Study: Babies born to older moms test better - WNEM TV 5

Study: Babies born to older moms test better

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More and more women are waiting to have children until later in life.

Conventional wisdom suggests the earlier in life women give birth the better off their children will be, but new research is suggesting the opposite.

"I always kind of thought I'd have babies by the time I was 28 or be starting around that time. But life happens," said Gretchen Parsons, expectant mother.

Women have heard the warnings for years over their window of opportunity to have children, but there may be some good news on the way for women who want to wait.

According to a study by the International Journal of Epidemiology, children born to mothers between 35 and 39 test higher than those born to mothers in their mid to late 20s.

That's music to Parsons' ears. She is 35-years-old and pregnant with her first child.

"I was extremely excited. It's something that I've been wanting for a long time," she said.

Margaret Gerulski manages the birth center at Covenant Hospital in Saginaw. She said there is more to it than simply how old the mother is.

Gerulski said a mother's age is not the most important factor, especially with today's technology.

"There's equal risks amongst younger moms as there are older moms. There's the genetic things that do happen in advanced maternal age moms, but all of our patients have potential for risks. But with the great pre-natal care and the screenings that are done, moms are a lot safer," Gerulski said.

As for Parsons, she has no problem with the timing of her first pregnancy.

"I feel like I've lived my life. I've had lots of experiences and I feel like I'm very prepared to have a baby. I've got my home and I've got the things that I need," Parsons said.

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