madness right now, and would have got stuck in to capitalising on new-found global fame. After all, many of the women now agonising over infertility at 42 had money in their thirties. It wasn't funding that held them back; it was thinking they should achieve as much as possible career-wise before having a child.

But Adele has tumbled early on a great truth: there's never a perfect moment to give birth – except from that all-important physical point of view. In every other sense, having a baby is a massive leap of faith. You take the plunge; you muddle through. And now I just can't wait for the songs.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: Senior Perl Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Argyll Scott International: Senior Perl...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property / Planning - Bristol

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM - A high qu...

Recruitment Genius: Solar Field Sales Executive

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Content / Copy Writer

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has bec...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Rochester by-election: UKIP did less well than expected (and Labour suffered a malfunction)

John Rentoul
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Shanghai  

Is Russia and China’s ‘Nato of the East’ more than a Potemkin alliance?

Peter Popham
US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines