Advanced Maternal Age and Children’s Adult Health

Child's Health

Most discussions of children’s health with regard to mothers who conceive after the age of 35 revolves primarily around the child’s health either during the pregnancy or in infancy. While these are extremely important, it is also important to consider the long-term health prospects of all children.

Throughout The Advanced Maternal Age Project, many of the stories our contributors have shared mention preparedness obtained from waiting to have children in establishing the finical means and physical and mental mind-set to be able to effectively care and provide for a child.

This particular preparedness and maturity helps to create a stable environment for a child to grow up and can have many positive effects on the child’s health later on in life

. A study from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research published in 2012, examined 18,000 mothers and their children’s health in adulthood within the U.S. In this particular study, women’s education and life expectancy where factored into the statistical analysis of the effects of maternal age on children’s adult health.  Both of these factors had a positive effect on the health outcomes for children.

For example,  children born of mothers who where before the age of 25 and more specifically, between the ages of 15-19 years old were more likely than any other age group to be diagnosed with a greater number of ailments and diseases within adulthood. For women over 35, children’s health within adulthood was stable. The study proposed more pointedly that the higher education levels and subsequent socio-economic status of mothers past the age of 35 had a tremendous effect on the health of their children later on as long as the mother lived to average life expectancy. Parents of much younger ages typically do not have the life experience or immediate finical prospects that are usually accumulated over longer periods of time. Because of this, the environment in which the child is born may not lend itself in facilitating the proper health and wellness benefits that are more easily obtained by parents who have more adult-life experience.

This particular perspective and academic study leads to a discussion about the non-physiological factors that play into children’s future health expectations. Education and finical stability are both tools that are more readily utilized by mothers over 35 years of age. Both of these factors are important to consider whenever thinking about the long-term health expectancies of children. The more prepared women are in personal education and work experience as well as the accumulation money and assets, the more likely it is that the child will be able to be raised as a healthy individual. Although this idea is not groundbreaking, it can get lost in the conversations regarding health concerns. The actual socioeconomic preparedness of a perspective mother should be considered equally important as her age when thinking about future-life implications for the child.