Tired toddler mums may finally be able to take some comfort in their exhaustion. It turns out they may have been through a rejuvenation cure by having a baby. At least this is what several Norwegian and international researchers have found in a recent study.
The brains of mothers appeared to be on average between five and six months younger than the brains of their peers with no children.
The brain differences emerged when the researchers examined the brain structure of more than 12 000 British women between the ages of 40 and 70, based on images in a biobank.
“The positive effect increases with the number of children,” says Ann-Marie G. de Lange, one of the researchers behind the study. She is a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford University and in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo (UiO).
Pregnancy thus appears to give the brain a boost. And the effect is probably not just short-lived.
“We’re seeing these effects up to 30 years after women have had children. This indicates that they’re long-lasting effects,” says associate professor Lars Tjelta Westlye.
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