Greensboro's African American Community Newspaper since 1967

Is motherhood bad for one’s health?


Working women that are single and mothers are 40 percent more likely to have heart disease than other women. Working women that are single and mothers are 40 percent more likely to have heart disease than other women.

It has been said by many that the hardest job around and one of the most rewarding jobs around is that of being a parent. Being a parent is a job and when it is done right, it requires one to give a lot of love, time and attention to a child. It’s not an easy task and not always a pleasant task but it is rewarding.

I have seen mothers totally neglect themselves in order to provide for their children. Many mothers place their own health in peril to assure that their children are well cared for. Can this be healthy and what signals are really being sent to the children?

In a recent study, researchers looked at the health, work status, motherhood status and marital status of a group of women in the U.S. and in Europe. They wanted to know if motherhood, working, and marriage affected the health of women. Since physicians start to see health issues in people as they age, the women selected for the study were older.

Examination of cardiovascular data found that working, single and childless women had lower blood pressures when compared to working, married mothers in the study. Single working women without children in Europe also had better blood pressures but were more likely to smoke, which may also affect their health.

Researchers found that single, working mothers in the U.S. outnumbered single, working mothers in Europe 2 to 1. They also noted that women who were single, working mothers were 40 percent more likely to have heart disease. These women were also 74 percent more likely to have had a stroke and were 77 percent more likely to smoke.

The researchers also examined whether work and marriage offered or at least increased the possibility of financial and social security. They also examined whether the possible stress from a lack of finances was a reason single, working mothers had poorer health outcomes.

Certainly more research needs to be done on this topic. Motherhood is such an important part of life. Better polices will hopefully decrease the financial stress single, working mothers experience and help to improve their health. Motherhood should not be costly to your health.

Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Email Dr. Bland at