New research has shown that women who live close to their mothers are more likely to become mothers themselves, and have shown to have better fertility.
The team of researchers at the University of Essex found that when a woman lives close to her mother or female relatives, she is calmer about the prospect of having a child, as she will have emotional support post birth. They also know that they will have help caring for the child after the father returns to work.
The team also admitted being surprised by the strength of the link they found. A woman's psychological state is helped by having the nearby support of their mum.
The study looked at nearly 2,000 women, and recorded their fertility, lifestyle, social status and health. All women were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their relationships with their immediate family, extended family and the network of friends they had.
The results showed that women who had family nearby, fell pregnant more quickly with their first and even second child.
Dr Paul Mathews from the University said "We were surprised that we actually found a significant effect. We assumed that there would probably be a relationship, but we were surprised that relationship remained even after we controlled for a whole myriad of social and economic background factors".
He went on to say "Comparing two young women who have effectively the same social income, education, religion, ethnicity, the young woman is closer to her family still seems to find it significantly easier to have children".
"We know that having kin around is beneficial in terms of having children in high-fertility resource-poor populations, both in developing countries and in historical Europe" he said.
In the economic climate that we are in, free childcare from relatives is certainly a plus for many expectant mums, particularly for mums that go on to have a second child.
Many believe that it is simply the emotionally support for women after birth that means so much. Being a new mum is a very scary, exciting, and shocking time for many women.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this story, please share them with the Direct2Mum family below;