Cost of living forcing more women in Jersey to have children later

Jersey's fertility rate is amongst the lowest in the world. Credit: ITV Channel

The cost-of-living crisis is forcing some women in Jersey to have children later in life, according to a fertility expert.

A recent report shows that the average age of mothers in Jersey is 33, compared to the UK average of 30.

Professor Enda McVeigh, Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine, says the price of bringing up a child in Jersey means women are delaying having children, and that "this delay can cause a drop in fertility rates".

Birth rates peaked in the Channel Islands in the mid 1960s. Credit: ITV Channel

He says women need more education on 'how to control their fertility' and 'how it will change over the years' before they choose when to have a baby.

The Jersey Health Profile 2022 reveals that the average fertility rate in Jersey is amongst the lowest in the world, at 1.3.

Women in their 20s have a 1 in 3 chance of getting pregnant, whilst women in their 30s and 40s have around a 1 in 5 chance.

Chloe Fosse, founder of fertility support charity Tiny Seeds, says underfunding for IVF is partly to blame for women in Jersey having fewer children than elsewhere in the world.

She says "if you have a combined salary of £34,000 or lower then you can potentially qualify for fully-funded IVF.

"However we're not aware of people that are qualifying for that because that threshold is so low, so the ideal would be to look at some form of clinically-based funding criteria."

Chloe says she has "heard of people who have left the island following a fertility struggle because they're realising that they're not going to be able to get on the property ladder once they have a child."