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Pregnancy May Spur ‘Mothering’ Changes in a Woman’s Brain

Pregnancy May Spur ‘Mothering’ Changes in a Woman’s Brain

MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) — New mothers typically comment that they have “baby brain,” a new mind-set that appears to accompany pregnancy and childbirth. New analysis suggests they’re proper.

Pregnancy causes long-term modifications in a lady’s mind that in all probability advanced to enhance her means to guard and nurture her youngster, Spanish researchers report.

The investigators used MRI scans to match the mind buildings of 25 women earlier than and after their first pregnancies.

After giving start, the women had vital reductions of grey matter in areas of the mind related to social interactions, the findings confirmed. Those mind areas overlapped with ones that activated when moms watched pictures of their very own babies.

The “changes concern brain areas associated with functions necessary to manage the challenges of motherhood,” research co-lead writer Erika Barba stated in a information launch from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Though some expectant mothers complain of fuzzy considering — the draw back of “baby brain” — researchers reported the women had no modifications in reminiscence or different considering features throughout being pregnant. That means the lack of grey matter doesn’t result in issues in these areas.

The mind modifications, which lasted for at the least two years after the women gave delivery, in all probability assist them adapt to motherhood, the research authors recommended.

According to review co-director Oscar Vilarroya: “The findings level to an adaptive course of associated to the advantages of higher detecting the wants of the kid, akin to figuring out the newborn‘s emotional state. Moreover, they supply main clues relating to the neural foundation of motherhood, perinatal mental health and mind plasticity in common.”

Study co-lead writer Elseline Hoekzema stated in the information launch that the modifications “may reflect, at least in part, a mechanism of synaptic pruning … where weak synapses are eliminated giving way to more efficient and specialized neural networks.”

The researchers additionally discovered that they have been in a position to make use of these mind modifications to foretell a mom’s attachment to her child, in accordance with the research revealed Dec. 19 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The modifications have been comparable whether or not women received pregnant naturally or via fertility remedies.

— Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Autonomous University of Barcelona, information launch, Dec. 19, 2016

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