You've probably heard over and over again that you shouldn't wait too long to get pregnant. Whether it's from concerned mothers or judgmental friends, every young woman's heard the same boring fertility spiel.
And while our fertility does decrease with age, it seems like the concern about the health risks of bearing children later in life have been blown out of proportion. In fact, as Glamour pointed out, a new study has found women who get pregnant later in life live longer on average.
According to a study titled "Women’s life span and age at parity" in the Journal of Public Health, "the women tend to live longer the older they are when they get pregnant (in particular, for the first child)."
The study analyzed data from 28 European countries throughout 2004-2013 and concluded that women who gave birth to their first child at age 30 had longer life spans than women who gave birth to their first child at age 20. This correlation was not proven to be causal — however, there is a plethora of possible explanations.
For example, according to an earlier study for the US National Library of Medicine, "older mothers were better educated, had higher family incomes and took fewer risks during the perinatal period (less likely to smoke, more likely to breastfeed)."
Of course, there are benefits to having children at a younger age, too.
This study also notes
that while older parents may have acquired certain dynamics that will benefit
their family, younger parents are more likely to express warmth toward each
other, and are less likely to display certain depressive characteristics.
All this information aside, women should have babies whenever they want.
Just like every
decision you make, there are pros and cons to any age you choose to have a
baby. Nobody can tell you when you're ready — it's your choice to determine when you are.