We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

03 November 2007

Hooray for older mums!

I just came across this tidbit of info courtesy of workingmums.co.uk.

The Observer (Oct. 28, 2007) in The Guardian Newspaper noted a report citing a new book by Professor Elizabeth Gregory that says women who have their first child in their 30s or 40s live longer. This is good news for me as my first was born when I turned 30 and my second at 36. I never considered having children any sooner and at one point in my early twenties, thought I'd never have children at all!

In her new book Ready: Why Women Are Embracing The New Later Motherhood , Gregory says older mums are more prepared for motherhood, more likely to be financially stable and more focused on the family. I have found this to be absolutely true for myself. Apparently this is because they have already realised career and other ambitions, are more likely to be in settled relationships and/or have a good support network. This has also been the case for myself, not that I have given up all previous desires, but I did lots of clubbing, drinking, travelling, cavorting, finished university etc., in my twenties, and have no real need for those things now. I certainly don't feel like I'm 'missing out' due to the kids. The career thing is ongoing, and I assume will find its place in my life again when the time is right.

I'm looking forward to reading this book as it also says that older mothers live longer than their younger counterparts and cites a report by the Population Research Centre at the University of Texas which suggests the best age for childbearing is between 34 and 40. Reasons for this include older women are more settled, less likely to engage in risky behaviour and have a more healthy and conscious pregnancy.

Another another study was also cited which shows that women who give birth after 40 are four times more likely to live to 100 plus. I'm not sure that I even want to live that long, but since there's been some negative press about older mums and health risks associated with it (like increased risk of Downs Syndrome), I find this new information refreshing. I was also surprised to learn that the average age of new mothers in Britain is 29, despite having the highest teen pregnancy rate of all European countries.

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