Having a baby in your 30s might mean you get to live longer
As the average age for a first-time mother hits 30 in the UK, fertility experts have warned that the trend might leave many women childless. However, a new study by scientists at Portugal’s Coimbra University brings some good news to older mothers, as the Independent reports.
The study compared the life expectancies of mothers in European countries at 65 to the age they were when they had children. Women who became mothers later in life were more likely to live longer than those who became mothers in their teens and 20s, as a paper published in the Journal of Public Health states. “The most relevant result shows that women tend to live longer the older they are when they get pregnant (in particular, for the first child),” it said.
Another study, published in the Journal Menopause, found that mothers who gave birth at 33 or older were three times more likely to have DNA markers for longevity, as opposed to mothers who gave birth younger. However, none of the studies offered an explanation regarding why older mothers may live longer.
In the UK, the average age of a first-time mother is 30. One in 25 UK births are to women over 40. Fertility expert Lord Winston told Daily Mail that women who conceive later in life tend to be well-off and educated, thus affording healthier lifestyles. On the other hand, NHS fertility chief Professor Geeta Nargund has warned Britain faces a ‘fertility timebomb’, as women do not realise the risk of choosing to have kids later in life.