We don’t necessarily think of pregnancy as good for our brains. We all know that baby brain is the reason you lost the car keys for three days and finally found them in the produce drawer. But as it turns out, pregnancy after the age of 35 may just make you smarter.
A new study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that having a baby after 35 improves your cognition and verbal memory. Plus, it can also prevent memory loss later in life.
This is awesome news because when you get pregnant after age 35, you get to see lots of warm and fuzzy things on your chart like “high-risk pregnancy” and “advanced maternal age.” They really know how to make a person feel good about herself, don’t they?!
But now, you can just brag about your brain’s superpowers.
The study followed 830 postmenopausal women and was the first study to examine how pregnancy affects memory. “They looked at the age of their first period, age of pregnancies, number of pregnancies and more factors to evaluate the effect of pregnancy age on their mental health.”
Researchers believe it’s the influx of hormones in the body during pregnancy that affects the brain’s chemistry and function. Being on the contraceptive pill (which also has hormones) for more than a decade also improves memory.
With women under constant pressure to have babies before it’s too late because your clock is ticking, it’s nice to have some positive news about getting pregnant on the later side. And when you’re up in the middle of the night with your baby and thinking, “I’m too old for this!” — just remember how smart you really are.