Becoming a mum in your 30s means you'll live longer, study finds
There tends to be a lot of bad news about how women today postpone motherhood and all the negative consequences this has for birth rates and fertility.
However, now researchers at the University of Coimbra in Portugal have suggested that delaying motherhood until your 30s might might not actually be such a bad thing – at least for your life expectancy.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Public Health women tend to live longer if they get pregnant later in life – and this is particularly true if they wait to have their first child.
The Portuguese researchers aggregated data from EU countries between 2004 and 2013, looking at the life spans of the women – as well as noting if they had children and the age in which they had their first. (Note: They also examined other factors that would affect a woman's life expectancy.)
This is part of what the authors concluded: "There are several determinant factors of women's life expectancy. The most surprising factor is the age of women at pregnancy, which may provide evidence to promote pregnancy in the early 30s."
Interestingly, according to lead researcher Aida Tavares, women tend to live longer in countries where pregnancy typically occurs later.
"The study shows that when women have their children later, they tend to live longer," she explained. "On average, women who had a child at 30 had a life expectancy higher than those [who had a child] at 20."
According to recent statistics, Ireland actually has the hightest age of first time mothers in Europe, this despite the constant pressure on the idea that a woman's fertility rapidly decreases when she hits 30. However, a study from 2004 on more than 700 European women found that 82 per cent of 35-39 year olds are likely to get pregnant within a year if they are trying at least twice a week.