What do you call the stage in a woman's life before she has a child? Un-motherhood? Something else?

What are you doing with your last days of #### before you adopt a baby?

Looking for a noun, hopefully something that isn't parenting centric.. child-free, unmotherhood, etc. Something perhaps like adolescence...

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    There's no way that such a word wouldn't be parenting-focused if it's a period that's defined as "the time before parenthood" – Juhasz Aug 7 at 22:56
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    the word is freedom – Jim Aug 7 at 23:27
  • @juhasz that's fair. Someone I think suggested maidenhood but to me that suggests an unmarried woman or a virgin.... what if this woman is married, but just child-free. – C. G. Aug 7 at 23:47
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    Before she ever gives birth to a first child, a woman is said to be "a nullipara", no matter her age. Although the word comes to mind, it wouldn't be an answer to your question because It only defines a woman's obstetric status and is not exactly a term for a stage in her life. Then again, a woman who never bore a child can always adopt one and be a mother. – Centaurus Aug 8 at 0:26
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    What are you doing with your last days of sleep before adopting/giving birth... – Mari-Lou A Aug 8 at 6:16

The term is Maiden from the German which went to become madchen [mit die umluat].

This means an as yet sexually inexperienced young women. Ones Aunt who never married is referred to as a maiden aunt. That she never had sex was the implication back so long ago.

That they were interested in such experience is evident from the Burma-shave rhyme;

The answer to a maiden's prayers

is not a chin of stubbled hairs.

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    The question is less about getting married and more about having a child. – Kris Aug 8 at 4:15
  • I think it's still the correct answer. "Maiden" means "sexually inexperienced woman", after all, hence the old trifecta of "Maiden, Mother, Crone". This answer does have a lot of irrelevant cruft in it, though. – nick012000 Aug 8 at 8:26
  • A perfectly cromulent point. Wish I had made it. – Elliot Aug 9 at 0:41

What about "the pre-maternal stage of her life"?

  • "Pre-maternal" can occur with second and later maternities also. – Kris Aug 8 at 4:14

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