pregnant woman smiling

Changes in women’s brain during pregnancy

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Studies have shown that a woman’s brain changes during pregnancy. Each of these changes has a specific purpose. One of them is that the brain becomes smaller by approximately 7%, which could be due to structural changes or new neuronal connections. Studies show that the areas in charge of affection are activated, and the ones on judgment are deactivated. This is why mothers are less likely to judge their children.A lot of pregnant women feel more absent-minded during pregnancy. However, studies show that maternity stimulates intelligence; therefore, a woman who’s been pregnant experiences positive changes. According to experts, being absent-minded is a result of the expectant mother paying more attention to what she’s doing, and therefore is able to detect when she slips off.

Hormonal changes are pretty evident during pregnancy. The increase of the hormone progesterone lowers cortisol production, which protects the baby from being affected by the mother’s stress. On top of that, the increased levels of oxytocin help create a bond of attachment and trust between the mother and the baby. Oxytocin levels go up during birth to diminish pain, and during breastfeeding to provide milk to the baby.

If these changes are not enough, the mother’s alertness and senses such as smell and hearing are improved during and after pregnancy. This helps mothers distinguish their baby’s crying from others, or sense when their baby is in danger.

Each of these changes in the brain allows the mother to be able to raise and take better care of her baby. Attachment and connection between a mother and her baby start during pregnancy, and increases as the baby are born and growing.


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