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Women's Brains 'Transform' After Having Children, Study Finds

Researchers find a woman's brain changes following childbirth

 on 19th August 2018 @ 12.00pm
a new study has found that women s brains change after they have children © press
A new study has found that women's brains change after they have children

A new study has found evidence that women's brains actually change after they have children, further confirming distinct biological differences between sexes.

Researchers found that the brain of a woman "transforms" following childbirth, with the differences making her more empathetic and understanding.

Scientists at the University of Rennes 1 in France made the breakthrough discovery that identified the unmistakable difference that could only be achieved through giving birth.

The team attributed the "dramatic change," that occurs in regions of the brain associated with the maternal circuit, to a flood of hormones during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding that primes the brain for motherhood.

the study noted a  dramatic change  in women s brains after having children © press
The study noted a 'dramatic change' in women's brains after having children

A recent essay in The Boston Globe explored the differences that occur in pregnant women on the neurological level.

Using modern technology, they came back with extraordinary results.

Jodi Pawluski, a researcher at University of Rennes 1 in France who focuses on neglected neurobiology” of the maternal brain, says that motherhood is "one of the most significant biological events" a woman has in her life.

the change is attributed to a rush of hormones that prime the brain for motherhood © press
The change is attributed to a rush of hormones that prime the brain for motherhood

From the essay:

"Women experience a flood of hormones during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding that primes the brain for dramatic change in regions thought to make up the maternal circuit.

"Affected brain regions include those that enable a mother to multitask to meet baby’s needs, help her to empathize with her infant’s pain and emotions, and regulate how she responds to positive stimuli (such as baby’s coo) or to perceived threats.

"In the newborn months, a mother’s interaction with her infant serves as further stimulus to link her brain quite tangibly to her baby’s.

"Some effects of those brain changes may moderate over time.

"Researchers have found that the anxiety or hypervigilance that many new mothers feel, for example, peaks in the first month postpartum and then diminishes.

"But they suspect that other effects linger, shaping mothers even well past their child-rearing years and even influencing their relationships with future grandchildren."

the study found a distinct difference in gray matter between mothers and fathers other women who haven t had children © press
The study found a distinct difference in gray matter between mothers and fathers other women who haven't had children

One study had researchers do before and after anatomical magnetic resonance imaging on women pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy.

They also scanned women who had never been pregnant and discovered a dramatic difference in the volume of gray matter in their brains, particularly in the organ's social regions.

some families believe that gender is a personal choice that you can change when it suits © press
Some families believe that gender is a personal choice that you can change when it suits

Elseline Hoekzema, who studies pregnancy and the brain at Leiden University in the Netherlands, found the results surprising.

"I’ve never seen anything like this in any of the data sets I’ve worked with," Hoekzema said by e-mail.

"In a way, it’s no surprise given the very extreme nature of the hormone floods that women are exposed to during this period, but still I hadn’t expected such remarkably robust findings and this degree of differentiation."

Researchers found no change in gray matter makeup for fathers, indicating that women experience an entirely unique biological change when they become mothers.

As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

READ MORE: Doctor Fired for Claiming Children Are NOT Born 'Gender Fluid'

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