It’s been an age-old belief that making babies is an easier and safer task for young women than older women. We have been ‘taught’ about the negative effects both on the mother and the baby if the child is born later in your life. However, recent studies have revealed something that is just the contrast. And thankfully the revelation has to say positive things about women who have babies much later. Read on for more:
1. Effect On Longevity:
A study conducted by the Menopause Journal on the longevity of older women giving birth revealed something startling. The study was performed on 462 women. It was found that women who conceived after the age of thirty-three had double the chances of living up to the age of 95 than women who had conceived earlier. The study paid attention to women’s health when she delivered her last child while a majority of the earlier studies on these lines had focused on women’s health during her first pregnancy. However, it hasn’t been concluded as to whether having the last child as an older mom would increase your life span and, therefore, the debate is still open.
2. Do The Experts Agree?
Siobhan Dolan, a professor of gynaecology and obstetrics at Einstein School, believes that women should not delay their pregnancy by taking the results of this study as the sole conclusive theory. She thinks that women should take responsible decisions by first assessing the benefits that making babies later in life would have for the family as opposed to the risks that could lead to foolish measures. She also emphasizes on taking care of one’s body weight and withdrawing from any bad habits such as smoking, for a healthy child.
On the other hand, Nir Barzlai, the director of the Longevity Genes Project and also the director at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Institute of Ageing and Research says that the study was in fact conducted on women who had genes for longevity. Therefore, it could indicate two things. One, that women who produced babies late in life had higher chances of living longer. Two, it could also mean that these women aged slower when compared to women with other women and, therefore, their reproductive health was more robust later in life.
3. Should You Delay Your Pregnancy Following The Study?
The result from the studies is still open ended with no concrete conclusion so far. Therefore, it might be a better idea for women to follow the norms of planning early pregnancies than delaying it unnecessarily. Women must consider the factors that could be involved with delaying their pregnancy. It’s a known fact that several birth defects like Down’s Syndrome or other such retardations could affect the babies of women who becomes mothers much later in life. Also, women’s fertility may decrease with growing age.
4. If Women Having Children Later In Life Indeed Live Longer, What Could Be The Factors Contributing To This:
There could be several socio-economic factors that could contribute to women who become later mothers than women who become early mothers. Just think about how economically viable it would be for a woman if she is not financially independent. If a woman is just out of college or still on the verge of deciding her career, then an early pregnancy or motherhood will definitely be a matter of concern. On the other hand, if a woman is in her late twenties or early thirties, it is more likely that she would have stabilized her career, trust in her partner and other socio-economic aspects that might give her the time, money and security to become a mother and raise her child.
What have your observations been of a woman becoming a mother later in life? Share your stories with us!