PARENTS

Being An Older Mother Comes With Many Benefits, New Research Finds

03/23/2017 09:59 EDT

Conventional wisdom will tell you that women should have children when they're younger (mom is "healthier," etc.) but new research is turning that so-called fact on its head.

A recent Danish study found that being an older mom has many benefits, not only for the mother but for the child as well.

The study, published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, analyzed random surveys taken by 4,741 Danish mothers and their kids, checking in on the children when they were seven, 11 and 15 years old, respectively.

older mom baby

Researchers found that older moms were less likely to discipline their kids verbally and physically at ages seven and 11, but not 15, compared to younger moms. When kids were 15, older moms were more likely to discipline their kids verbally, but not physically.

Children of older moms (again, except for 15-year-olds) also had fewer behavioural, social and emotional problems than children of younger moms. Older mothers were also better at providing their children with behavioural boundaries because they were less worried about their pregnancies and had better attitudes about becoming parents.

"We know that people become more mentally flexible with age, are more tolerant of other people, and thrive better emotionally themselves," study author Dion Sommer said in a press release. "This style of parenting can thereby contribute to a positive psychosocial environment which affects the children's upbringing." Basically, greater patience and steadiness that comes with age largely contributed to the results.

And although the press release doesn't give a definition of "older mom," similar studies have defined the term to be women over the age of 35.

The Danish study also found older moms were happier during and right after their pregnancies, had more stable relationships and were financially better off.

older mom baby

And there are other benefits to waiting to have children, including increased lifespan, higher levels of energy and smarter kids.

Yep, according to a recent study from the London School of Economics, children of mothers over the age of 35 tend to be smarter than children born to younger mothers, partly due to the mom's education level, career placement and that they are less likely to smoke during pregnancy.

However, the Danish study notes that older mothers are "at greater risk of experiencing complications during pregnancy and while giving birth than younger mothers. They are at greater risk of having a miscarriage, giving birth prematurely and having children with deformities."

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