More Kids=Happier Moms, Researchers Say

More Kids=Happier Moms, Researchers Say

An Israeli research team from the prestigious Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center discovered that among menopausal women the most important factor contributing to quality of life is number of children. In other words, researchers were surprised to find that bigger families mean happier and more satisfied moms.

The research team interviewed 151 women between the ages of 45-55 and at various stages of menopause. Researchers asked the women about the severity of their menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. They also asked the women to rate their quality of life in terms of employment, health, intimacy, and emotional well-being. The researchers had thought they would find a correlation between the severity of menopausal symptoms and lower quality of life. To their surprise, they found that there is actually very little connection between menopausal symptoms and quality of life.

It turned out, instead, that the biggest factor contributing to quality of life among menopausal women is the number of children they have. Menopausal women with two or less children rated their quality of life as 91. In contrast, women with three or more children ranked their quality of life at 99.

Dr. Chaimov-Kuchman attempted to explain the research team’s unexpected findings, “One of our hypotheses is that women in Israel view menopause as the beginning of infertility…It could be that women who gave birth to 2 or less children feel that maybe that is not sufficient, and that they did not actualize their potential, and it’s possible that that has an impact on their quality of life.”

Read the original Hebrew article on this groundbreaking research

Special thanks to Rachel Reinfeld-Wachtfogel for sending this article my way!

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com user Elgin County Archives

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9 comments

  1. i do not find this surprising in any way. i have a lot of kids and as i get older, i find that i am enjoying my kids more than i did when i was a younger mom. my quality of life is at least 99…

    a large part of this comes from my chronic Mommy Brain syndrome, where a woman loses ten percent of her brain power during a pregnancy.
    so, if i’m pregnant with baby #10, multiply that times 10 percent, and i actually have lost 100% of my brain by now! i feel wonderful!

    • JewishMOM.com

      thanks tamar, you made me laugh! A friend of mine said something similar. She said “don’t you feel like every time you give birth, you also give birth to part of your brain?”

    • If you lose 10% during every pregnancy, after ten pregnancies you have about 35% left. After 1 child it is 90%, after child nr two it is 10% of 90 you loose, so you are left with 81%, after nr three you are left with 72.9% etc.
      You gain so much with every child, even more with every grandchild.

  2. This is such a nice, encouraging post! It seems intuitive to me – more kids, more simcha, more grandkids (IY”H). Yes, there are also lots of responsibilities and whatnot that come with having children, but the nachas outweighs the difficulty, I think.

  3. I’d be curious to see the actual study. At the conference I’ve been writing about on my site, they quoted a study that showed that women with 2-4 children, or haredi women with 3-5 children, had the highest quality of life.

  4. Interesting that “large” families are 3+ kids, or in the study Hannah quotes, up to 5.
    Some of us must be such “merrier mes” that we’re floating on the ceiling ;-)

  5. @Hannah – at what age were they talking about? I could see a woman in her childbearing years having a higher quality of life with 3-5 kids than one with say, 8 kids in 8 years. By menopause that might be very different though.

  6. i guess that part of the happiness is due to the ability to enjoy your kids w/out expecting the next… at some point you had enough – that’s Hashem’s way of telling us – He gave us menopause…

  7. Maybe those with more children are used to “make do” and less demanding?

    Very unfortunately, more children does not necessarily means more nachas. As chazal say one can have more nachas from an only child than from ten children.

    I don’t really believe those studies, I believe the number that will make us happy is the number Hashem sends us.

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