Maybe it’s being away from my little cousins for so long, but recently I’ve been missing babies a lot. I’ve seen it in my friends too. We’re always gushing about how we wish there was a baby or a puppy around for us to play with. Perhaps we sound crazy when we say, “I wish I had a baby,” but, biologically, it makes sense.
From age 20 to 38, women are in their middle reproductive stage. During these first seven years of the stage, we are in our peak fertility times. This is literally our bodies yelling at us to get pregnant, although the norm now is to wait when having children after we have finished in college and established a career.
I had a course called Evolution with Dr. Schaeff last semester and she gave a lecture on the weirdness of human behavior in terms of reproduction. She kept saying that we as humans don’t behave how we should biologically and according to our biological timelines because we choose to delay having children during our prime fertile years, unlike other animals. At some point during this particularly funny lecture, she said something along the lines of “Why are you here right now? You should be out there making babies!”
Biologically, yes, we should be having babies right now, but we choose to wait so that we can increase the “relative fitness” of our children when we have them, by being able to provide for them aptly. The average age among all women at first birth is 25 in the United States according to the CIA’s World Factbook (2009), compared to the age of 21 in 1970.
Obviously those of us in college aren’t thinking getting pregnant while we’re still living in our dorms and eating Chipotle every other night for dinner, but our bodies are still producing hormones at a level that is ideal for conception. For those of us that don’t want to pay for diapers and formula now, remember to take that pill every night or grab some condoms from the student health center (if you didn’t already know, you can get up to two a day). Or you can get free condoms delivered to you through the DC Department of Health here!
Although I doubt they have boysenberry.
But in the meantime while you’re missing seeing cute babies, just look at these cute gifs!