Researchers Say: Motherhood May Make You Smarter

Researchers Say: Motherhood May Make You Smarter

Researchers say that having a child may improve a woman’s memory.

In the study conducted by doctoral candidate Melissa Santiago, mothers scored better on tests of visuospatial memory — the ability to perceive and remember information about their surroundings — compared with women who didn’t have children.

Santiago presented the findings from her preliminary study this week at the American Psychological Association meeting.

Read more at Today Moms


  1. i don’t know about any other jewishmoms, but i, for one, don’t agree that the article should be entitled “..makes you Smarter”. i definitely have lost IQ points in the umpteen years of motherhood i have experienced. in fact, many studies currently point out how a woman’s brain shrinks during pregnancy…

    about 15 years ago, i got a call from my friend who was then pregnant with her 11th child. she was notorious for her Mommy Brain syndrome during pregnancy. she excitedly told me that her sister-in-law had read an article about how women’s brains shrink 10% during pregnancy (producing a feeling of less-than-smartness…) but the good news was that the brain eventually does regain its size.

    i told her that the study was probably done on “regular” people. you know, the ones who have 1.7 children and wait at least 5 years between them. the study probably didn’t include us, who have more children with far less time between them. and that means? it means that our brains shrink 10% with each pregnancy and doesn’t have time to regrow. “so”, i said to my friend, “you are experiencing your 11th pregnancy, multiply that times 10%, which means you have how much brain left??” after laughing, she thanked me for making her feel better by explaining why she had such a severe case of mommy brain.

    on a more serious note, i would like to suggest that the researchers have hit upon an interesting phenomenon. since our verbal recall is often compromised during pregnancy, we tend to switch to visual cues to recall things. for example, i can’t remember the word for “apple”, so i visualize it. i will then describe it (round, red, grows on a tree…) until someone guesses the word “apple” for me. as a result, this strengthens my visuospatial skills..

  2. I wonder how they would have scored on tests of analytical thinking. I know that when my kids were babies it was harder for me to process multi-step problems. Did the mothers in the study sleep through the nights?

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