Having a baby after 35 may be good for your brain (if not your sanity)

Nov 14, 2016 at 12:49 p.m. ET
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Everything’s coming up geriatric moms! In addition to research indicating that older moms may be at decreased risk of stroke during pregnancy and immediately after, a new study concludes that having a baby at 35 or later may actually positively impact memory.

More: The weirdest things pregnancy is going to do to your body

The study, published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (that’s right — have a baby at 35 or later and your pregnancy is officially “geriatric”) followed 830 menopausal women and found that certain factors, including a later-in-life pregnancy and use of oral contraceptive for 10 years or more resulted in greater verbal memory and/or global cognition.

The thinking is, those hormones that often make us feel so crazy are actually good for your brain, and the later in life a woman experiences the hormone surge of pregnancy, the longer-lasting the benefits. "While it is not enough to suggest that women wait until after 35 years of age to close their family growth, our finding of a positive effect of later age at last pregnancy on late-life cognition is novel and substantial," said the lead author of the study, Dr. Roksana Karim of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

As they never said in Seinfeld, when it comes to later-in-life pregnancy, insanity now… serenity later.

More: Women living longer when having kids later in life — the full picture

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