If you’re a professional woman who has always dreamed of starting a family, you may want to put a hold on the baby fever. That is until you’ve built a career for yourself. Putting off pregnancy for just a few years can really make a difference when it comes to personal income. Here’s why.

Not-So-Pretty Parental Wage Gap

As it turns out, having a child will definitely affect how much you make. After analyzing earning reports from 1978 to 2011, researchers found the pay gap between spouses doubles in the two years before and after a child is born.

In the sample, wives earned about $12,600 less than their husbands before having a child and $25,100 less afterward. Many women do not recover their lost earnings until their children are 9 to 10 years old.

The Right Time To Plan For A Little One

So when is the right time to welcome your bundle of joy?

According to researchers, the best time to start a family is either before your career gets started or after it’s already established. For most women, this means holding off on kids until their mid-30s.

Solutions For Soon-To-Be Moms

Danielle Sandler, a senior economist at the U.S. Census Bureau, told Bloomberg about a major solution that can help women stay in the workforce and work remotely: technology.

“Potentially, technology could keep women in the labor force while they’re on leave,” Sandler said. “If we expanded maternity leave, women could be a part of the labor force without having to do so many hours and they wouldn’t lose the labor force experience if they drop out of the labor force entirely. It might just keep people connected to their work environment or work network more if they don’t have to drop out entirely.”