Women who have children after the age of 35 have sharper minds after menopause

Pregnancy in your 30s is a mixed bag: though it comes with its drawbacks, it does have some up-sides, like this long-term benefit researchers just uncovered.

A new study has found that women who have babies after 35 become mentally sharper lafter menopause, Independent reports.

It wasn’t just the age that they had their last baby that factored into these women’s postmenopausal cognitive health. The researchers found two other factors—the women who performed better in tests also:

  • used hormonal contraceptives for more than 10 years
  • began their menstrual cycle before turning 13
  • didn’t carry their pregnancy to term
  • gave birth to two children

These are all linked to estrogen and progesterone, hormones that are linked to brain chemistry and brain development.

"The study provides strong evidence that there is a positive association between later age at last pregnancy and late-life cognition”

pregnancy in 30s Photo: Dreamstime

The researchers aren’t saying that women should wait until they’re 35 to have their last baby. “Based on the findings, we would certainly not recommend that women wait until they’re 35 to close their family,” lead author Roksana Karim told the University of South California's official publication. “But the study provides strong evidence that there is a positive association between later age at last pregnancy and late-life cognition.”

It can be harder to get pregnant when you’re older, and there are plenty of drawbacks, but at least this is one more benefit to take note of if you decide to have a baby later in life.

Women get pregnant in their 30s for many reasons. Some decided to hold motherhood off until they’re more secure in their career, while others waited simply because they just weren’t ready. No matter what age you decide to start your family, pregnancy will come with its advantages and drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons that come with having a baby in your 30s, from BabyCenter.

pregnancy in 30s Photo: Dreamstime

Pros

  • You’d know yourself better than you did back in your 20s.
  • Women in their 40s are less flexible and might find it more difficult to have a child.
  • If you’re a 30-something, you’re probably earning more than you did when you were in your 20s.
  • You’d have more energy now than you would in your 40s.

Cons

  • It’s more difficult for you to get pregnant.
  • Your risk of having a miscarriage or a baby with Down syndrome gets higher after 35.
  • You also risk more pregnancy-related complications.

Be sure to check out ParentTown for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.