Source: Chapman University
Between the first and second brain scan, women showed an increase in the grey matter volume in several areas of the brain, including the superior, middle and inferior prefrontal cortex, precentral and postcentral gyrus, superior and inferior parietal lobe, insula and thalamus. No areas of the brain showed a reduction in grey matter volume.
The researchers conclude that “the first months of motherhood in humans are accompanied by structural changes in brain regions implicated in maternal motivation and behaviours”.
Motherhood improves a woman’s perception, efficiency, resiliency, motivation, and emotional intelligence (slap THAT on your CV!) Each category is supported by many animal studies as well as some human studies showing ways in which mothers have an edge. What’s more, although it’s hard to measure whether the mind-boosting benefits of motherhood are temporary or permanent in humans; rat studies show that the benefits of mothering last until the animals reach an age equivalent to age 80 in humans.
Source: Baby Center
Source: Scientific American
I find that fascinating - 'babybrain' exists, but not in the detrimental form we flippantly talk about. It could explain biologically why mums bore other people to death talking about their offspring, and why some dads, particularly those less hands-on, or other non-parents don't seem to understand the inherant amount of focus that mum has on her children.
Special thanks to jennyskydance for her contribution to this research.