A research project that spanned 13 years has found that having kids can help women live longer. What else adds to a mum's longevity? Read this article now to find out!
Mums, you may think that all the stress that often comes with motherhood (think sleepless nights, worrying about kids’ health etc) might reduce your lifespan.
But in reality, having kids may actually make you live longer, as indicated by recent, very solid research!
According to a study that appeared in BMC Medicine, conducted by researchers of The Imperial College London, mothers were 20 percent likelier to live longer lives than women who didn’t have children.
The study cohort included 322,972 women from 10 countries across Europe and was conducted over a period of 13 years. Within this time period 14,383 of the women died — almost 6,000 died of cancer and 2,400 from heart disease.
More kids, breastfeeding and the pill…
Upon analysis of the results of the study, researchers of the study discovered several very interesting finding. Study participants who had kids “were a fifth less likely to have died” and those who had their first baby while in their 20s had exceptionally good health.
Furthermore, mums of two or more kids were less likely to die of cancer than others. Reiterating the benefits of breastfeeding that we all know about, the results of the study also showed that “mothers who breastfed were 8 per cent less likely to have died than those who bottlefed their babies.”
Another interesting result was that women who were on or had taken the contraceptive pill were 10 per cent less likely to die than those who didn’t — but, this was as long as they didn’t smoke. Those who did smoke had the pill-induced longevity factor negated.
While the research didn’t examine the reasons for these links, it is believed that hormonal changes are a determining factor.
The Daily Mail highlights that “previous research has credited breastfeeding with cutting the risk of breast cancer, with a year of breastfeeding over a woman’s lifetime cutting her odds of the disease by almost 5 per cent.”
While more research needs to be conducted to further explore the relationship between motherhood and longevity, scientists believe that “women who live longer tend to undergo hormonal changes in their bodies, especially if they have children. The changes would enrich their hearts and reduce the risk of cancer.”
All we can say is: go forth and procreate, ladies!
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