How Many Babies Should You Have? How Many Are Your Country Women Having?

Are you planning to stop at one child? Two? More? Concerned about world population growth? Will your decision revolve around your job? What age should you start? When you want the baby to have a birthday? When the right time is to have a baby is a whole different discussion, and one that is likely to be more social than gynecologic! Many patients don't want to have children at all, and so the answer for them may be: zero is the right number of children. Are their physical concerns with birthing more than one child? We've touched on this topic in lots of posts! Have more babies and you have less chance of breast cancer,  and if you breastfeed your children you are even less likely to have breast cancer. On the other hand, for each child you breastfeed you may decrease your total bone mass (at least during the feeding, some research says if you give it long enough you can recover!) More babies also means less uterine and less ovarian cancer. But the bladder probably suffers, more incontinence if you birth babies! Diabetes? Not sure, if you become diabetic in pregnancy you are more likely to become a diabetic later, but maybe these women would have gotten diabetes even without birthing, it's not certain. And even more babies means more uterine prolapse. But interesting new data looking at all cause and cardiovascular death rates from the Rancho Bernardo Study shows that if you have many babies you are less likely to have heart disease in later life! This is new, as older studies showed that you were more likely to have heart disease if you had been a mom. but maybe we are just doing better at being a mom. The newest data out of the CDC is that the birth rates which were dropping precipitously from 2000-2009, have actually stabilized
in 2012. So how many babies should you have? Maybe come in to discuss with your gyno, and we can weigh in on the discussion knowing you as an individual! We call this a reproductive life plan, and every young woman needs one!

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