The female brain undergoes drastic changes after delivery, you know that?

Motherhood radically changes a woman's life, and these changes are seen from when the baby is being born - from then on, things will no longer be the same as before. A study released recently by the journal Nature Neroscience showed that after pregnancy, the female brain has less gray matter in some regions, especially those dealing with social cognition.

The study's lead, neuroscientist Elseline Hoekzema of Leiden University, evaluated brain scans of 25 women who had recently become mothers - images were taken during pregnancy and after childbirth. For comparison, Hoekzema and his team also analyzed brain images of 20 women who had no children.

The researchers still looked at the brains of first-time parents, but found no differences in male brains. In the case of moms, the brain areas that changed were the same ones that had the strongest responses when women saw a picture of their newborn child.

Adaptation

For researchers, all this change can be a way to prepare women for motherhood. These gray matter variations represent measures of mother's attachment or hostility towards her child at the postpartum time, which means that these changes may indicate the formation of the new relationship between the woman and the child she has gestated.

It is curious to note that the same brain change occurs in boys and girls during puberty, a phase marked by major hormonal changes - during pregnancy, however, the female body is again controlled by hormonal oscillations.

According to the study's conclusion, new mothers may experience behavioral changes similar to those they experienced during puberty - they last for up to two years after delivery. Had you noticed that?

* Posted on 1/9/2017