Dealing With Pregnancy in Your Twenties

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People get pregnant at many different times in their lives. Many of these pregnancies occur when people are in their 20s. This is considered to be one of the healthiest periods of time to get pregnant. It also happens to coincide with a time when many people are getting married, finding relationships, and settling down—often making it the perfect time for a pregnancy.

While the numbers are declining in the birth rate overall—and for ages 20 to 24—the rate is up slightly in the late 20s, defined as 25 to 29. So, if you are pregnant in your 20s, you are likely to find people of a similar age in your childbirth classes and in playgroups. This gives you another thing in common as you share tales of your pregnancy and lives.

Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant in your 20s may statistically be the easiest time to get pregnant. But that doesn't mean everyone will will conceive without trouble. Miscarriage rates are also lower in people in their 20s, but miscarriage is still common and happens to people in their 20s.


One of the biggest bonuses to trying to conceive in your 20s is that you are at the peak of your fertility. This is the most fertile time period in your life. This is true for both male and female partners.

While there are certainly people in their 20s who experience infertility, the numbers are lower. If you are under 30 and have been actively trying to get pregnant for over a year (with well-timed intercourse and no birth control), and have not conceived, then it is time to seek the help of a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility doctor.


Miscarriage is a concern of nearly every person when it comes to pregnancy. Another benefit of pregnancy at this age is that you will have a lower risk of miscarriage. This means that you are more likely to stay pregnant when you become pregnant. This is for a variety of reasons including better health and a lower risk of genetic complications.

Adjusting to Changes

There are many changes a person in their 20s is experiencing, even aside from pregnancy. Many people in their 20s are just starting to settle down and establish roots and independence. This time in your life will impact how you adjust to the changes of pregnancy.

Your Body

There are numerous changes that your body goes through in pregnancy. One of the biggest benefits of pregnancy in your 20s is that most people are still relatively healthy at this point in their lives. You are not as likely to be dealing with pregnancy-complicating chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions.

If you are fit and already exercising, this will also help you feel more comfortable in your pregnancy. You will be able to continue to exercise unless you have certain complications. Your doctor or midwife would tell you if you needed to stop.

There are a few exercises that are not great in pregnancy, such as downhill skiing and horseback riding. But even if you're a competitive athlete, you can continue to participate in your regular levels of fitness with only minor adjustments based on how you are feeling.

Being fit and active will help you eliminate some of the more common aches and pains in pregnancy. People who are active have fewer reports of backaches and general discomfort in pregnancy. So, if you aren’t active, it’s time to start walking or swimming or even doing yoga to get in shape. The benefits last beyond pregnancy as well.

Your Emotions

The normal stages of pregnancy emotions are no different in your 20s. There can be a sense of instability because everything may feel like it is changing—your life, your job, your housing, and now a new baby. This bothers some more than others. Pregnancy is a time of change. Every family will handle this change differently, but it can be a stressful time, no matter your age.

Relationships with other people who are pregnant or who have had babies before, particularly if they are around your age, is always helpful. You may be the first in your friend group to have a baby, or you could be one of many due dates right around the same time.

Either way, a good group of people to lean on for support is helpful for you and your partner. If you are the first in your friend group to get pregnant, consider finding additional friends from playgroups, early childbirth classes, or other parent filled activities.

Your Finances

One of the complaints about having a baby earlier in life is that you are less financially stable. This can certainly be true, particularly in your earlier 20s, but it is not true for everyone. Financial stability is also defined differently. There is certainly a difference between living in poverty or being unhoused, as opposed to living in an apartment versus living in a house.

Some people worry about paying off student loans. They may not yet have a house that they want to or are able to purchase. Other families are less concerned with having the "right" place to live while their child is younger, assuming that will come with time.


In your 20s, the normal progression of pregnancy will typically proceed without any issues. This doesn’t mean that you have no risk of complications at all, simply that you'll have a lower risk of most complications.


As you get older, there are some pregnancy complications that are simply more likely, usually due to the increased risk that you're dealing with a chronic disease while pregnant.

Your doctor or midwife will take a complete medical history. Combined with a physical exam and potentially some lab work, you will together decide what your best course of action is for this pregnancy. They will be able to explain what specific risk factors you have for this pregnancy and what you can do to help lower the odds of a certain problem occurring. This is an ongoing process and not a one-time conversation.

Genetic Issues

Genetic testing was once thought to be best used by people over 35 having a baby. This testing is still used in that manner. However, there are a lot of genetic screening tests that can be used with much less risk, such as a simple blood draw versus amniocentesis.

Being in your 20s means that you have less risk of having a baby with Down syndrome. A person who is 20 has the risk of about one in 1,250 of having a baby with Down syndrome, compared to one in 100 at age 40. So the increased rate as you age is substantial.

No matter how old you are, it is always possible to have a baby with a genetic complication. While this number is certainly lower for people in their 20s (who have similarly aged partners), it does not mean that the rate is zero. Therefore, your doctor or midwife will offer you genetic screening.

Genetic screening will give you an idea if you are at a normal risk of genetic complications for your age, or if you are at a higher or lower risk for a genetic anomaly in your baby. If you are at a higher risk based on the genetic screening, then you may be offered additional testing, like amniocentesis, for further studies and diagnosis.

Baby's Health

Everyone wants a healthy baby. Your 20s is certainly a good time, numbers-wise, to have a baby, assuming all the other factors are good. There are some potential risks that are increased for those who are at the lower ends of their 20s.

One study found that people younger than 24 and older than 35 had higher rates of preterm birth than those who were ages 30 to 34. Still, the National Institutes of Health considers the ages of younger than 18 and over 35 risk factors for preterm birth.

Labor and Birth

When you are more physically fit and healthy, your chances of labor being faster and less complicated go up. This is good news in your 20s. People who give birth in their 20s will generally have an easier time of it than those who are older. Some of this is due to your physical health and the absence of chronic diseases. There is also the component of people in their 20s, statistically speaking, simply being more physically fit.

The manner in which you give birth can also be affected by your age. For example, the Cesarean rate climbs the older you get. The C-section birth rate is higher among older people—those over 40 are twice as likely to deliver by c-section as those who are under 20.

A Word From Verywell

There are many reasons to have a baby in your 20s. You tend to be healthier, and have good outcomes when you give birth. There is certainly the possibility of stability issues, but that is not something that will absolutely go away, whereas your fertility and health are more likely to decline. The best choice is the one that is right for you and your family.

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Births: Provisional data for 2020.

  2. Stanford Children’s Hospital. Risks of pregnancy over age 30

  3. Fuchs F, Monet B, Ducruet T, Chaillet N, Audibert F. Effect of maternal age on the risk of preterm birth: A large cohort study. PLoS One. 2018;13(1):e0191002. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0191002

  4. National Institutes of Health. What are the risk factors for preterm labor and birth?.

  5. Martin J, Hamilton B, Osterman M, Driscoll A. Births: Final data for 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.