Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Goldilocks Story of Parenthood

Here's some new evidence that it's not just a mother's age but a father's that can affect the health of a baby.

The bottom line: after a father turns 40 chances of autism increase significantly.

Take home conclusion: it's good for the Earth if you don't have a child too early (see earlier post), but for your own child's sake, you don't want to have the child too late.

In other words, nature has taken a cue from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This mother is too young, this father is too old, this one is just right! It appears that the best window of time to have a child is in the 30's--for both mother and father, not just the mother as is commonly believed.

New studies, however, are always coming out and research might find that with so much exposure to chemicals, maybe the reproductive system weakens earlier and so for safety sake a child in the late 20s might be best. Anyone know of studies investigating that question? Comparing birth defects in places with high chemical exposure at different ages and against populations with lower chemical exposures? Comment if so.

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