Good news for women who are late to the parenting party, as a new study reveals that women who have babies in their 30s may actually live longer than their younger mom counterparts.
The research by scientists at Portugal’s Coimbra University, published in the Journal of Public Health, compared the life expectancies of mothers in European countries at 65 to the age they were when they had children.
It revealed that women who became mothers later in life were more likely to live longer than those who gave birth in in their teens and 20s.
“As the age of pregnancy increases, so does the life expectancy of the women at 65. In other words, the older the women are at birth, the longer they live,” study authors state.
“Women who give birth later tend to live longer, and the genes that allow for late pregnancy benefit female life span.”
The research follows a study published last year by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, which revealed that moms who had their first child over the age of 25 were 11 percent more likely to survive into their 90s than women who first gave birth at an earlier age.
That research published in the American Journal of Public Health also revealed that mothers over the age of 30 could reap the benefits of longer life, with women who first give birth after 30 being 10 percent more likely to live into their 90s than first-time moms under the age of 25.
Scientists have a few theories about why women who have children later in life could go on to live longer. One is that women who survive an older pregnancy, with its potential increased risks and complications, could be healthier overall.
Another suggestion is that women who give birth later in life could be more likely to have more comfortable backgrounds, so they could be more likely to live longer anyway.
But despite the potential longer-life benefits of having a baby in your 30s or 40s, some fertility experts are still warning that those who put off having children risk not being able to conceive.
Last year one doctor went so far as to advise all women approaching the age of 35 to take drastic action to ensure they don’t wait too long to become pregnant.
Dr. Luciano Nardo, a consultant gynecologist and clinical director of leading U.K. clinic Reproductive Health Group, has claimed all single women in Britain should freeze their eggs before they hit the big 3-5.
“Whilst it is established that elective egg freezing doesn’t guarantee pregnancy, it increases the chances of a woman conceiving her own biological child later on in life,” Dr. Luciano explained.
The leading fertility specialist believes many women looking to start a family later in life often aren’t aware that their chances of conceiving take a steep nose-dive after the age of 35.
At the moment the average age of a first-time mother in the U.K. is 30, while one in 25 U.K. births is to women over the age of 40.
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