Women who become mums in their 30s are more likely to live longer

Tell that to every family member who asks if you have a boyfriend yet

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

For years we’ve been led to believe that the older we get the harder it is to conceive, but current birth rates prove that more women than ever are getting pregnant in their forties. So forget that this is apparently when you need to start having children if you want three, because time is actually on our side.

And now science suggests that women who wait until their thirties to have children are actually more likely to live a longer life.

A study at the University of Coimbra in Portugal took data from women in EU countries between 2004 and 2013 and found that when they waited to have their first child, their life expectancy increased compared to their younger counterparts.

The research looked at these womens’ life spans, if they had children, and the age when they had their first baby. The authors of the study, which was published in the Journal of Public Health, concluded: ‘There are several determinant factors of women’s life expectancy.

‘The most surprising factor is the age of women at pregnancy, which may provide evidence to promote pregnancy in the early 30s.’

More and more women are waiting until later in life to start a family, and many statistics that we hear about difficulties faced by older couples are actually outdated – a study in 2004 found that 82% of 35-39 year olds are likely to conceive if they are trying twice a week.

The average age of a mother in the UK is currently 30.3 years old according to the Office of National Statistics report in 2015, but the average age of first-time mothers comes in at a slightly younger 28.6 years old.

So if you needed any more reassurance that it’s perfectly fine to wait to start a family, there it is.

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