Good news: The next time Aunt Betty asks when you’re going to pop out a baby, you’ll have a seriously epic comeback as to why you’re waiting to start a family.
According to a new study published in the journal Population and Development Review, it’s better to give birth to a baby when you are older and mature.
Here’s the deal: It’s true that having a baby near the end of your childbearing years poses some biological risks (like miscarriage, low birth weight, and higher rates of Down Syndrome). But, researchers found that, overall, those who wait longer to get pregnant end up with offspring who are healthier, taller, and ultimately better educated than kids born to younger mothers.
To come to these conclusions, the researchers looked at data from 1.5 million men and women in Sweden between 1960 and 1991 to examine the relationships between the mother’s age at the time of birth and the resulting height, physical fitness, grades, and education levels of the kids.
The reason why “older” moms are knocking it out of the park is surprising—but also makes total sense. It has nothing to do with the objective age of the mother—as in, there’s nothing about a 40-year-old womb that makes it better than a 20-year-old one—it’s actually all about the year a baby is born. Each year, social and medical breakthroughs occur that tend to improve people’s lives. Think about it this way: How different would your life have looked if you were born to a 21-year-old mother in 1970 vs. a 41-year-old mother in 1990?
According to the study, these benefits trump any biological benefits being born to a younger mom might yield. BRB while we go look into freezing our eggs…