Having A Baby In Your 30s Could Help You Live Twice As Long!
We’ve always heard that having babies later in life could lead to more complications for the baby and for mom. There are issues with conceiving, carrying a pregnancy to term, and fetal development. Unfortunately, our eggs mature at the same rate we do, and older eggs just aren’t as viable or healthy! We recently learned that it’s not about the mother’s age, though. And now, a new study suggests that having a baby later in life might actually have some pretty substantial benefits! We already know that starting a family when you’re more financially secure is beneficial. According to the Long Life Family study, having a baby in your 30s could actually help you live longer. So there’s another reason to hold off on starting a family!
The study found that having a baby in your 30s could actually extend the length of your life.
Now, it’s obviously not as simple as it sounds. Having a baby in your 30s doesn’t make you immortal or anything. Rather, it has to do with our DNA. Specifically, it has to do with something called telomeres. Telomeres are sort of like little caps on the end of each DNA strand. As we age, our telomeres get shorter. But science has figured out that longer telomeres actually translate to a longer life. So here’s where the baby thing comes in.
Women who got pregnant and had their last child in their 30s had higher odds of having longer telomeres.
The study found that the odds of living into the top fifth percent were twice as high for women who had their last child past the age of 33 than it was for those who bore their last child at age 29. Basically, longer telomeres were associated with successful reproduction at an advanced maternal age. They’re also associated with longer life overall. Professor Dr Nicole Schupf at Columbia University Medical Centre says, “The strength of the association with the longest telomere length increased as the maternal age at birth of last child became later in life.”
Professor Schupf continues, “This finding suggests that late maternal age at last child birth is a marker for rate of ageing and, if heritable, might be associated with genetic variants playing a role in exceptional survival.” The study indicates a pretty clear association between maternal health and genetics, which could open up the door to research on the genetic relationship between reproduction and age.