Many new mothers grapple with whether or not they should work while their children are still young.

But if a new study is to be believed, it can actually benefit a woman’s health to collect a paycheck between changing diapers.

The 20-year study of about 1,300 women found that those who worked were less depressed and reported better overall health than stay-at-home moms, which could be partially explained by the social isolation and stress that home-bound mothers often feel.

Overall, working moms reported fewer symptoms of depression and were more likely than non-employed mothers to rate their health “excellent.”

However, it’s not necessary to clock an 80-hour work week to see those benefits. Compared to moms who work full-time, those with part-time jobs actually reported less conflict between work and family. They were also just as involved in their child’s schooling as stay-at-home moms, and they provided more learning opportunities for their toddlers than both stay-at-home moms and moms who worked full-time.

Bottom line? If you want to work when your child is young, don’t feel guilty about it. It may actually benefit both of you.

More From B105