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  • Youve probably heard of havingmom brain.” People use it this term to describe when things

  • slip mom’s minds - turns out, this is likely just the result of sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

  • But, what is actually happening inside a mother’s brain? Hi mom!

  • Hello sons and daughters, Lissette here for Dnews. Many mothers report that having a child

  • is one of the most meaningful events theyve ever experienced. It’s life changing. And

  • from a science perspective, theyre right - even when it comes to the structure of their

  • brains.

  • Mothers experience neurological changes that start in pregnancy and continue throughout

  • early motherhood. In a study published in the Journal Behavioral Neuroscience, researchers

  • looked at momsbrains at 2-4 weeks after giving birth and then again around 3 months

  • later. Using mri technology, they found that mothers had increased gray matter in certain

  • areas: the parietal lobes, prefrontal cortex, and others. Yes, their brains literally grew.

  • What’s more, some of the growth happened in areas like the amygdala and hypothalamus,

  • which are associated with emotional regulation, survival instincts and hormone production.

  • The changes here seem to be linked to mother’s having a positive view of their babies and

  • an increase in positive feelings towards them - it’s what helps moms get up 5 or 6 times

  • at night to a screaming baby without losing any love for them.

  • In a study, researchers at The University of Toronto Mississauga analyzed the brain

  • activity of 22 mothers to see if there was anything special going in their amygdala when

  • mothers looked at their babies versus the babies of strangers. What you’d expect is

  • that mothers would respond more strongly to their own babies. And some women did - these

  • women reported higher feelings of satisfaction with motherhood, a more positive mood, and

  • generally good experiences with being a mother.

  • Conversely, when the amygdala did not become more sensitive during motherhood, it ended

  • up affecting the bond between mother and child negatively. The women who had reduced amygdala

  • responses to photos of their babies reported poorer quality of maternal experience, including

  • increased levels of stress and anxiety. Essentially, these mothers felt they were having a hard

  • time. We know from other studies how important activating these brain regions can be in buffering

  • against negative emotions or feelings in new mothers. In fact, postpartum depression is

  • associated with the binding sensitivity of receptors in the brain that affect the amygdala

  • and other structures involved in the dopamine reward system.

  • This is the same system that is activated when we fall in love with our high school

  • sweetheart. In fact, studies have shown that the same neurological processes are involved

  • in falling in love romantically as with falling in love with your baby. One hormone involved

  • in this process is oxytocin - commonly dubbed the love hormone for its role in bonding and

  • affection. Your body releases it when you hug someone or cuddle - it’s when you get

  • thatahhhhfeeling and everything is ok.

  • But it is also released when women are giving birth, it’s associated

  • with breastfeeding, and it facilitates bonding with a newborn. The hormone spikes during

  • pregnancy and regions with high density of receptors for oxytocin, like the amygdala,

  • are specifically activated in mothersbrains when responding to babies faces and scents.

  • In one study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers gave women baby

  • pajamas that were worn by two day old newborns. In one group were mothers who had just given

  • birth and in the other, women who had never had children. When the women were asked to

  • sniff the PJs, all women could smell thebaby scentto the same degree. But what was

  • happening in their brains, was different. Mothers had more intense brain activity in

  • the dopamine reward system, than women had never had children. This system is involved

  • in reward learning and its the same that makes us crave certain foods or become addicted

  • to drugs. It motivates us to act in ways that get us closer to the reward - in mother’s

  • cases, a baby. So yes, mothers can pretty much be addicted to babies.

  • It’s why moms can’t stop with the kisses - even when youre 22. So how about you

  • show your mom some love in return - with something special from Kay Jewelers. Because, every

  • kiss begins with Kay. Look at the spelling, it’s right there. Kay Jewelers is one of

  • our sponsors at Discovery Digital, they help keep the lights on and the episodes coming,

  • so if you want score bonus points with mom, go ahead and check out Kay’s line of jewelry.

Youve probably heard of havingmom brain.” People use it this term to describe when things

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Can Giving Birth Permanently Change Your Brain?

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    羅紹桀 posted on 2016/06/04
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