Ever hear a pregnant woman blame a lapse of memory on “pregnancy brain”? Come to find out, it's a real, good, thing.
A new study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, shows that pregnancy does change a woman’s brain, although not in the ways we might expect. In the study, tests on women’s cognitive abilities — for example, remembering word lists — revealed no significant changes during pregnancy. But, there were significant changes in the size and structure of areas of the brain thought to be involved in perceiving the feelings and perspectives of others. Incredibly, these changes were so consistent that the researchers could determine which women had been pregnant just from looking at images of their brain scans. What’s more, six months after the women in the study gave birth, those with the greatest brain changes also had the greatest levels of attachment to their babies. The changes endured for at least two years after the pregnancy.
In sharing this research, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted the findings are “a good reminder that pregnancy includes a great deal of changes, including positive changes to help women shift into mothering.”
Planning a Pregnancy?
Give you and your baby the best possible start. See a doctor to discuss how you can prepare for pregnancy, and be sure to receive all recommended prenatal care. Click here to find a Lake Regional women’s health specialist.