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Even In Hard Economic Times, Parenting Expert Urges Couples "Not to Delay Childbearing"
Media campaigns have been launched, books have been written, yet the age at first marriage continues to increase and the number of couples who delay childbearing. This is especially true in tough economic times due to the substantial cost of raising a child. "Couples who decide to delay marriage and child-bearing, don't fully comprehend the ramifications of their actions," according to parenting expert and columnist Dr. Alan Singer.
"The consequences of these decisions exact a significant emotional toll and the financial cost is staggering," Singer appeals directly to couples, urging them not to postpone childbearing for several years even if there is a recession looming. And Singer warns that in the future, the freezing of unfertilized human eggs will enable women to give birth at age 50 plus. "One downside may be the elimination of Grandparenthood," Singer states, "since life expectancy is only 75, not the 100 year interval for producing a grandchild."
He labels these six trends dominoes: Delayed marriage--Delayed childbearing--Augmented infertility--Elevated multiple births--increased Pre-Term births and C-sections. Infertility tends to cause isolation and frustration, multiple births bring financial difficulties & marital discord and preemies are often born with a low birth weight. The annual cost to families is $46 billion which by comparison, is more than half of the U.S.'s bailout of AIG Insurance.
In columns posted on his website http://www.FamilyThinking.com Singer appeals directly to couples, asking them not to postpone childbearing for years, even with a recession looming. Postponing a child for 6 months to 1 year is reasonable when times are tough, but waiting several years and hoping for the economy to rebound could be detrimental. Significantly delaying the birth of a first child can lead to fertility problems. Delaying a second child could exceed the ideal spacing of children (minimum 2 years, maximum 5) leading to secondary infertility.
Dr. Singer Outlines:
Infertility affects 7.3 million Americans; annual cost - $3 billion.
Multiples: the birth rate for twins in the U.S. increased 70% since 1980.
Pre-term infants: more than 525,000 babies each year are born prematurely; cost - $26 billion.
Caesarian sections account for 30% of deliveries which is triple the rate of 1975; cost- $17 billion.
Singer hopes these rates will not continue to increase and "With the tragic divorce rate in the U.S. hovering at 50%, not one more marriage will succumb to the marital stress caused by these trends."
Last, Singer asks parents to put their dollars where their mouth is, emphasizing, "Your offer to help your adult children financially in the early years of marriage and especially with a looming recession, can make all the difference to a young couple that is determined to be self-sufficient."
About Dr. Singer:
Dr. Singer is a noted parenting expert with a private practice in Highland Park, New Jersey. His monthly column appears in NJ's Home News Tribune. He has conducted numerous broadcast and print media interviews, including USA Today and Fox Morning News. A family therapist since 1978, and a father since 1980, Dr. Singer created and writes for http://www.FamilyThinking.com He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University and is an expert in family-size decision making and its impact on marriage.
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