Older women and Maternity

Older women and Maternity

Older women and Maternity

Older women can be better mothers

Older women appear to be better mothers than younger women, according to new research, as their children face fewer social, mental, and emotional difficulties.

According to a new study from Aarhus University in Denmark, women who have their first child between the ages of 30 and 40 can be better mothers. To achieve such results, researchers conducted a study on more than 5,000 Scandinavian mothers and their children’s development.

Older women can educate their children in a more “positive” way

This study, published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, shows that these women have less recourse to verbal and physical violence. Thus their children will, most probably, have fewer behavioral and emotional problems by the time they reach the age of 7.

The researchers followed these mothers for several weeks. They noticed that they are educating their children in a more “positive” way.

“Mothers become more flexible with age, more tolerant, and improve emotionally themselves better than younger women. This is why psychological maturity may explain why older mothers practice more positive parenting”, says Dion Sommer (the study’s main author and a psychologist at the University of Aarhus), in a statement.

But… beware

However, experts still warn expectant mothers against a late pregnancy. From the age of 40 onwards, the risks (for the embryo and the mother) are greater: during the first three months of pregnancy, miscarriages – most often linked to a chromosomal abnormality of the embryo – are more frequent, pre-eclampsia is also more common in the last trimester and gestational diabetes is twice as common. Finally, following childbirth, phlebitis of the lower limbs and pulmonary embolisms are also more common.

The “pluses” and “minuses” of motherhood at an older age

It is a fact that older expectant mothers have a higher risk of complications during both pregnancy and childbirth than younger mothers. They are also at greater risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and having children with syndromes.

On the other hand, studies show that older women enjoy motherhood more. They are less anxious during pregnancy, are more positive about motherhood, and generally have a more compromising attitude towards their children.

The study systematically monitored school-age children and found that children with older mothers had fewer social, emotional, and behavioral problems between the ages of 7 and 11.

*The results have been published in the scientific European Journal of Developmental Psychology.


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