Everything Pregnancy

Good News, Older Moms! Having a Baby After 35 Might Make You Smarter

One study says having babies later in life just might boost a mama's brain power.

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Can having a baby later in life make you smarter? Um...possibly. At least according to one recent study of more than 800 women, which revealed that those of us who got pregnant after age 35 had better memories and better mental agility in middle age than the moms who stopped having kids earlier.

Finally! A silver lining to being one of the oldest moms at my kids' school! Although that doesn't explain why I walked upstairs to get something from my bedroom this morning then totally forgot what it was once I got there...

The research, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society—ouch!—also found that women who had kids after age 24 were better at problem-solving and mental reasoning. Why? Possibly because the rush of hormones that floods the body during pregnancy also affects the brain's function, giving all us old mamas a boost of brain power from experiencing that rush more recently.

YASSSS! Time to pop open the bubbly and congratulate ourselves on our brilliant life choices...right? Not so fast. Because according to Dr. Roksana Karim who headed up the study, while the finding of a positive effect of later age at last pregnancy is novel and substantial, the results are not actually enough to suggest that women should wait until after 35 to stop having kids.

"More research is warranted to evaluate the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon and also to understand the role of age at first pregnancy," she explained.

In the meantime, we're gonna go ahead and give ourselves a big high-five for being the oldest ladies in the school carline anyway.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.