Studies Show Moms-of-Many May Live Longer, and Here’s Why
Moms know how tough life can get when you bring up 3, 4 or even more kids, but being a mom-of-many has its bright sides as well. Having multiple kids will fill your life with many adventures, incredible amounts of love, and will guarantee you needed care and support in your elderly life. It turns out that giving birth to many children may give you even more than that. Experts found that the more kids you have, the longer you live, and their explanations seem pretty convincing.
Here at Bright Side, we’ve looked at a few scientific studies that explain why and how being a mom-of-many can extend a woman’s life, and here’s what we’ve learned.
Studies have shown that the more kids a woman has, the higher her life expectancy is.
A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales studied a large group of older Australians to find out how the absence or presence of kids (and their number) influences women’s life expectancy. It turned out that women who had 2 kids had a 17% decreased risk of death compared to those who had no children. Women with 3 kids demonstrated a lower death risk which was 20% less, and this pattern continued with a bigger number of kids. So, what are the reasons behind this fantastic effect of motherhood?
Giving birth to many children slows down cellular aging, one of the theories suggests.
The study carried out by a team of experts from Simon Fraser University in Canada has shown that women with more children are likely to slow down their cells’ aging process. Health science professor, Pablo Nepomnaschy and postdoctoral researcher, Cindy Barha studied women from Guatemala who showed cellular signs of longevity. Older theories suggested that women who gave birth to many kids aged faster, as “bearing children robs mothers of their cellular energy”. The new study, however, showed the opposite results.
Cellular aging is indicated by the shortening of telomeres, the protective tips found at the end of each DNA strand that tend to shorten with time. Professor Nepomnaschy and his team were surprised to learn that women with longer telomeres had more children. The scientists believe that this phenomenon may be related to the dramatic increase in estrogen which mothers of many kids experience. “Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening,” the professor says.
Social context and psychology may also be important.
Pablo Nepomnaschy mentions another reason for children’s relation to longevity. He believes that social contexts mothers live in could also make a difference. Moms-of-many generally receive more support from their friends and family which positively influences their physical and emotional state. “Greater support leads to an increase in the amount of metabolic energy that can be allocated to tissue maintenance, thereby slowing down the process of aging,” he says.
Research carried out by a team of experts from Perth’s Edith Cowan University in Australia showed that families with 4 or more children get the greatest life satisfaction. Dr. Harman is sure that it’s all about increased mutual support within the family and a peaceful psychological atmosphere. “The kids are never bored, they have someone to play with and they get independence quite early on,” the doctor says.
What do you think of this theory? Do you have moms-of-many in your family? We can’t wait to see your thoughts and stories in the comments!
Preview photo credit krisjenner / Instagram