Dec
06
2011

Study: Having Many Children Is Healthier

A new study shows having 4+ children cuts heart disease in half

For me, I'm healthier than I have ever been. Could this be the way it is supposed to be?

One of the biggest fears of childbearing is the health of the mother. For me personally, I’m healthier now than I ever have been. Friends are constantly telling me how blessed I am, and Chris fond of saying that my body was blessed to have many children.

I’ve often had this eerie suspicion: Perhaps having children is healthier than avoiding them.

I’ve brushed it off as just my personal experience, but I can argue the same for most moms of large families. Virtually all the moms I personally know with many children are all in great shape. The stereotypical mother “living in a shoe” (unhealthy, body falling apart, etc.) is extremely rare among mothers of many children.

Meanwhile, moms are lambasted with these popular assumptions:

  • Birth control pills have no burden on a woman’s body.
  • Birthing children is equivalent to an emergency medical procedure.
  • Bearing and raising children is harder on the body than other unhealthy living conditions.

Chris and I touch on this in Love in the House, but my diet book spearheads it. Love in a Diet throws out the assumption that just because we moms have had a lot of children we should throw in the towel of good health and a good figure. Hogwash. Staying healthy is just as much available to moms of several children as moms with one or two. I workout 5-6 days a week in my 40’s, but I took health for granted in my 20’s.

Finally, science is catching up with my hunch. According to a major study out of San Diego, (Read more: Big families are GOOD for the heart) having 4+ children cuts the chance of heart disease in half. That’s significant.

This study backs up what I’ve witnessed for years. As I’ve been faced with pregnancy after pregnancy, the subtle fear of my health creeps up, but I am reminded that my body has grown stronger and stronger. Look at the other women who have been on TV expressing the love of children and ask yourself, “Are these women falling apart?” Michelle Duggar at #20, for instance, is boasting that she is healthier than she has ever been! In the end, I can’t deny the proof.

This so rubs against the popular assumptions. Even the researchers attempt to push this one down. They come up with other reasons why the women of several children could have such significantly healthier hearts. “The mechanism by which this decreased risk occurs is unknown,” they warn. Perhaps:

  • Higher fertility is naturally in healthier women.
  • Moms of many have higher levels of circulating estrogen.
  • The social support from large families is healthier.

Sure, perhaps. I’m no scientist. But even if there are external factors, the study affirms that the decision to Love Another Child isn’t as fearful as the popular assumptions have made it out to be. I’ve even fallen into these assumptions at times, even though my life is its contrary. When people ask about my youthful exuberance I usually shrug and say, “I attribute it to the constant hormones.”

All these years God has been whispering in my ear, “Open your life to ‘Love Another Child”. Each time I said, “Yes, Lord,” and have been healthier because of it. I find this study refreshing. Validating. The conviction on my heart to welcome another child isn’t God calling me to an unhealthy burden. It’s God calling me to Love Another Child. And it leads to a fruitful, abundant, healthy life.

About Wendy Jeub

Yes, Wendy Jeub has brought 16 children into the world, and loves each and every one of them. So much so, she'd welcome more!

  • http://www.torishomefront.blogspot.com Tori

    Thank you for writing this post, Wendy!  I was on BC pills for 4 years after my 4th son was born by emergency Csection due to preeclampsia.  I was afraid to “go through” pregnancy again.  But now, God has changed my heart, and my dh’s heart, and I am letting God decide if we have any more.

    It is amazing how much better I feel now that I’m not loading my body with a daily dose of drugs to avoid pregnancy!  Many of the health issues I was suffering from, that the doctor couldn’t pinpoint a cause for, ended once the chemicals were out of my system.  God is so good!

    • Amandy924

      i think u just convinced me to leave it up to God.. and who knows a baby may be born 9 months from now 😛 thanks Tori :) glad i read all the way to the end 😀

  • Melissa

    I know that it’s healthier but my problem seems to be gestational diabetes. Any advice for that?

    • Jennifer Torres

      I was diagnosed with gd with my fourth baby.  Last one I had in the hospital (except for an emergency c-section on my 9th).  I had the rest at home and plan to have the 11th at home too.  My 10th was a vbac and weighed 11+ lbs.  Not that I recommend that.  I am watching my sugar and simple carbs this time and hope to have a smaller baby.  I think that is the main concern with gd; baby being too big and getting too much sugar.  Then after their born have a drop in their sugar that could cause problems.  I haven’t had that problem with mine; just the big babies.  Anyway just an idea and my own experience.

      • Nora

        make sure to get 100 g of protein a day.    Start the day out with 2 eggs.
        People can give birth to bigger babies  than allowed.   I should know, My smallest is 9 ib 7oz and largest 11 ib 12 oz. NO im not diabetic and their are others who have larger babies who are not diabetic,, All 7 of mine have been born at home,,, all healthy and normal.   Cut, the carbs and the carbs you do eat should be complex. 

  • Jennifer Mull

    I believe the professionals are missing a huge clue as to why moms of many seem to be healthier… we are INTENTIONAL about being healthier… meaning, because we are not only having many pregnancies, but also often breastfeeding… it means we have adopted a lifestyle that does not include smoking, drinking, doing drugs…. it means we are looking to eat healthier foods, and when we do start having issues, we start looking into them and finding out what we need to do to be healthier so we don’t have losses in our next pregnancy. I can’t say that I am at my healthiest at 45 after 8 kids, but I am healthier than when I was in my 20’s for sure… and I feel better than I did in my 30’s. Right now, I am dealing with hormonal issues and weight gain, but this only makes me seek out good health all the more. People are usually shocked to know I have a 21yo and 19yo because my face doesn’t look as old  as they would expect…. of course, my hair when it needs colored gives it away! 😉   But, I’ve known of many moms of many who lived to be quite old….. even into their 90’s. I don’t think that could be a coincidence. Once, I had an aunt tell me that I was doing a lot of damage to my body and would be in a lot of pain some day…. this was after my 5th. She  said, “I had only two, and look how much trouble I am having?”  Quickly, I replied, “Well, maybe, but look how many I have to take care of me.” She paused a moment and said, “You’ve got a good point there. ” :-)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BZXHT7XDXDDSOBCWGPTUGYGV5Q Elizabeth

      Jennifer, I’m 66, never smoked, never drank, never used drugs, never used mj, grew up on organic food, have naturally red hair that has never been colored, look younger than I am, yet I have never been pregnant (not by choice). I’ve never been on birth control pills. I swim 1 mile/day. Yet I have 5 primary cancers and deal with depression. There are far more variables to life than just having many children. I know lots of families with 8 to 12 children in my very Catholic neighborhood. Not all those moms are healthy. Genetics plays an important role, especially in aging. My great grandmother at 90 had no wrinkles, and I’m a clone of her in photos. She had 3 pregnancies, 3 children. My great ant was thin and healthy all her life, no children.

      • Jennifer Mull

        Actually, I think we are in agreement…. while I do think having children can have a positive effect on health, what I am saying is that there are other variables  that affect a woman’s health, and these do come into play with moms of many… we are just more likely to make healthier choices… and certainly genetics plays into it, too, but genetics are not the only determiner. My point is that the researchers in the article were not looking at the obvious health choices moms of many make as a cause for the increased heart health.

        And, I am very sorry that you have cancer and depression. I have recently recovered from depression myself, and lost my best friend (mother of four) to ovarian cancer at the age of 43. Certainly, no one can take for granted that good health is a gift from the Lord. But, we certainly don’t have to promote the idea that having fewer children is healthier either. 

  • Vixthemom

    Im just convinced that breaking what isnt broken isnt the best idea. I know lots of women  who say that their tubal was the worst thing they ever did to themselves, often resulting in cysts, heavy bleeding and early hysterectomies (which has its own slew of complications). And then there are MANY side effects of the pill,  most women I know who’ve used it for long periods of time end up with cancers, depression, and heavy weight gain. Of course I dont hear much from men who’ve had surgeries except the few who say they wish they hadnt.   My favorite Jeub quote that is so true is: I’ve never heard a parent of a  large family say they wish they hadnt had children, but I’ve heard lots of families with no children or few children say they wish they’d had more. And that is so true! Once my son asked me if we were going to stop having children ever and I said “Who knows whose coming! Im so glad we didnt stop before you got here!” 😉

    • GM

      It’s not socially acceptable to say they regret having kids. Even if they thought it, they wouldn’t say it. That’s why you’ve never heard it, Vix.

      • Delilah

        Do u regret ur kids? If u sumhow found urself pregnant (assuming ur a woman), would u have an abortion? NO birthcontrol is 100% “safe”. Would u not love another child?

    • Jaye

       Eh, took bc pills for a couple of years – no weight gain, no depression, no cancer. Husband had a vasectomy after that. Great life. No regrets.

  • Holly

    I totally agree with Wendy.  After my tubal ligation, my health went downhill so fast.  After two years, gyn (a liberal one) told me I need a hysterectomy.  I refused so I went back to my family dr and told him to find me another gyn.  He couldn’t believe that she told me to get a hysterectomy.  I told him that all of my problems point to the tubal ligation.  He asked if Iwant a reversal.  I told him I heard it goes away after the reversal.  So he sent me to a Christian gyn.  She told me to get a reversal.  So I did and all of my problems disappeared.  I did get pregnant but it ended up being a tubal pregnancy that almost took my life.  Thankfully I was already hospitalized for a threated tubal.  The gyn’s husband did the surgery to remove the tubal baby.  He told me before the surgery that he is sorry he will have to remove it and it was too late to move the baby as the baby ruptured the tube.  After the surgery, hubby said the dr was upset and shopwed my hubby the picture of the baby.  From that point on, my health has been better however no babies have come and we are not using anything.  So I hope my story here will deter those of you that are thinking of a tubal ligation.  I just wished the Jeub family was around 13 years ago, media wise. 

    Wendy, thank you for showing that you can be healthy and have that many children.  YOu are truly blessed!!!  I am saddened about the trolls and angry posters though.  I never ever felt like  you or Chris were bashing us of our past decisions which we truly regret.  You have shown grace through all your blog posts.  Keep it up and at them.  :)

    Holly in Indiana

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BZXHT7XDXDDSOBCWGPTUGYGV5Q Elizabeth

    Michelle Duggar does look good but she’s had pre-eclampsia twice. Her age and her previous history put her at higher risk with this pregnancy. Women do die of this, and babies also. Their last baby had a very rocky start in life and appears to have some developmental delays, as do most micro-premies. In Michelle’s case another pregnancies doesn’t necessarily equate with better health.

    Birth control pills, IMHO, are not good for a woman’s health. It just doesn’t make sense to fool mother nature.  They can be useful in short term treatment of certain gyn conditions where normal hormone balance is out of whack. But if your hormone levels are normal it makes no sense to use hormones.

    • Jennifer Mull

      Michelle Duggar did have pre-eclampsia, but she had it while young and while older…. it is actually most common with first pregnancies… the thing is, something can always go wrong in any pregnancy, and you can be completely low risk and have no health issues, and become high risk in a quick turn of events at any time…. this I have experienced, more than once. It is actually less risky when you KNOW what your particular risk is…. Michelle has taken measures to help prevent it from happening again… there are diets that do help prevent pre-eclampsia and you can be sure she was highly motivated…. Some of my healthiest pregnancies were my later ones…. you can’t always base it off the past pregnancy experience… best to follow God’s lead than to try to determine that on our own. Even Drs. don’t really know…..

  • Gar

    Michelle Duggar? She almost died giving birth last winter. She suffers from multiple problems relating to her many pregnancies. 

    • Jennifer Mull

      Why would you say that? You would have to know her personally to say such a thing…. And she didn’t give birth LAST winter…. Think before you post…..

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      I don’t think you’re correct, Gar. Michelle’s 19th delivery had nothing to do with her previous pregnancies. But I see where you get that idea. It seems to be a knee-jerk assumption in modern gynecology: any complication is assumed to be because of multiple pregnancies. Women of 2 kids are advised to stop nowadays, for crying out loud.

      Come to think of it, Michelle’s 1/19 troubled pregnancies is a pretty darn good record. As for #20, why not?

      • Gar

        Actually, Chris, you are wrong. Preclampsia is much more likely in women who have had many pregnancies. 

        • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

          No, you’re wrong, Gar. Read it for yourself: http://www.preeclampsia.org/research-top/cause-of-preeclampsia. Not one mention of pregnancies causing preclampsia.

          But you are exemplifying one of the most common reactions that people have toward birth complications: “It must be because of all those pregnancies.” It’s ignorant and false.

          Logically, such a claim is impossible to prove. 
          Medically, causation is virtually always attributed to other things. 
          Personally, such claims are rooted in fear that scare moms.

          So, read up on things before you assume them to be true.

      • Dave

        Michelle also has gall stones and back problems, which are also more common among women who have multiple pregnancies.

        If you want to have lots of pregnancies fine. But why try to justify it as “better” in some way? It is what it is.

        • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

          See my note to Gal below. Same logic (or lack thereof) applies.

    • Virginia Revoir

      That is wrong information.  It had nothing to do with her pregnancies.  She had gall stones for years and it’s something I’ve battled too.  The doctors took care of the problem so she won’t have to worry about it anymore.  That is a popular misconception about Mrs. Duggar, that it was because of her pregnancy.  I had the same problem even before I had any kids.

  • Stan

    Having many children is healthier? For who? The rest of the world?? Some day it will occur to you that a continuous stream of children does NOT help the world. I have no sympathy for a woman who cares not at all of people outside of her family. You’re no true Christian.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      The article is about the health of the mother. But, now that you mention it, yes, the children do and will help the world.

      • Stan

        How about the health of the world? How many is too many, Chris? Do you think Jesus intended for us to multiply to the point where resources are
        more and more scarce and more and more people starve to death on a daily basis? Do you have any obligation to your fellow man to be concerned about that at all? I believe Jesus would say you do. No? Awaiting your reply.

        • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

          Edumacate yourself, Stan. These videos will bring common sense into your thinking: http://overpopulationisamyth.com

          • Stan

            Been there, done that. If you can’t see that the world’s population is growing exponentially (no one disagrees with that) and that we indeed have finite resources on this planet (no one disagrees with that when pressed), then you missed simple math class and I can’t help you. While your kids I’m sure are great, I believe you’ve acted selfishly to those outside your family. After a certain point, it’s not Christian behavior to me. I’m done if you are.

            • Stan

              Your post:Stan, you seem quite confident in your convictions. Believe it or not, I appreciate you posting on the website. Keep bringing the idea that children are a curse to the world. We do like to address it.

              My response:I am confident because God blessed me with reasoning ability. While I love all the children of the world, I don’t believe God intended for us multiplyindefinitely to the point where we’re harming ourselves and the world he provided us. To me, and the reasoning ability he gave me, that goes beyond all logic. By limiting the number of children, we allow ourselves to protect the world and put less pressure on each other. I believe that’s what God would want for us. Again, I’m done if you are.

              • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

                You’re giving me a lot of material, Stan. You see your “reasoning ability” to “go beyond all logic”? Wow, you really think you’re so blessed?

                Fact is, you’re duped. That’s why I sent you that link, to shake you back to reality. The world is not overpopulated, not even close. False prophets have been blasting that nonsense for centuries, and I, for one, just don’t buy it.

                Let that settle a bit longer, Stan. You’re dead wrong on this one, trust me. Do some research. Here’s an idea: buy Love Another Child. We go much deeper into the fallacies out there concerning the environment and overpopulation.

              • Stan

                I’ve been aware of this subject for years. For every website you show me, there are 3 more I can send to you that go the opposite direction…some even run by fellow Christians. Even if you don’t believe there’s a population problem now, do you see that there could be one in the future? Do you see any possibility that there could be a problem at all on this issue (in spite of that website you sent)?

              • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

                The link wasn’t meant to out-number your citations (which you don’t give any, by the way), but to invite you to actually THINK about your claims. Now you’re actually drawing me in to claim a certain number “in the future”? Good grief, Stan. I pass.

              • Stan

                I pass too. I tried.

              • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

                No please, don’t go! I’m having too much fun. And I’m curious to how skinny a thread can get.

                Okay, okay. Um… 100 billion. That’s too many people. Then we’ll have to force abortions, sterilizations, warped birth control methods, infanticide, euthanasia and all the death-crazed solutions that the radical left promotes currently.

                You, I suppose, are up for those things today. Right?

              • GM

                Why should he buy a book written by someone with no qualifications?

              • Delilah

                Why do u follow/comment on blogs written by ppl with “no qualifications”? Lol ur funny!

            • guest

              Hi Stan, Are you mad at your parents for having you? Do you think they just added to the population problem by deciding to have you? I’m just wondering.

              • Stan

                Not at all. I love myself and my family. But the world has “been fruitful and multiplied”. We’ve done that. Is there any thought of responsibility to those outside of one’s family? It’s not 1890 anymore, it’s 2011. We need a new dance.

                I’m not trying to be nasty. I’m merely suggesting that perhaps we need to consider new things as our global circumstances have changed.

              • Molliemaldonado

                Whom is it to decide when we are done multiplying? The sovereign one who created us and this world?  The creator or the created?

              • Delilah

                If ur a Christian Stan, u sure dont sound like it. Can u please point out the verse that says “Lo, children are are a heritage of the LORD, until your neighbor says u have plenty.”? Yeah, I thought not. The Bible says children are blessing. This should be the end of the discussion for Christians.

          • Delilah

            Edumacate! Lol <3

  • Blakebunch084him

    I read this article and along with info in a book( Be Fruitful and Multiply), I feel there’s definitely something positive about having a big family. I think my og-gyn would agree with you in my situation as I just delivered my 6th child, the last 3 as c-sections. My doc saw no reason, healthwise, to caution me about becoming pregnant again. I certainly don’t think birth control is healthy at all. I even told my doc that. I have a friend that since removing her IUD, had miscarriage, had another pregnancy in which there was an empty sack and declining hormone levels. Less than 2 mos ago, she experienced a tubal pregnancy which caused her tube to rupture and almost died after losing half her blood. She’s only 29 and had to have her tubes removed. I think, as with everything else,God’s way is best. No birth control, tubul ligation, or vasectomy. Trust God for your family size! And how hateful some people’s post are! But, I’m sure you guys are used to it.. I hear the stupid comments, too, and expect them. But, it still saddens me how ignorant people are and how despising of life! Nothing is more beautiful than that!

  • mrscindeed

    Jeub Family,
    I find it interesting that there are such vehement detractors posting comments here.  Makes me wonder why.  If I disagree so very strongly with a blogger, I probably just won’t read what they have to say.  Seems like people are just looking for a fight and looking to stir up trouble.  I, for one, am very thankful for the encouraging, godly things your family has to say.  Thank you for standing up for Truth and Righteousness in the face of such opposition.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      Don’t get too bent out of shape about the “trolls.” Read this post: http://jeubfamily.com/2011/12/01/jeub-trolls-and-haterz/

  • Delilah

    @Stan and @Gar- you seem to be very concerned for the planet, so tell me, if u dnt want ppl to have children who are u “saving” the planet for? And perhaps ur right, maybe the Jeubs are “fake” Christians. How dare they try to encourage and inspire other.families through their walk w/ Christ! Ill tell u whats fake- damning others for following a deeply thought out conviction from God. As for all this “pregnancy is bad for you” propaganda- please! My FIRST child was an emergency c-section, however my other 3 pregnancies have been glorious! I must be sum sort of scientific annomoly, right? When u trust in God all that fear crumbles. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, does that mean I should never leave the house?

    • Stan

      Hey Delilah, you DON’T seem to be very concerned for the planet. Otherwise you’d be looking for other solutions other than this knee jerk reaction. I don’t have all the answers and I’m not damning the Jeubs. As I’ve said, I’ll bet their kids are great…every one of them. That said, how about some concern for the rest of the world?

      • Delilah

        Other solutions To what, FOR what? We should recycle? Do it. Grow our own food? For the most part. Use energy saving bulbs and appliances? Do it. We also turn off the water heater and furnace at night. As a matter of fact most of our power comes from the solar panels on our roof and our minivan has been converted to run on used veggie oil. How bout u? Do I still hate the planet? Are my children still a burden?

        • Stan

          I’m done. Thanks for sharing.

          • Delilah

            Your done because ur arrogance and assumptions made u play the fool. Thank YOU for sharing.

  • Delilah

    @Stan- also, u wont hate my many children when theyre paying for ur Social Security benefits, will u?

    • Stan

      Delilah, that’s just a game (entitlements) that has no good ending. I’m willing to work hard for the rest of my life. And I don’t expect others to pay for my things. All that I ask from others (is it too much to ask), is to act responsibly and in accordance with their surroundings.

    • Roddma

      Social security is a forced savings account. It has nothing to do with the number of children you have. I f you dont work you dont get it.

  • JimR

    “Women who have “well beyond the usual number of babies” also run the risk of having a premature baby, says Dr. Thomasena Ellison, residency program educational director at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. That’s because the part of the cervix responsible for holding in the baby simply weakens with each pregnancy, she explains.In addition, the mother’s stores of iron and other nutrients become depleted after multiple pregnancies.
    “There’s just no time to build up in between the pregnancies,” Ellison says. “The woman’s body is exhausted.”
    Pregnancy also aggravates any issues a woman may have with dental problems, Ellison says. “If you have any cavities or disease, pregnancy makes it worse,” she says.
    As for babies born to a woman who already has many closely spaced kids, they may experience growth restriction in the womb, Abrahams says. “The babies just don’t grow to their full size during the pregnancy and there can be nutritional factors as well,” he says.
    Women may discover that varicose veins increase with each subsequent pregnancy and they can increase the risk of blood clots, Abrahams says.
    Older moms — those in their 40s like Duggar — are at a greater than average risk of both gallbladder disease and gestational diabetes, Abrahams says. And their infants are more likely to have genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome.
    Going through labor 19 times can stretch the mom’s pelvic muscles and end up causing problems that can be embarrassing, according to ABC News. Weakened pelvic muscles can cause incontinence, according to Dr. Diane Harper of the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
    “The abdominal wall will lose all tone, causing intestinal hernias as well as putting intestines at risk for volvulus [a bowel twisted in a loop],” Harper told ABC.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      And Michelle Duggar keeps proving the experts wrong.
      Thanks for posting this, Jim.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BZXHT7XDXDDSOBCWGPTUGYGV5Q Elizabeth

        Actually, it was gall bladder disease that triggered Michelle’s pre-eclampsia and the birth of a micro-premie. She nearly died as did the baby.

        • Delilah

          It was gallSTONES. Do u remember what ppl said about the Duggars before Josie? “If they had a baby with medical problems I bet theyed.change theyre tune!”. Now that it hasnt ppl are making them out to be monsters. They cant win for losing.

    • Delilah

      This is just absurd. As if 1 Dr.s opinion sumhow debunks a scientific study! ROTFL

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BZXHT7XDXDDSOBCWGPTUGYGV5Q Elizabeth

        ONE study proves nothing, on either side. You need many studies.

        • Delilah

          Neither does 1 Dr.s opinion. I couldnt say for sure, really. Ive only had 4 kids, but havent had any of the above listed problems. Lets ask Wendy? Is ur body exhausted? Doesnt seem like it to me!

          • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

            I know. I feel like a troll on HER post! I have been telling her all day to jump on this discussion (that she started), but she’s been running all day. Phy Ed this afternoon, a women’s book group tonight. She’ll comment tomorrow…I promise.

      • Thom

        This was not a scientific study. This was an article on a junk news site. To the best of my knowledge, Wendy did not read the actual study. She doesn’t know what it says.

    • Jennifer Mull

      First, I have to say, I think Delilah is right on 100% with her posts!

      Secondly, as someone who has had 8 kids, plus 4 miscarriages, and is a part of the momys (Mothers of Many Young Children) group that Wendy is also a part of, therefore in touch with hundreds of other moms of many all over the world, I can say that this is mostly theoretical…

      One or two of these problems may happen to a particular woman, but these things do not ALL happen to ALL women who have more than the average amount of children. There are few studies, actually, that involve large amounts of moms of many, so mostly they have to use theory to decide what might happen to a woman. Some issues would happen anyway, just from natural aging, and have nothing to do with giving birth to many children. If you asked several of us women who have had many babies, there would be several of us who have had one or two issues and could relate, but certainly very few of us are in such poor health as this article suggests… Talk to the many hundreds of women living this lifestyle… the highest count I knew about on the momys digest was over 2000 members a few years ago…. that means women who are having 4 or more children…..

      One thing in this article I would take issue with is the line that says, “And their infants are more likely to have genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome.”  That is not entirely true…. 80% of woman who have children with Downs are in their 20’s… the fact that the statistical RISK is higher when we are older is because there are fewer of us giving birth in our 30’s and 40’s…. so the statistical RISK goes UP, even though, many healthy woman in their 40’s give birth to healthy children. 

      And, please keep in mind that most of us who are older, if we do have a child who has health problems, we are also more mature and better able to handle such a thing….esp. since we have older children to help give support… The Duggars give an excellent example of this….. To say we are more likely to have a child with problems is actually a scare tactic more than anything else.

      • Thom

        You are wrong. You don’t understand the statistics about Downs. 

        If 1000 women in their 20s have babies, a percentage of these babies will be born with  Downs. 

        If 1000 women in their 40s have babies, a larger percentage of these babies will be born with Downs.

        It has nothing to do with how many women in their 40s have babies. It has to do with the group of babies, and the percentage of Downs babies within that group.

        • kate

          do you have something against people with downs?

    • Virginia Revoir

      Well, being pregnant with my 7th, the doctors tell me all the time how incredibly healthy my body is including my cervix.  I never had to deal with early term deliveries and I have excellent blood pressure.  My health has only gotten better as I’ve gotten older.  I’ve wondered for so long why is it that moms of many kids just in general seem so healthy and so young.  It’s a blessing from God for sure. 

      • Delilah

        Agreed! The strangest compliment Ive ever gotten was from my OBGYN after my 4th c-section. In the middle of surgery he proclaims “My word Mrs.Miller, you have a beautiful cervix!”. And for those of u trying to act like Wendy dsnt know what she’s talking about- She HAS 16 CHILDREN! Who is a better judge of how her body feels than her? The fact that youre even TRYING to argue this with her makes u look foolish. Have any of you had more than the average 2.5 kids? If not, shut your mouths because you no idea of what u speak.

        • kate

          could you be a little nicer and use friendly debate language? For those who have kids.

          • Delilah

            Did I curse? Was I calling ppl names? No. U, on the other hand, are being evasive and not sticking to topic. U still ddnt answer my questions. Are u a better judge of how a womans body feels than she is?

            • kate

              please? :)

              • Delilah

                The problem is I dont understand whats offending you. Please explain 8(

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Suffering succatash! I clicked through this link, and you’re right! By golly, women with 10+ births have a 7.1% chance of getting pre-eclampsia at their next birth, while women with only 2 pregnancies have 2.69%! Aaaah!

    Sorry, I am laughing at your expense. This study doesn’t strike me with fear. Michelle Duggar has a 92.9% chance of making it through without complication, and those are pretty doggone good odds.

    But, cutting heart disease in half, now THAT’S significant.

    • Gar

      It’s good you admitted you were wrong, so graciously. Please stick to subjects you are expert on, in the future.

    • Gar

      Yes, it almost triples a woman’s risk. Not so funny, if you are a woman at risk.

      • Jennifer Mull

        Notice the stats come with “next”birth… that is because the most common time for a woman to develop preeclampsia is with their FIRST pregnancy….

      • Amandy

        are u kidding me… Gar… If u can get scared by increasing ur risk by 3 times.. how about stop driving.. cuz every time u get in the car u put urself in a higher risk bracket of getting killed…

        • Amandy

          oh and if u have the 90+% everything is going to be ok. but there is a 10% chance of something going wrong… WHY eat, breath, walk, ride, run, LIVE!?!? simply despicable.

          • Andy

            WEll, in Michelle Duggar’s case, I think she’d want to maximize her chance of living so she could be there for her kids.

    • Gar

      Let’s see. .  heart disease, which you  have, is important. Saving women’s lives. . . not so much.

      You may laugh (as you did) at the tripled risk in preclampsia.  However, that 2% referred to the entire population of fertile women–those in their teens, 20s, 30s and 40s. 

      Michelle Duggar belongs to a much high risk group–women in their forties with a previous history of preclampsia.  Tripling her risk makes it phenomenally high. Say her risk is 20%–tripling it makes it 60%. Does that make you stop laughing?

      • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

        You’re saying Michelle has a 60% chance of preclampsia? Gar, that’s ridiculous. It was ridiculous of you to claim 2% was significant, but now you’re twisting things to create significance that isn’t there. That’s just plain disingenuous. 

        And for what? To convince people that the blessing of children should be avoided. No thanks.

        • Gar

          You think Michelle Duggar will carry full term?

          Interesting. 

          While I hope she does, I think it is unlikely.

          Let’s check back in six months. I hope I am wrong.

      • Delilah

        Heart disease happens to be the #1 killer of women Gar- NOT pregnancy! So yes, Id say cutting ur chances of getting it in half is VERY significant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1160853318 Tammie Page Ewert

    The fountain of youth has been found ! OOOh pish posh to what others think. People do what works for them, if it didnt work for them it seems to me they would change. I love that we as society have the right to choose what is right for our lives and not others. Throwing out what works for one isnt saying that you HAVE to do it .. it just might give you some different options to going about things a different way, thinking differently and having a new perspective. Nothing at all wrong with that ….. in fact it is quite healthy !

    I have lived my own life one way, then completely did a 180 when what I was doing wasn’t working for me. I think if the Jeubs can just give someone a glimmer that they can change.. then that is remarkale and they should be commended. :) Again, just because someone has somethign work in thier life or mentions it, doesnt mean we have to bash, ridicule or make lude statements.

    I agree with almost everything the Jeubs have shared with me, though if I disagreed I wouldnt have an issue ASKING why …

  • BJ

    Wonderful post, Wendy!  Thank you so much.  I thought of the following verse as I was reading.  May God bless you all!

    Proverbs 3:5-8, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. “

  • Janetkiessling

    Amen…………..adopting makes us feel the same way, too!!! :0)
    Have a blessed night!

  • GM

    Wendy,

    Did you look at the third party variables?Do you know what that is?

    Here’s one:

    –Maybe the women who can have 4+ kids are healthier to begin with. Unhealthy women (including those with heart disease) may be unable or unwilling to have so many kids

    This would certainly skew the statistics you are swallowing (I mean accepting) so easily.

  • Cari

    You wrote a whole blog post based on an article from the junk site the Daily Mail? 

    Have you read the entire journal article in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility? 

  • Virginia Revoir

    I have thought the same thing for sooooo long.  Moms of many kids just look so much healthier and in general are just really happy.  I’m pregnant with my 7th at 32 yrs old and I feel great!  I’ve had friends and even family reject me because I have this many kids but I don’t care and I don’t regret anything.
    amazingsix (dot) blog spot (dot) com

  • Thom

    Wendy, 

    I understand that you think this study represents the voice of God telling you that you were right to have 16 kids.

    However, I think it may indicate something else.  Maybe this indicates you should learn more advanced math. There are so many third party variables that invalidates data like this.

  • Courtney

    thank you for this. I am pregnant with #7. My odlest just turned 10. I have had a baby about every 21 months since I was 22. I feel better now at almost 33….! I am tired from chasing kids…but my body feels great! I love pregnancy and raising little ones. Thank you for your example. I also loved your book “Love another child”.

    • Roddma

      The big family craze is going to catch up one day. I hope you think about the tax credit and breaks you get supported by tax payers before you have another child.

  • kate

    Thanks for the post Wendy!
    I was at the hospital I go to for a check up a few months ago, and  there was a huge poster encouraging women under 30 to have a baby. One of the things it said was women who have a baby before they are 30 are healthier when they get older.  I almost had to do a double take when I saw the poster. Ive never seen a poster encouraging women to have a baby. The hospital I go to is completely free for everything including  child births, so it wasn’t a way for the hopital to make more money.  They do limit the number of children you can have there free to 3.
    Has anyone else seen posters like this?

    • Jaye

       Well, no, it’s not “free.”  Somebody IS paying for it.

  • Nora

    Either you believe in the one and only True God or environment, creation,  ect you cant believe in both,,,      Im tired of the bad math that people are brainwashed with.   Im glad for those who are having the courage to go against mainstream and having children.  We need each others support.    Im tired of the kill the children in any way ya can agenda.
    I dare you to tell me which  children of mine should never have been born.   GOd is in control whether you like it or not   and every knee shall bow to the KINg Of Kings one of these days.    Im overdue here with my 8th child,, all are healthy and normal.  I have all at home and have no interventions,  as this does cause a good deal of prob. for many people at the hospital  that should never have happened.   People are being controlled by fear and this need stop,, that really just is another form of abuse.  I do recognize that If people do not know the King of Kings, they can never truely  understand. And its a waste of time to argue with these people.   

    • Roddma

      Ugh There is a difference between  logic and fear. I am tired of those who support abuse that kills  children because they think the Bible tells them to do it.  I am tired of the brainwashing by cult leaders like Bill Gothard. If 8 kids work for you fine but don’t tell me what I should do.   If I am not in error, self-control is a virtue.

  • Tricia

    Thank you for this post!  I’m due with our 4th in just a couple months & am already catching grief from people about how it’s “too many” (& many offer APOLOGIES when they find out she’s 4/4 of girls!).  I love hearing from moms of many.  It’s also wonderful to know that others follow His voice when deciding how many children to have (we feel strongly about 5) & it’s inspiring to see moms who have multiple children.  Thanks again!

  • http://creatingtreasures.blogspot.com Tereza

    Wendy, I was wondering if you have any problems with PMS. I just turned 40 and have 4 children under 8 y.o. I begin having children in my 30s and don’t use any contraception other than NFP.  I noticed these past couple of months that my cycles have become shorter but my periods heavier and longer. I used to be very regular. My DH has been complaining that I am angry all the time. I noticed that I am having hot flashes irregularly. I also noticed that I lost weight without putting much effort into it.  I am beginning to think that I might be pre-menopausal. ??? don’t know…. I would love to have a couple of more babies and did a research on an herb called Vitex. Have you heard of it?? Do you have PMS trouble?? Mood swings and stuff..

    thanks so much for sharing.