There are lots of things that will never quite be the same after having a baby.
Tummies, boobs, a good night’s sleep, there is no denying that a baby brings on a lot of change. Many of us also claim to be suffering from the aul’ baby brain when we are pregnant and in the throws of new motherhood. You know that fussy, can’t-remember-anything, very emotional kind of state our brains seem to switch into when our worlds revolve around bump and baby?
Sometimes said condition is a great excuse for a lot of things.
“There is a bake-sale today? That I was meant to bake for?! Omg, I totally forgot. Baby brain!”
But here is some news for you: Having “Baby Brain” is not just a temporary thing according to a new study. Pregnancy – and birth – irrevocably changes our brains forever. This might not comes as a huge surprise to most women having gone through pregnancy and labour. We told you we are different people now.
But now science has backed us up on this.
Research done by Dr Liisa Galea at the University of British Columbia in the US has demonstrated how the hormonal effects of childbearing have a lasting effect on the female brain.
“Our most recent research shows that previous motherhood alters cognition and neuroplasticity in response to hormone therapy, demonstrating that motherhood permanently alters the brain,” Dr Liisa Galea said about the study.
According to the study, the type of estrogen produced by older women negatively affected the neuroplasticity (brain’s ability to learn new things) of animal test subjects who had borne children. In other words, the main estrogen produced by post-menopausal women was making it harder for mothers in their middle age and beyond to learn new skills and harming new memory creation.
Wow. In other words; having had a baby, our brains will be less capable of learning new things when we reach middle age. And here is us thinking the worst they left us with are stretch marks!
On the other hand, the memories and mental agility of females who had not experienced pregnancy were improved by exposure to this hormone. Post-menopausal hormones improved the continued function of non-pregnant rats’ brains.
Dr Galea said the research argued for past pregnancy status to be considered when designing hormone treatments to treat brain disorders in women.
What do you think? Did being pregnant and having a baby change YOUR brain in any way? Let me know at: Trine.Jensen@HerFamily.ie