“Mommy brain” is for real – so is “daddy brain.” A must-read article in Scientific Mind, October 2015, explores the reality that we have always written about, birthing a baby and parenting a child changes all the brains involved in this wonderful process: mommy, daddy, and baby – for the better. Once upon a time writers of baby books downgraded “mommy brain” to a spacey stage of foggy brain and forgetting where you put the car keys. That was old school. While there is some truth to this forgetfulness – we believe that it’s the brain’s way of telling mom to dial down multi-tasking mental stuff and focus more on your baby.
Neuroimaging studies – windows into the brain – reveal new moms and dads really do grow “baby centers” they never had before. A recent study conducted by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona used MRI technology was able to show that moms who have gone through their first pregnancy show significant reductions in grey matter in regions of the brain associated with social cognition. According to the study’s authors, these changes take place in area’s of the brain associated with the challenges of being a mom.
The longer I’m a parent and pediatrician, the more I realize science and common sense go together. If you’re doing the most important job in the world – raising a human being – of course your brain would change to help you do it better. That was simple!