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As any mom knows, parenting is filled with highs (like those gummy smiles and sloppy kisses) and lows (potty training comes to mind). One of the positives? These research-backed benefits of motherhood that are seriously cool. Here, five studies to think about the next time you’re dealing with a toddler tantrum in the grocery aisle.

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Working mother and her baby
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Moms May Be More Productive at Work

A fascinating study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that not only were mothers more productive than their childless peers, but those with at least two kids were the most productive of all. In order to quantify productivity, scientists analyzed the amount of research published by more than 10,000 academic economists over the course of their 30-year careers. And while the study looked at only that one specific profession, it still gives proof to the fact that working moms are totally crushing it.

Woman looking out the window and writing in her journal
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And Have Better Memories

Hey, baby brain during pregnancy is no joke, but once you’ve had kids, you may actually experience improved memory, say researchers from Carlos Albizu University in Miami. In a series of experiments, scientists gave new mothers a visuospatial memory (the ability to identify and recall information about your surroundings) test. What they found was that those with children performed as well as or better than women without kids. The lead researcher of the study suggested that moms need improved visuospatial memory in order to quickly scan their environment for dangers. (Looking at you, choking hazard Lego hat.)

Mother and daughter having fun in the park
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They May Have a Lower Risk for Certain Types of Cancer

A study from Oxford University found that a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer decreases with every child that she has. Scientists speculate that the reason is because pregnancy prevents ovulation for nine months (which they believe increases the risk for this type of cancer). Several studies also show a link between pregnancy and breastfeeding and a reduced risk of breast cancer, although it’s not entirely clear why this is.

Mom breastfeeding her baby while sitting down
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And a Reduced Risk of Diabetes

According to the results of a 30-year U.S. study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, mothers who breastfeed for six months or more cut their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 47 percent. And even those who breastfed for less time saw a 23 percent reduced risk. Researchers believe that this is because the hormones involved in lactation may affect our insulin and blood sugar levels.

RELATED: 7 Breastfeeding Myths Totally Busted

Adult daughter embracing her elderly mother
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Parents May Live Longer

Swedish researchers tracked nearly 1.5 million men and women born between 1911 and 1925 and discovered that parenthood could increase chances of living longer later in life. In the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found that mothers aged 60 may live up to one and a half years longer than those without kids. Researchers suggest that the reason is because children often help with care and support as their parents age. Aww...

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