Celebrating International Women’s Day

By Gynii Me

International Women’s Day

celebrates the tenacity, hopes and courage of women around the world

Female employment is now at its highest

Has this changed women’s outlook on life?

What does “planning for a family” mean to women today?

Gynii Me invited 6 women, born in the 1950s to 1980s across 3 continents to share their views on “planning for a family”


How much support and discussion have you had in planning for a family?

MAGGIE  (Retired, Living in the UK)

"As a student nurse, I went on the pill after discussing it with my mum. She was open-minded.

But the doctor never asked my history. They put me on the pill despite I had secondary amenorrhoea and when it came to having children, my GP said “you would be lucky to have children since you’ve been on the pill”.

So I made a choice. I am already trained now and don’t mind getting pregnant."

 

CARYS (A philosophy graduate and mother of an “IVF” daughter , Living in the UK) 

"I don’t ever remember it being talked about either at school or at home. Everybody just seemed to muddle through in their own way.

There’s no support until such a time arises when there’s a problem and something needs sorting out.

I don’t think I knew at that time that 35 was the watershed age whereby if you haven’t ready started a family then you really need to get on with it.

Supposedly rates of fertility in women plummet after the age of 35. I wish I’d known that before."

 

SUSIE (Retired, Living in the UK)

"I was born in the 1960s. My mum never gave me any contraception advice, but I had many conversations with my girls on family planning and contraception. 

Today’s generation talks about these topics a lot earlier. In the UK, there is the personal health and social education for kids starting at age 7 or 8 years."

 

ANGEL

(A full time working mum, CEO & Founder of Glocal School, Previously President of OgilvyOne and global board member, Living in Beijing, China)

"In China, when you are about 25, a lot of people will ask  “when are you going to have a baby”. My husband and I were lucky that we live in Beijing, not live with our parents together in their hometown.

We didn’t have pressure from parents and other family members. That also gave us lots of time to focus on our career."

 

SARAH (Venture Capitalist, Living in the US) 

"The amount of information on planning for a family and fertility is exponentially compared to when I was 25. In my late 20s/early 30s, I started to think about egg freezing as I was beginning to just grow my career."

 

CARRIE (A full time working mum, Director at Gynii Me, Living in the UK) 

"I started to think about starting a family when I was in my early 30s. There was a lot of chat within my family and friends.

But babies and maternity leave were always a sensitive topic at work, as lots of women would worry about not being put on the best projects, if people knew they were planning for a family."


What does “planning for a family” mean to you?

MAGGIE  (Retired, Living in the UK)

"For me, “planning for a family” is a personal choice.

I had three children and I was back to working full time when the children turned two. If they were well fed and well slept then all would go well. But if anybody got sick or wasn’t eating property, then things would all go wrong. Still, I enjoyed it and I have a really good relationship with my children."

 

SUSIE (Retired, Living in the UK)

"I didn’t want to leave it too late, so I had my first child when I was 29. Then I was planning to have a second one, being very fortunate, I got pregnant. That was the planning I did.

I suppose we were “planning” and we had control.

I don’t remember it being a big thing or a big issue to me at that point."

 

ANGEL

(A full time working mum, CEO & Founder of Glocal School, Previously President of OgilvyOne and global board member, Living in Beijing, China)

"Planning for a family means huge responsibility. That also means change your lifestyle and you have to make your body  very healthy. You need to rethink about the balance between life and work, which is a not easy decision."

 

SARAH (Venture Capitalist, Living in the US) 

"Family planning is really a combination of science and choices. What choices I have with the biology I was born with, as well as the emotional support I need to really understand what I think, what my values are, and what it means to be a woman."

 

CARRIE (A full time working mum, Director at Gynii Me, Living in the UK) 

"I didn’t know enough about fertility when I first started. I did a lot of research and I had lots of worries about the pregnancy.

But actually there are more important things I should know. For example, how are you going to manage everything after the baby is born?  Where and how can you get support for the first five years or even longer?

I wished there was a platform where I could find all the practical information about what I should know. This is exactly why we created Gynii Me. We are building a community that is based on women’s fertility journey so that we can help women understand what to expect and how to plan when it comes to starting a family."

 


What would have made planning or having a family easier for you?

MAGGIE  (Retired, Living in the UK)

"When I was thinking about starting a family, I didn’t think too much. I just went for it.

When my children were young, I remember that I had to cook everything and everything would be frozen. I made sure everything was planned and organised.

For me, that’s called management, which is really important for working mums."

 

CARYS (A philosophy graduate and mother of an “IVF” daughter , Living in the UK) 

"When I was 35 and we started trying for a child. Obviously, I didn’ t know that it was going to be a problem.
I wish I’d known in advance that it is not a god given right. It doesn’t necessarily happen just because you want it to."

 

SUSIE (Retired, Living in the UK)

"Having the right information is really important. My husband ‘s background is in the fertility sector. For us, we knew that we shouldn’t leave it too late, so we planned well and everything happened as planned.

Also, I think financial security is very important especially when you have one working parent in the family."

 

CARRIE (A full time working mum, Director at Gynii Me, Living in the UK) 

"I didn’t know enough about fertility when I first started. I did a lot of research and I had lots of worries about my pregnancy.

But actually there were more important things I should know. For example, how are you going to manage life after the baby is born?  Where can you get support for the first few years or even longer?

I wish there was a platform where I could find all the practical information about what I should know. This is exactly how we started Gynii Me. We are building a community that is based on women’s fertility journey to help women understand what to expect and how to plan when it comes to starting a family."


What advice would you give on planning for a family?

MAGGIE  (Retired, Living in the UK)

"I have many nieces of roughly the same age. I told them to freeze their eggs if they are not ready to start a family. I told them the options, what’s possible and what’s not possible.

For women who want to start a family, I would say don’t have any fear. Just go for it."

 

CARYS (A philosophy graduate and mother of an “IVF” daughter , Living in the UK) 

"If it is possible, then go and get tested. Go and find out what your options are. 

Should I have a baby now or can I realistically wait another 5 years or 10 years."

 

SUSIE (Retired, Living in the UK)

"I think women should know about the options they have. They should start to plan earlier so that they can take more control."

 

ANGEL

(A full time working mum, CEO & Founder of Glocal School, Previously President of OgilvyOne and global board member, Living in Beijing, China)

"There is no good time in terms of having a baby. If you want to have a baby, just go for it."

 

SARAH (Venture Capitalist, Living in the US) 

"I think the most important thing a young woman or women of any age thinking about family planning and getting pregnant, fertility, having a family, now or later, is to get informed.

Truly understand your own body, your biology, and understand all of the options that are available."

 

CARRIE (A full time working mum, Director at Gynii Me, Living in the UK) 

It is really important to plan when and where you can get support from. Life will change completely when the baby arrives. You can get support from your family, your partner, friends or even your employers. For example, if you want to come back to work quickly, where can you get support for child care?

The journey to becoming a parent is full of wonder, joy, learning and challenges

Planning for a family can be complicated, but the earlier you start, the easier it is

We will continue to invite women from all walks of life to share their experience

We are creating a community for women to support and help each other on their journey to parenthood

Happy International Women’s Day!