Is ”Mum-Brain” the real deal? 🤰🏻🧠
Urban Dictionary defines “Mum Brain” as “The lack of normal brain function that the non mum does not possess.” The neuro-nerd inside of me couldn’t resist the opportunity to have a look at what research is out there that discusses the brain changes (plasticity) that we undergo during pregnancy and post birth and I found a neat little paper.
To point out some key points: During pregnancy there were changes in the brain that were associated with hyper-vigilance to threats to protect Bub from potential threats. This in turn can also increase our vulnerability to anxiety during this period. Anyone notice being extra jumpy?! Post birth we also undergo changes in certain areas associated with empathy, emotional regulation and dealing with high levels of stress that make us more intuitive to our baby’s needs and gain an increase in empathy to appropriately respond to cues our babies give us.
There has also been observed changes in our neural networking that include a DECREASE in brain size and volume during pregnancy and post birth which eventually improves over time. Our brain will be reprioritising and making way for what the babies needs are and make changes so that we can care for them in the best way possible. In a process known as “synaptic pruning” the brain will reorganise its network to increase efficiency part of that process will be the removal of inefficient connections to maximise performance.
🌟 So.. YES! 🌟Mum brain is a thing and as much as it can make us seem silly, emotional or forgetful at times, it also means that we are changing for the better to be able to take care of the little bundle of joy we are now responsible for! 🥰
I am sure there are people out there that have had a super ditsy moment while pregnant or after having a baby! Who can relate?🙋🏻♀️Please feel free to share your funny story! I love hearing these stories from my patients!
📖Kim P. (2016). Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting. New directions for child and adolescent development, 2016(153), 47–58. doi:10.1002/cad.20168