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Having a Baby After Age 35 Is Really Good for Your Brain, Says Science

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 10:01 AM
  • 29 Replies

Having a Baby After Age 35 Is Really Good for Your Brain, Says Science

Liz Alterman

older mom pregnancy

Good news for moms who fall into the "geriatric pregnancy" category is finally here! Sorry, no, it isn't that that unfortunate title is going away. But, take comfort: A new study indicates that having a baby later in life not only bolsters your brainpower, but it may also stave off memory loss down the road. Sounds good to me!

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Societytracked 830 post-menopausal women and tested their verbal memory, executive functioning skills, and global cognition. Reproductive variables included ages at pregnancies, first period, and menopause; reproductive period; number of pregnancies; and use of hormones for contraception and menopausal symptoms.

The study concluded that women whose last pregnancy was after age 35 had higher verbal memory, while use of hormonal contraceptives was positively associated with global cognition and verbal memory.

This is welcome news for moms who've put off having kids until they established their careers or found the right partners. For other women, fertility issues delay their journey to motherhood.

Often, if you're having a child later in life, chances are you've already endured plenty of questions about when you'll start a family and what's taken you so long. When you're buying a pregnancy test kit along with your favorite wrinkle cream, you're going to probably get some stares, so now you can fire back with these awesome findings. 

While having kids at younger ages might seem ideal because you have more energy (and patience, just sayin'), according to the study women who had their first baby between the ages of 15 and 24 were shown to have worse health and cognitive functioning in their 40s. 

My own personal theory might be that these women have been saying things like "Lift the toilet seat up!" and "Don't forget your lunchbox!" and "Set the table, PLEASE!!!!" for a decade longer than these moms who got a later start. Now, I'm no scientist, but motherhood, as beautiful and rewarding as it is, takes a toll. After you've been asking someone to put his or her clothes in the hamper every day for a decade, is it any wonder you walk into a room and have no idea what brought you there in the first place? 

But all that aside, lead author of the study Dr. Roksana Karim isn't suggesting that the increase in hormone levels during pregnancy that positively impacts your brain's functioning is reason to put off starting your family. 

"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," she said.

It's definitely interesting, and really, can't moms use all the good news they can get? 


Image via Syda Productions/Shutterstock

by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 10:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
la_bella_vita
by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Interesting but a little late for me, I had all of mine in my 20's ; ) 

momofnatalie
by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Good for me, I had my kids when I was 36 and 39.

Mom2Just1
by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 1:30 PM

I might being having my next baby after 35. lol  My husband was 35 yesterday and I will be 33 this month.

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by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:22 PM

Good to know :)

Kylie819
by Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 8:28 PM
I will be a few months shy of 35 when I deliver my last baby.
mikesmom65270
by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 9:41 PM

I was 23, 27, and 38 with mine. I had more energy perhaps with the first two, but more smarts later!

lalasmama2007
by on Nov. 12, 2016 at 8:12 PM

Interesting...

la_bella_vita
by on Nov. 12, 2016 at 9:20 PM


Quoting Kylie819: I will be a few months shy of 35 when I deliver my last baby.

Congrats!

redheadtmk
by on Nov. 12, 2016 at 11:04 PM

hmm I always love reading things like this. I had #1 at age 39 and am ttc #2 at 42


Junebaby18
by Nannerz on Nov. 13, 2016 at 1:31 AM
I think I've lost more memory with the last 2 babies, born when I was 35 and 38, than with the first 2 babies, born when I was 19 and 28.
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