When children have children: Can postponing early motherhood help children survive longer?

By Sofia K. Trommlerová

In 2010, approximately 34% of young women in developing countries – some 67 million – married before reaching 18 years of age. An additional 14-15 million women will marry as children or adolescents every year in the coming decades. Child marriages lead to pregnancies and childbirths at an early age, which can have negative consequences for the health of both mother and child.

Does the age at which motherhood takes place matter, and can postponing motherhood into adulthood help increase the chances of children surviving beyond five years of age?

My study of teen pregnancies amongst Bangladeshi girls shows that age does matter, and it matters quite a lot.

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About the author

Sofia Trommlerová is a postdoctoral researcher in economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. Her main research interests encompass family economics, gender, child health, development economics, and economic demography.

In 2017-2018 she was a postdoctoral researcher in development economics at the International Institute of Social Studies.