Researchers link the birth rate to the distance women live from a green space

While most studies try to identify causes of a baby’s growth, scientists have been trying to pinpoint reasons to boost birth rates. Previous studies have suggested that having more babies when it comes to women’s health is a solution to improving the birth rate.

But new research suggests there’s another factor behind a potential boost to the birth rate: in women who live closer to a green space, women tend to have fewer pregnancies than those living farther away.

This is what the study researchers found.

To keep from adding to mothers’ “fear” of pregnancy, those who live closer to a green space are more likely to use a birth control method, such as the pill, or to want to have fewer children. This factor is likely thanks to the increase in natural family planning methods like pelvic floor exercises or vasectomies, and it correlates with the increased breastfeeding rates that women reported living close to green spaces.

The researchers found that women who lived within two miles of a green space experienced pregnancy rates that were on average about 1 percent to 2 percent lower.

Housing density may also be playing a role in pregnancy outcomes. Performances of the English Economic Survey, and the older Swiss Maternal and Child Health Survey suggest that low-income women, and single mothers, are more likely to live close to green spaces, and that close proximity to a green space has the largest impact.

Of course, building more green space may not be a silver bullet to increase birth rates, especially for single mothers who may lack a car to go to a nearby park. The researchers also point out that their findings are probably only a correlation, and not a causal one.

Still, the findings seem logical. While not everyone may have the option to move closer to a green space, there are plenty of people who do have the ability to incorporate natural baby care practices, such as pelvic floor exercises or birth control, into their routine. So that makes sense. But for the women who do already live near a green space, two miles doesn’t seem like a big jump from their current stroll.

There are some instances that might preclude a woman from living near a green space. If she travels to another country or if she is on public assistance, such as EBT, then she may not be able to purchase the bulk of her groceries, for example, or have access to a car, because she may not be able to drive.

Researchers warn, however, that the findings may not apply to women who are preparing to give birth, given that the study participants were a “relative small percentage” of women.

Read the full story at Gizmodo.


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