If you were to ask any mum about the effects kids have on their health, it would probably end up in a lengthy conversation about stretch marks, year-long colds and the dangers to your waistline that are associated with snacking on leftovers.
But a new study suggests that it may be childless women who are at risk of experiencing poor health later in life.
Researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne recently completed studies on the emotional, physical and mental health of 50 women without children.
According to the researchers the health and vitality of Australian women who are still within reproductive years was in many ways better for those with children.
When it came to mental health, emotional stability and physical functionality those who did not have kids often came off second best on key tests.
Yet despite reports to the contrary this does not mean that having kids boosts health – instead it could show that wellbeing is determined by a number of interwoven factors.
"While the results of our study might not paint a rosy picture, they do not mean that childlessness is a health hazard for women," explained head researcher Dr Melissa Graham.
"Poorer health among childless women may mean they are less likely to have children, rather than their poor health being a result of their childlessness."
Dr Graham suggested that more research needs to be done on the topic to determine whether women were electing not to have children as part of a broader lifestyle choice or if medical conditions influenced their decision making process.
But this was not the main focus of the study, which instead took time to examine different social factors that may compromise women's health irrespective of their age, social status or background.
"Australia is predominantly a society where motherhood is encouraged," she asserted and later explained that if it were reframed as a "natural and familiar way of being" the health of many women without children would improve.
Previous research that was also conducted by the university found that women who don't have children are often perceived negatively by their peers and family, which can undermine self-esteem and wellbeing.
With this in mind Dr Graham suggests that more should be done to include childless women in the community.
"Childlessness should be accepted as an appropriate outcome of adult life for women and motherhood should not be the only valued position," she asserted.