Good news for older moms. A new study suggests that women who delay childbearing are more likely to live longer than those who become mothers at a young age. It seems that the large amounts of estrogen released into the body when a woman becomes pregnant, may help some women live longer.
In the February 25, 2006 issue of the newspaper, The Daily Mail, scientists at the University of Manchester report that the bodies of older mothers are also likely to suffer less wear and tear than younger mothers because we tend to have fewer children. By having children late, we give our bodies a burst of estrogen which in turn helps keep skin, hair, bones and blood vessels healthy and also protects again osteoporosis.
What’s interesting to note is that older parents often become older healthier parents because they want to make sure they are around for their young offspring. This means making healthy lifestyle changes such as when an older mother stops smoking, starts eating healthier, loses weight, gets more exercise, etc. These factors all add to increased longevity.
Several other studies also support this idea that older mothers may live longer than their young counterparts. The British Geriatric Society reports that there is scientific evidence that women who have children late in life live longer than young mothers. They cite better diet and lifestyle as the reason. Thomas Perls, a geriatrician at Harvard Medical School found that a “surprising number of women who gave birth in their forties were more than four times as likely to live to 100.”
Does this mean women should delay having kids until they are older in order to live longer? Certainly not. It does however further refute the myth that we older moms will not make it to see our kids grow up. Still, I’m excited about all the things I will be able to do now that I know I may have another 60 years ahead of me!