Pregnancy shrinks parts of the brain. That sounds terrible, but add to the'momnesia' many mothers describe, and what's left is the notion that motherhood is a net loss for the brain.
"I see it on social media all the time," says Jodi Pawluski, a neuroscientist and therapist at the University of Rennes in France. "Your brain has slowed. This is why [you] forget everything. "
Pawluski and her colleagues write February 6 in JAMA Neurology that the maternal brain is deficient.
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Pregnancy can initiate brain changes, including a loss of gray matter. However, the loss isn't a prerequisite for becoming a doctor. (SN: 3/18/22)
Pawluski claims that the brain reorganizes its connections during the transition to motherhood, strengthening those that are useful and letting go of those that aren't.
Researchers from this organization discovered changes in the volume of the ventral striatum, a region involved in motivation and reward, in a 2016 research. The findings were published in Psychoneuroendocrinology in 2020.
Despite the fact that many pregnant and postpartum women have memory loss, Pawluski believes there are still areas of research that need to be done to understand the psychological load of parenting.
According to researchers in Memory in 2022, new mothers pay more attention to baby and not to other things.
The changes in the maternal brain are similar to those seen during childhood, according to a research conducted by first-time mothers and female adolescents. Researchers reported on Human Brain Mapping in 2019.
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While hormones can affect brain functioning during pregnancy, nonbirthing parents' brains change with the experience of having a newborn. Researchers reported in Cerebral Cortex in 2022.
Changing brain misperceptions during pregnancy "returns all parents to recognising the importance of caring," according to Pawluski. "Your brain is an essential component of your ability to keep a baby alive."