This Mother’s Day, as you reflect on the joys and benefits of being a mom, we’ve got something you should know that might not be on your list. Giving birth might add to your longevity. Even though you might have days when you’re sure that being a mom is making you age faster, the science says there is a link between motherhood and longevity.
That’s right. A study found that women who had their last child after the age of 33 were twice as likely to live to age 95 as compared to women who had their last child before age 30. If you are 33 or older and worried that if you have a child now you won’t be around to see them grow up – the research doesn’t support that thinking.
In fact, another finding from the New England Centenarian Study was that women who had children after the age of 40 were four times more likely to live to 100 than women who had their last child at a younger age.
While having children at an older age isn’t without its risks and complications, there are also benefits. Among those benefits is that having kids later in life can make you mentally sharper as you age. A study of 830 middle-aged women determined that there was a link between having a baby at a later age and brain power. That brain power included sharper cognition, verbal memory, and better problem-solving skills.
Is it any wonder that the number of women having kids at the age of 30 or over is on the rise? According to the latest CDC data, birth rates in 2021, rose between 2% and 5% for women ages 25 – 44. For women ages 35-39, the rise was 5%. Meanwhile, birth rates fell 3% for women aged 20-24.
How, exactly, does this work? The science says that telomeres are a biomarker of long-term health and longevity. Telomeres are the DNA-protein complexes that protect the ends of chromosomes. Shorter telomeres are linked to more diseases and poor survival. Lifestyle choices, such as diet and activity levels, can increase or decrease the length of telomeres. Right now, the science isn’t clear if women who give birth later in life stop their telomeres from shortening, or if they have longer telomeres to begin with. More study is needed. Regardless, if your biological clock is still ticking…your body might be telling you it’s not too late!
Calling All Moms
Whether you are a new mom, considering getting pregnant, or your children are now adults, it’s never too early or too late to make the lifestyle changes that will contribute to your healthy longevity. Find a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you today to get the help you need to live a long, healthy life for yourself and your loved ones!
Happy Mother’s Day!