A U.K. study monitoring hundreds of thousands of women over the course of more than a decade has concluded that ladies who had children were more likely to live longer lives, according to the Daily Mail.

The Imperial College London took data from a pool of 322,972 women from 10 different countries spread across Europe. Of that number, 14,383 died within the 13-year span of the study, with just nearly 6,000 from cancer and 2,400 from heart disease.

The thing that struck researchers was the observation that women who had children were 20 percent more likely to live longer. Further analysis of the numbers indicated that those who had two or three children held a lower risk for developing cancer, according to the Detroit News.

Women in their 20s who had children were especially less prone to death.

Breastfeeding played a role as well, it seems, with those who chose to breastfeed less likely to die by about 8 percent when compared to those who used formula.

Previously, it had been reported that women who breastfeed are less likely to develop breast cancer, according to IndiaToday.

Scientists believe the gift of longevity may be associated with hormonal changes that take place upon having a child. These changes are thought to enrich the health of the heart and decrease cancer risk.