Mother Nature is a wondrous thing. Mother Nature, mothers and their children are nothing short of miraculous. I’ve been reminded of it recently with the birth of my first grandbaby just 3 months ago and now awaiting the birth of my second grandbaby in about 1 ½ months!
I recently read a Scientific American article on changes that happen in a woman’s brain when she’s pregnant. It’s plain to see a woman’s body undergoes massive changes as it hosts her growing baby…some women’s bodies get a bit more massive than others (I promise I did not make a diet of desserts—I was just starved the whole time!) Medical technology, through the use of MRIs, has made it possible now to see the changes that occur in a woman’s brain!
The results are nothing short of dramatic. It turns out a woman’s brain undergoes significant changes in its size and organizational structure while she’s pregnant. In fact, researchers could tell from a scan whether a woman had been pregnant or not. Additionally, looking at the brain changes, they could predict how strongly mothers would score on attachment tests.
The areas affected are regions of the brain that interpret/make sense of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and intentions of others…areas that I would say include empathy, sympathy, compassion, ethos and/or intuition. And these changes lasted up to 2 years following delivery.
Could it be infants are most dependent on their mothers for the first 2 years of their life and need to have Mom honed in on their needs? The study suggests just that! Preliminary evidence shows this re-sculpting of Moms’ brains may play a role in helping them make the transition into motherhood. (It makes sense to me!) It could be the reorganization and paring down of unneeded neural pathways makes a more stream-lined, super-highway for busy Moms to be able to meet the demands of a newborn. Mother Nature–She’s going to make sure the little ones are taken care of….
An aside: Mom brain. I find the term derogatory. WHO WOULDN’T BE CONFUSED, FORGETFUL, TIRED, or EMOTIONAL after going through pregnancy, delivery and—most likely—caring for (at least) one child 24/7….don’t give me mom brain—look at the list below for ways to HELP OUT!
Yours in Play!