Next time a relative comes up to you and asks, "Isn't it about time you have kids? Tick tock!" (true story, this has happened to us), now you have a great reply — other than, "Mind your own business."
A new study published in the Journal of Public Health confirms previous research that finds that women who have their first child in their thirties live longer.
Researchers from the Unversity of Coimbra in Portugal compared the expected life spans of women at the age of 65 in 28 European countries based on how old they were when they had their first child. They found that women who became first-time moms at age 30 lived longer than those who did at age 20.
"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," the study authors wrote, adding that "it may be justified to promote pregnancy in the early 30s as a means to extend women's life span."
The older the women are at birth, the longer they live.
This new study backs up previous research. A study published in 2014 in the journal Menopause found a link between giving birth at an older age and longevity, explaining that genetic traits may play a role. Researchers found that women who gave birth to their last child after age 33 were twice as likely to live to at least age 95, compared with women who had their last child by age 29.
"Of course this does not mean women should wait to have children at older ages in order to improve their own chances of living longer," study author Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study and professor of medicine at Boston University, said in a statement. "The age at last childbirth can be a rate of aging indicator. The natural ability to have a child at an older age likely indicates that a woman's reproductive system is aging slowly and therefore so is the rest of her body."
In addition, a study that was published in January in the American Journal of Public Health found that women who had children over the age of 25 were 11 per cent more likely to live into their 90s.
The natural ability to have a child at an older age likely indicates that a woman's reproductive system is aging slowly and therefore so is the rest of her body.
According to all this research, there are many benefits — for mom and child — to waiting to have children.
Children born to older parents are more likely to be highly educated and healthier, whereas having a child later in life is linked to higher cognitive functioning and better memory in moms.
So take that, nosy relatives!