Pregnancy Changes Woman's Brain For Two Year To Help Mothering

Posted: Dec 20 2016, 4:15am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Pregnancy Changes Woman's Brain for Two Year to Help Mothering
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  • Pregnancy Changes Female Brain for at least Two Years to Aid Mothering Process
 

Pregnancy has been seen to cause the female brain to undergo transformations for at least two years that aid the mothering process.

A recent study reveals that pregnancy causes changes to occur in the female brain. These in turn help the human female be a better mother for her children. These changes also include hormonal shifts and biological homoeostasis.

The exact effects on the female brain are still a mystery though. The scientists involved in the study looked into the structures of the brains of women before pregnancy and after it. 

What they saw surprised them. For two years after pregnancy, the females thought differently and their behavior was altered. Via MRI it was seen that females who had just conceived a baby had lesser amounts of grey matter in that region of their brains responsible for social cognition.

Thus these females are in fact being made ready for motherhood by their hormones and brains in a post-pregnancy state. The changes may in fact be a sign of synaptic pruning.

Such a process also occurs during the teens. Here too weak synapses are eradicated and give way to more complex and interconnected synaptic junctions. 

The goal of all these physical and chemical changes is the preparation of the human female for the task of motherhood. The grey matter regions of the brains of these females lit up when they saw pics of their babies.

The study involved 25 first-time mothers whose MRI scans took place before and after pregnancy. They were followed for approximately half a decade by the scientists.

The results showed a reduction in grey matter. This was in the medial frontal and posterior cortex. Also the prefrontal and temporal cortex showed these changes. These centers of the brain specialize in social cognition and self-focused processing.  

Pregnancy is a time of great expectations. As the human female becomes ready to take on the role of protector, nourisher and general caretaker of the child-to-be, a series of changes occur in her that prepare her for the extra responsibility.

The human infant is helpless at birth. It needs warmth, nurturing and constant care. The study was a seminal one since it observed the radical recomposition of the chemicals in the female brain upon the onset of the pregnant state and afterwards.

The mother adapts to the needs of the baby and thus the vulnerable and relatively powerless human infant is given some tender loving care at a time when it is in need of such assistance.  

The research was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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