It’s not Baby Brain, it’s Neuroplasticity

Last Updated on April 28, 2022

It’s 2022 and it’s shocking how little is known about the biological changes that occur in pregnancy, particularly the impact on the brain. Very little research has investigated brain changes during pregnancy.

Pregnancy involves radical hormone surges and biological adaptations. However, the effects of pregnancy on the human brain are virtually unknown. 

Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure

There might be some recent progress…

Although dramatic postnatal changes in maternal behavior have long been noted, we are only now beginning to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that support this transition. 

Oxytocin and Maternal Brain Plasticity

Synaptic Pruning

There is talk of a “loss of grey matter” – which sounds pretty bad! But it appears what might be happening is more of a “synaptic pruning” – more of a refinement of focus in the brain – towards or making space for circuitry related to caregiving related activities.

So if you’re pregnant or a new mother, don’t buy into the negative idea of the “baby brain” just yet – don’t assume that you’re experiencing a cognitive decline!