Hitting 30 is a big deal for most women, not least because – thanks to the continual barrage of dire warnings regarding our looming fertility expiration – the prospect of starting a family now becomes fraught with pressure. But new research may offer a little breathing space for 30-somethings, with a positive spin on becoming a mum later on in life…
Data from the recent Millennium Cohort Study finds that children born to women in their 30s are healthier and score higher on intelligence tests than children born to mothers in their 20s or 40s.
The team of researchers analysed 18,000 British children to determine the link between the child’s development and mother’s age for the study.
According to the results, those children born to mothers in their 30s displayed higher cognitive scores than others.
But the developmental differences likely have more to do with a complex mix of sociological factors than simple biology; some theorists posit that women in their 40s don’t seem to play with their children as much as younger women do – whether due to declining energy levels or more established and thus demanding careers.
Comparative to younger mothers, those who enter parenthood in their 30s also tend to be more educated and successful— largely because the choice to delay having kids is motivated by a desire to pursue study and work goals first.
“First-time mothers in their 30s are, for example, more likely to be educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier and have planned their pregnancies,” researcher Alice Goisis told The Times.
With that being said, data was analysed from a large study yet there are just 53 children who were born to mothers in 40s included, which means more research is needed before a conclusion can be reached — despite the fact that so few of the children assessed were born to older mothers, more and more women are in fact having babies later, with IVF and the idea of adoption becoming more commonplace.
Becoming a parent is serious business, regardless how cutesy those eensy baby gros are, and shouldn’t be rushed into – whatever the physiological dictate. You need to be fully ready for the irrevocable life change. (Not just your uterus.)