The decision to become a mother after a certain age is often involving certain risks but besides medical risks, social prejudices are also affecting older moms. Therefore, late motherhood is often a subjective judgment by the society. But, there are some advantages, too, when conceiving later, because older moms may live longer.
Of course, ultimately, the decision belongs exclusively to the future parents, beyond any preconceptions, risks or other external implications.
Advanced maternal age
We have good news for pregnant women of over 35 years of age. A study recently published in the American Journal of Medicine comes to support women who decide to become mothers at an advanced age, reaching to a surprising finding, which is that older mom may live longer
Specifically, the statistics resulting from the study revealed that women who have children after the age of 33 years were twice as likely to live until the age of 95 years compared to those who born their last child before turning 29.
The study, conducted by the researchers from Boston University, is based on the lifetime tracking of 311 women who died at the age of 95 years, or more, in parallel to that of a total of 151 women who died at younger ages. If for the general public this can seem bizarre, for the American researchers these statistics appear to be natural because it seems that they are based on genetics.
Thomas Perls, the leader of the study, believes the phenomenon that makes older moms live longer is the genetics. Genes that allow a woman with advanced age to conceive and give birth to a child naturally are the same genes that play a role in slowing the aging process.
These genes are important and they reduce the risks of old age-related diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and so forth. The explanation for longevity in this cases have a genetic factor.
Older moms are still active sexually, so they postpone the menopause which is known to speed up the aging process. Thus, older moms body ages more slowly in comparison to the women who don’t conceive at advanced ages.
On the long term, the US researchers aim to understand the essence of the process of aging in order to invent drugs that might slow it down.
Late motherhood also involves certain risks
Beyond that encouraging research, older moms are facing many risks.
First, the main risk is to fail to conceive naturally, because after this age fertility is in constant decline. And once exceeded this risk, either naturally or by artificial means, other risks can be profiled during pregnancy.
Risks for the future moms.
Late motherhood is a high risk in terms of gestational diabetes and hypertension, diseases that may already be present at a certain age in a latent form.
Any gynecological history can also put a mark on a late pregnancy. Old surgery scars, too many abortions, or fibrosis may complicate the nine months of pregnancy.
Birth itself is a risky moment and there are a number of risks and possible complications.
There’s a higher risk of bleeding during childbirth, so most doctors recommend C-section delivery in older moms cases.
Also, labor may be longer.
The risk of maternal death is also higher than in the younger mothers cases, but, fortunately, it is generally low in the contemporary era in which medicine evolved very much.
Risks for the babies.
The main risk for the babies is related to chromosomal abnormalities. Ovaries age with the woman’s body, and can lead to the production of low-quality eggs, which can produce chromosomal abnormalities in the fetuses.
The egg may become unsustainable, leading to miscarriage or serious conditions in babies. Instead, babies with older moms are less prone to the risk of cardiac malformations, which has a much higher incidence in babies with younger mothers.
Another study has proven that older moms may live longer
The joy of becoming a mother is immense at any age and no one has the right to decide when you have to live this experience.
But before opting for late motherhood, it is better to consult a specialist and you do a balance medical test to detect malfunctions of the body, and to manage them, so your pregnancy can proceed normally. So, you can enjoy the wonder of becoming a mother, regardless of age.
American scientists from the University of California San Diego discovered that women who become mothers for the first time at an older age are likely to live longer.
In their research, they collected the data from 20,000 women who participated in a national survey, conducted between 1991 and 2012.
54% have reached the age of 90 years.
Thus, scientists have found that women who gave birth to their first child at the age of 25 or older were more likely to reach 90 years. They’ve also concluded that most women who have reached 90 years were college graduates, were married, and had a higher income.
In addition, it was less likely to suffer from obesity or other chronic diseases.
However, women who had two to four pregnancies were also more likely to live at least nine decades, in comparison to the women who give birth to only one kid.
Scientists suggested that women shouldn’t delay the time of their first pregnancies only because they may live longer, due to the risks of obstetrical complications, including gestational diabetes and hypertension, which are more common in advanced maternal age. Pregnancy in older age is also associated with increased risk of neonatal death, preterm birth, or fetal macrosomia (excessive weight for the newborn).
It is possible that the successful completion of a task in old age is an indicator of a general state of good health and, as a result, there is a higher probability of longevity. It is also possible that women who were older when they first child born to have a high social and economic state that helped them live longer.
Due to cultural and socioeconomic factors, increasingly more women are choosing to have children later in life. In the US, the average age of women who become mothers increased from 24.9 years in 2000 to 26.3 years in 2014, and the proportion of women who become mothers for the first time in 30-34 years increased by 28% between 2000 and 2014. The number of women aged 35 years and above who give birth for the first time increased by 23% over the same period, said the American experts.
Regardless your age, having a baby is a wonderful thing in life. Keeping your pregnancy under control by periodically visiting your gynecologist and obstetrician, a healthy diet, and a lot of relaxation will be more than enough to help you give birth to a healthy child, no matter how old are you. And, latest studies confirms that older moms may live longer, so giving birth to your first child is not the only benefit a late motherhood offers.