Conventional medicine and sociology tells you to get hitched fast and breed quick so your kids will be viral-meme cute–and you, too, cool for much of your adult life. Which is why many dream of starting their mothering as early as 18—like Nollywood star Omotola Jalade
Or sometimes your religion asks you to welcome the first visit of Auntie Flow in your husband’s bed—no matter how tiny your hips are. For that reason, sociologists in Nigeria have found out gunshot weddings and teenage mothers are more in the north: twenagers are more in the west; and Nice Nellies abound more in the east.
So are the pluses and minuses widely distributed. And it’s strange that a survey carried out in far way Sweden has relevance in Nigeria. Mikko Myrskylä, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR),) and his colleague Kieron Barclay at the London School of Economics, carried out on the relationship between mother’s age and childbearing. And the findings, published in Population and Development Review, are a myth-burster.
“When women delay childbearing to older ages their children are healthier, taller, and more highly educated,” the report said. So all the old ladies who have spent their blooms searching for Mr Right or living the Kardashian life can have a go at getting preggy—and having their bundles of joy. Even at 40s.
The old-wives’ legend of delayed childbearing increasing the risk of Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and diabetes later in life for children didn’t factor in improved healthcare, education, and other positives in industrialised countries.
“Expectant parents are typically well aware of the risks associated with late pregnancy, but they are less aware of the positive effects,” said Myrskylä.