'Baby brain' in pregnancy sharpens mothers' memory later
Posted on May 10 2014 | IANS
Toronto, May 10 : Have you gone through the forgetfulness and fogging thinking episodes during the last trimester of pregnancy or soon after giving birth, known as "baby brain"?
Good news is that "baby brain" is not permanent and over the long term, motherhood can actually improve brain activity, a research revealed.
A mother's brain returns to normal size about six months after she gives birth.
Animal studies suggest that mothers do better on tests of memory and multitasking than females that have not given birth.
"There are a lot of brain changes that happen during pregnancy and post-partum. It is not really surprising, given the dramatic changes in physiology, that pregnancy also affects the brain," Liisa Galea, a neuroscientist at University of British Columbia in Canada, was quoted as saying.
A woman's brain shrinks between four and eight percent during pregnancy, Galea added.
What is behind these changes?
The flood of hormones that pump through a woman's body for nine months.
"Stress hormone levels double, progesterone levels rise 20 times higher than normal and estrogen jumps 300 times higher than normal," Galea noted.
The memory and spatial navigation impairments women suffer during pregnancy may just be the brain rearranging to get ready for the arrival of a baby, researchers added.