Rather than forking out for cosmetic surgery, the most effective recipe for slowing down the ageing process could be to keep having babies.

That's according to new research, reported by the Daily Mail, that suggests no matter how much stress your kids may cause you, having more will keep you looking youthful.

A study by Simon Fraser University in Canada found that giving birth to more surviving children means women have longer telomeres, which sit on the end of our DNA strands and are responsible for protecting us from ageing.

The study involved taking saliva and cheek swabs from 75 women to assess their telomere (found at the end of each DNA strand) lengths, while noting the number of children they have.

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The researchers speculated the findings could come down to the increase in oestrogen levels during pregnancy, which take the role of an antioxidant and protect cells from damage.

READ MORE: Woman gives birth to six babies in nine minutes

Despite the stress your kids may cause you, they could be protecting you from ageing. Photo / Getty Images
Despite the stress your kids may cause you, they could be protecting you from ageing. Photo / Getty Images