U of U Researcher Says Large Families Are Bad for Mothers

U of U Researcher Says Large Families Are Bad for Mothers

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Mary Richards Reporting It looks like having more children affects the parents' health. U of U researchers say having large families is particularly bad for the mother.

Having more babies and having them close together appears to shorten a mother's life more than a father's.

Dr Ken Smith, Professor in the Family and Consumer Studies Department at the University of Utah: "Fathers don't get away scot free. They do have some affect directly on them."

Dr. Ken Smith says when the mother dies, the father is more likely to die young because he then has the stress of childrearing.

Smith studied Utah families at the turn of the century, but says this has implications for today as well.

Dr. Ken Smith: "Why don't they have twenty children? Well, they are choosing to have fewer children."

Smith says couples today understand the health costs of having large families, and now they have more options to limit that size.

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