The research is split on Mom Brain, with some studies suggesting that mothers actually have enhanced cognitive abilities post-partum, especially when it comes to protecting themselves and their babies. But anyone who's returned to work—hormonal, lactating, and with a darling bundle of up-all-night—is likely to side with the opposite research camp, which confirms: Your memory while postpartum, especially for words and phrases, sucks. That's the technical term, by the way.
When our culture makes fun of mothers’ forgetfulness, it is abdicating responsibility for the overwork women are experiencing and its effects on their health.
There are scientific reasons why women may feel a foggy ‘Mommy Brain’—and why ultimately parents can concentrate better than before they had children.
A new mother finally gets her fussy baby to sleep and steps into a relaxing hot shower — with her glasses on. At a family barbecue she can’t recall the name of a relative she rarely sees.
It’s easy to laugh off such lapses as “mommy brain,” but there remains a cultural belief that pregnancy and child care impact a woman’s cognition and mental life, long after a baby is born.
New research shows that maternity builds the brain up rather than dissolving it. Which makes a lot of sense.
Women who are pregnant often report feeling a little fuzzy, a little dim and more forgetful than usual, but medical research has produced mixed data to support the so-called “baby brain” phenomenon. Now a study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) confirms that mothers lose brain volume when they’re pregnant, adding to the debate.
The scientists observed that first-time mothers, but not fathers, exhibited reduced gray matter in brain regions associated with the ability to attribute thoughts, feelings, and intents to themselves or other people. But that doesn’t mean that those social capabilities were dampened — on the contrary, the researchers think the shrinkage was evidence of maturation of those social networks.
New mothers experience reductions in the volume of grey matter in their brains.
So what’s the deal? Is “mom brain” just an excuse we use when we're a mess, or does becoming a mother really affect our brains?
How pregnancy and parenthood kick neurological development into high gear.
“Mom Brain,” (though it could also be called “birthing parent brain” depending on how you identify), is a term that’s been floating around for a while now and is known to affect both pregnant people and those that have already given birth.
How to deal with forgetfulness, and embrace your mind’s new ‘superpowers.’
Research suggests that mental changes last well past delivery.
The maternal brain as a “kind” of brain has not only conjured maternal brain-related vulnerabilities or deficits such as “mombrain”-related-amnesia, but has also engendered dichotomous messaging speaking to maternal brain-based superpowers afforded by the unique window of maternal neuroplasticity.
Let’s talk about your brain on motherhood for a minute or two.
I’m a neuroscientist who studies the maternal brain. When I mention the brain and motherhood to people often the first thing that comes to mind for many, and maybe you too, is the forgetfulness or brain fog that comes with pregnancy and motherhood that so many women talk about - aka Mom Brain, Mommy Brain, Pregnancy Brain or Baby Brain.
Mommy Brain is a member-powered community that's guided by vetted experts providing a judgment-free space to help you rediscover yourself in motherhood.
Hey there! I’m Tania, mom of twins. Thank you for stopping by.
Moms who feel stuck, frustrated, tired, and depleted visit this blog every week for tips, tricks, hints, and hacks to help them find joy again. We will help you be kinder to yourself, develop more self-compassion and genuinely enjoy motherhood. I want you to feel alive, energised, and excited about life.