Older Moms Are At No Greater Risk For Postpartum Depression

Women who decide to give birth later in life are always getting a bad rap. It seems that if they’re not immediately judged for endangering their unborn child, they’re also slammed for potentially bringing health risks upon themselves. But as far as postpartum depression goes, older first-time mothers are in the clear as they are no more likely to experience the condition than their young counterparts.

An Australian study of more than 500 women aged 37 or older determined that age does increase a woman’s chances of developing postpartum depression, regardless of whether the child is conceived naturally or with infertility treatments. Catherine McMahon, who led the study, pointed out that assertions about the health of older mothers get distorted in the media, resulting in tons of misinformation. She told Reuters:

Older mothers are frequently discussed in the media. There are a lot of myths, and limited empirical data.”

While there is evidence that older mothers have a greater risk of pregnancy complications, which can be linked to postpartum depression, “there is no research evidence to support these speculations” that age alone is a prominent factor. She did point out, however that middle-aged women are more susceptible to developing depression in general, which is a separate issue.

Throw that tidbit out the next time someone judges you for choosing to have your children later in life.

(photo: Shutterstock)

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