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Here’s What Happens To A Woman’s Brain When She Gives Birth


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You might have heard from some that becoming a mother changes things. Truth is that it changes everything, folks. The most important change of all is the change in emotions for mothers which mostly has to do with neurological effects. Prior to giving birth, the structure of the brain undergoes changes due to pregnancy. Researchers now believe that there is a strong connection between the mother’s parietal lobes, pre-frontal cortex and the midbrain. As a result, the gray matter starts to get even more concentrated. Thus, there is increased amount of activity in regions which govern anxiety, empathy and social interaction.

Scientists are of the view that in order to understand the maternal brain it is essential to map it. This would explain the reason behind new mothers going through depression and anxiety. Word is that 1 out of every 6 women goes through postpartum depression. There are even more that such behaviors as continually checking baby’s breathing and obsessively washing hands to ensure cleanliness. Truth is that there are a number of different mothering mannerisms and moods that develop due to various interconnected zones in the brain.

Maternal brain researcher named Pilyoung Kim explained this:

This is what we call an aspect of almost the obsessive compulsive behaviors during the very first few months after the baby’s arrival. Mothers actually report very high levels of patterns of thinking about things that they cannot control. They’re constantly thinking about baby. Is baby healthy? Sick? Full? In new moms, there are changes in many of the brain areas. Growth in brain regions involved in emotion regulation, empathy-related regions, but also what we call maternal motivation—and I think this region could be largely related to obsessive-compulsive behaviors. In animals and humans during the postpartum period, there’s an enormous desire to take care of their own child.

[Source: TheAtlantic]

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Hassan Aftab

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