While most information out there about older mamas is less than flattering, there’s new positive research on the baby-making scene that says giving birth after the age of 33 may be a boon to your life expectancy. The new study, run by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health, shows that women who naturally have children later in life tend to live longer than their peers. The study also notes that specific genetic variants that allow women to naturally become pregnant at an older age may be the very same variants that help facilitate exceptionally long life spans. The study, published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, states that women who can naturally, “Have children after the age of 33 have a greater chance of living longer than women who had their last child before the age of 30.” After studying 462 women, the researchers further determined that women who had their last child after the age of 33 years had twice the odds of living to 95 years or older compared with women who had their last child by age 29. The researchers do point out that this doesn’t exactly mean women should wait until their thirties to have kids. There are some benefits to becoming a mother at a younger age, including generally having an easier time conceiving. Corresponding author Thomas Perls, MD, MPH. explains the genetic variants, saying, “If a woman has those variants, she is able to reproduce and bear children for a longer period of time, increasing her chances of passing down those genes to the next generation. This possibility may be a clue as to why 85% of women live to 100 or more years while only 15% of men do.” If you’re still worried about having a baby later in life, you can take a realistic look at late motherhood in How scary is having a baby when you’re over 40? 

+ Reproduction later in life is a marker for longevity in women

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