3 ways pregnancy changes your brain for good!

During pregnancy, there are a lot of physiological and psychological changes happening in the body. While we all talk about the hormones, the baby-bump, morning sickness and food aversion, but we rarely, if ever, talk about one of the most important changes — changes in the brain. There are a lot of studies that say that baby-brain is for real and the changes happening in the brain during pregnancy could be a permanent thing. Many people feel that these changes can affect the mother and have a lifelong impact but some studies show that it has a positive effect on her and happens for the good. This is why your shoe size changes during pregnancy.

Here is how the brain changes during pregnancy for good.

1. It reduces grey matter to induce attachment to the infant

The study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience in the year 2016, suggested that hormonal changes during pregnancy reduced the grey matter from the front and temporal part of the brain. These are the areas related to various cognitive functions and control social behaviours. But the good news is greater the grey matter loss more is the attachment induced towards the infant, claims the study. So, mothers who have significant reduction of grey matter during pregnancy experience fewer negative emotions towards the baby later. Here is a step-by-step guide to bond with your newborn.

2. It doesn’t affect memory

From my own pregnancy and postpartum experiences and what other mothers told me I know that short-term memory loss during pregnancy and postpartum is a real thing. But this study says that brain changes in pregnancy don’t affect memory. In fact, as the brain shrinks it also imparts some powers to the mother like recognising a danger sign or making her reflexes quick, all of which comes in handy during parenting an infant. But casual forgetfulness has nothing to do with the brain size. Researchers instead believe that it might be stress-induced. Here are ways in which pregnancy changes your body forever.

3. It helps to cope postpartum

Since the brain changes help to bond better with the baby postpartum this could in a way help mothers cope with baby blues and make them bond better with the babies. Here are few facts about postpartum depression that nobody tells you.

Reference:

Hoekzema, E., Barba-Müller, E., Pozzobon, C., Picado, M., Lucco, F., García-García, D., … & Ballesteros, A. (2017). Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure. Nature neuroscience, 20(2), 287-296.

Image source: Shutterstock

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