Posts tagged with "motherhood"

Just you wait: Women who give birth in their 30s may stay healthier, live longer

July 17, 2019

Thirty is fast becoming the new 20 for American moms. In fact, more U.S. women than ever before are having children in their 30s, according to a report by Business Insider. And somewhat counter-intuitively they are, overall, healthier later in life than those who had babies in their 20s; and they may live longer and earn a higher income. They also are more likely to have twins.

The tables turned in 2016, Business Insider says, when more American women had babies in their early 30s than in their 20s.  Whether because of career or other life goals, women are now 25% older when they give birth compared to 50 years ago.

But the news outlet reports, they are taking chances with their fertility: Between the ages of 20 and 24, women have an 86% chance of conceiving after trying for a year. But that chance falls to around 50% when women reach their late 30s.

What’s more, women in their 20s have a much higher chance of getting pregnant without miscarrying—and a lower risk of conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and high blood pressure.

But when it comes to health later in life, waiting until your 30s to give birth is better. Research shows that moms who first gave birth in their early 30s report higher energy, better fitness, and fewer aches and pains compared to moms who first gave birth in their early 20s.

And that might help explain another scientific finding. Women who have kids in their 30s might also live longer. According to a paper published in 2015, women who had their last child after age 33 were twice as likely to live past 95, compared to women who had their last child before their 30th birthday.

But what about the kids? If their moms gave birth in their 30s instead of their 20s, those kids might be safer, smarter, or even taller.

On top of that, there might be more of them. That’s right, because if you wait until your 30s, you’re more likely to have twins. Older women have higher levels of a hormone called FSH, which stimulates the ovaries. Normally, women release just enough FSH to ovulate or release one egg, but near menopause, they produce a ton of it, which can cause two eggs to ovulate and ultimately result in twins.

So if you want to have a large, healthy family, the good news is, the cutoff date is getting later all the time.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Nobody’s perfect, including Mom

November 1, 2017

Call it the Goddess Myth, which is what Time magazine did on its cover on October 30. Spawned by the maternity industry and pursued dauntlessly—even heroically—by women from the time they are old enough to diaper a Betsy Wetsy (or its modern-day equivalent), it is a dogma that dictates how they should “mother” their offspring from inception on.

“It tells us that breast is best; that if there is a choice between a vaginal birth and major surgery, you should want to push; that your body is a temple and what you put in it should be holy; that sending your baby to the hospital nursery for a few hours after giving birth is a dereliction of duty,” the story says. “Oh, and that you will feel–and look–radiant.”

Indeed, a survey of 913 mothers commissioned by Time and conducted on behalf of the weekly news magazine by SurveyMonkey Audience found that half of all new mothers had experienced regret, shame, guilt or anger.

It’s equivalent to bullying and it comes from friends, mothers, sisters, colleagues, books, doctors, nurses, midwives, even strange women on the street—and not as much from men.

According to respondents, a large majority—more than 70%—feet pressured to do things in a very particular way. And many feel like failures even before the baby comes home: More than half said a natural birth was extremely or very important, yet 43% wound up needing drugs or an epidural, and 22% had unplanned C-sections.

Breastfeeding, too, turns out to be a great deal more difficult, and often more painful, than anticipated. Out of the 20% who planned to breastfeed for at least a year, fewer than half of survey respondents actually did—and many were embarrassed to admit that they had lapsed.

As Rachel Zaslow, a certified nurse-midwife in Charlottesville, Virginia, told the magazine, “The minute a person becomes pregnant, there’s a notion that if you’re not doing those kinds of things, you’re not a good mother.”

Research contact: parents@time.com