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Giving birth for the first time? Here's how your brain changes after childbirth

December 3, 2020

Giving birth changes a lot in a woman. It not only changes a woman’s body but also the way she thinks in various ways. The most important change happens in the mother’s brain. She starts to associate herself with her baby much more than before. Her individuality dissolves into the role of a mother. This happens because right after childbirth the mother sees her baby and a few crucial centres of her brain release the ‘feel good’ hormone called dopamine because of which the mother feels utmost devotion to her baby.

She feels an upsurge of joy when she sees her baby smile; however, the opposite happens when she sees her baby crying. A mother is most attached to her baby and is highly alert where her baby is concerned. As soon as she senses trouble near her baby and she rushes to protect it.

There’s an idea that a mother’s brain is confused, let’s see the mechanism behind the so-called ‘Mommy Brain’

A new mother is sleep-deprived and the mixture of emotions triggering her at that point of time renders her falling out of her control. The baby becomes a mother's concern 24-7. She revolves around the baby and that becomes her world.

The Mommy-Brain is a term which depicts the whirlpool within a mother’s brain after she’s given birth, signifying the confusion going inside her brain. However, a mother’;s brain is highly alert where her baby is concerned.

The mother’s brain reprioritizes her concerns

There are many responsibilities a new mom takes up, however, the role of a full-time mother encompasses her being.

For instance, if a mother hears her baby cry, she never ignores  it, she’ll go and console the baby. That strong motivation is supported by brain activation and when we present the sound of a baby crying to her mom, we can see which areas of the brain areas light up or become active during that period of time. Among many, many regions that we see, we see a very strong response in the brain region we call the reward circuit, which is the circuit that responds to many other things that are pleasant and rewarding, like food or sex. A full grown brain has plasticity, which means that they can go through changes. Parenting is related to structural changes in a wide range of areas in the brain.

During this period, many mothers tend to spend quite a lot of time with their babies due to which that amount of interaction supports the mother’s brain to develop a very strong response to her own baby, which include those structural changes. This bond harbours the strong emotional bond between herself and her child. For parents and children to have a long-term, positive bond, the first few months are really critical.

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