Global trends reveal that women are striving for academic and economic excellence before becoming wives and mothers. This comes as no surprise. Much has been written regarding the challenges later pregnancy presents, but what about the benefits?
Research reveals that in 2016, for the first time ever, more American women were having their first babies in their early 30s compared to those in their 20s.
First-time moms are reportedly 25% older compared to 50 years ago. But the good news is, science is showing that moms in their 30s tend to be healthier later in life, live longer and earn more money.
Moms in their 30s live a longer, healthier life
The Long Life Family Study found that women who have children at the age of 33 or later, are twice as likely to live longer than women who have their last child before the age of 29.
The study, which looked at 551 families in Denmark and the US, was published in NAMS Menopause Journal. Thomas Perls, co-author and professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine commented, “We think the same genes that allow a woman to naturally have a kid at an older age are the same genes that play an important role in slowing down the rate of aging.”
A previous study, The New England Centenarian Study, found that women who gave birth after the age of 40 were four times more likely to live to 100 compared to women who had their last child at a younger age.
The good news is, these experts believe your reproductive system is a good indicator of health and wellness. “We think the same genes that allow a woman to naturally have a kid at an older age are the same genes that play a really important role in slowing down the rate of aging and decreasing the risk for age-related diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer,” adds Professor Perls.
Older mothers are more financially sound
If you want to maximise your career opportunities and develop your career path, wait until you are over 30 before having children reveal researchers from the Washington University, US.
The research, published in PLOS ONE found that women who gave birth for the first time under the age of 30, tended to earn less in their lifetime, compared to those who were older – immaterial of whether they had tertiary education or not.
“The findings highlight the financial trade-offs women make when considering their fertility and career decisions,” commented Man Yee Leung, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine.
One of the co-authors, Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis, assistant professor of economics in Art and Sciences at Washington University adds: “Our main result is that mothers lose between two to two and a half years of their labour income if they have their first children before the age of 25.”
Interestingly, the study found that college-educated women who delay having children until after the age of 31 earn more over their entire careers compared to women with no children.
Kim Bell is a wife, mother of two teenagers and a lover of research and the way words flow and meld together. She has been in the media industry for over 20 years, and yet still learns more about life from her children everyday. You can learn more about Kim Bell here.