Research out of Britain suggests women who have had babies exhibit younger-looking brains relative to their ages, compared to women who have not had babies.
In a paper published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” the researchers analyzed the brain structures of 12,000 middle-aged women from the United Kingdom and found significant differences between women who gave birth and women who did not.
While the researchers aren’t completely sure why this effect occurs, they do say it isn’t likely due to genetics or education level and body mass index.
Instead, the results suggest that many of the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, particularly in the brain, may persist beyond delivery and may influence neurobiological aging.
The full study can be accessed here.