A new study revealed that women who give birth after 24 are healthier than those who become mothers in their teens or young adulthood.
The study recently published in Health and Social Behavior journal shows that women who give birth for the first time between 25 and 35 years old enjoy a better health in their 40s compared.
According to Kristi Williams, lead author of the study, the society’s obsession with teen pregnancies doesn’t have a medical base. Of course it is preferable to wait to become an adult before being a mother but waiting until the early 20s is not enough from the medical point of view.
It might be better for women to wait before they have a steady income or before they finish school but having a baby between 15 and 20 is no different from having a baby between 20 and 24 when it comes to later health.
Williams and her colleagues started their study in 1979 when they collected data from 3,348 women who gave birth when they were between 15 and 35 years old. The team has followed the women for 29 years, to 2008. Each time one of them was turning 40 she was asked to rate her own health on a scale from very poor to excellent.
After comparing the self-assessed health of women who became mothers at ages between 15 and 19, 20 to 24 and 25 to 35 they discovered that the latter reported a better health than the other two categories. On the other side, the finding that amazed the scientists was that there wasn’t reported any significant health difference between the first two groups.
Williams claims that this study is the first research in the U.S. that compared births in teenage years with those in young adulthood and associate them with self-assessed health decades after the birth. More than that, the study found no significant difference between white and Black women.
The only racial difference discovered was that Black women who never got married after being single mothers reported a better health than the Black women who married. On the other side, women who wore married when they became mothers reported better health than single mothers. However this difference could be a result of the fact that the majority of married women were those who became mothers later in life so the marriage isn’t necessary related to the state of health.
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