Becoming a mother is a powerful experience, it is when you truly start living for someone else and devote yourself completely to the upbringing and protection of a new life that you brought into this world. Motherhood is easily one of the most important experiences in a woman’s life, but there is more to taking on this role than becoming a guardian and provider for someone else, according to what we know through research, motherhood changes a woman’s body in more ways than one.
When a woman becomes a mother, her brain undergoes a series of neurobiological changes that many mothers experience in the form of emotional confusion, excessive worrying, and overprotectiveness right after giving birth. We have begun studying how motherhood effects the makeup of one’s brain only recently, but we have managed to learn a lot that we previously did not know. Unfortunately, most of us out there are still not aware of how motherhood impacts one’s psychological state since people tend to focus more on how a woman’s body changes after going through pregnancy.
According to a French researcher, the neurobiological change that follows pregnancy is one of the biggest biological changes that one’s body can undergo in their life. The body begins preparing for this major change in the early stages of pregnancy, a flood of hormones is introduced into the body that helps the body physically prepare for pregnancy and also develops the “circuitry” needed in the brain to undergo the transformation.
A woman’s ability to multi-task, empathize, and their perception/reaction towards various stimuli get affected by this transformation, basically, the brain prepares itself to be able to fulfil all the needs of a child and allow a mother to become as close to their child as possible. Some of these changes are more extreme at first, such as amplified anxiety and hypervigilance in the early days of motherhood. However, they become less intense over time, meaning that a mother’s brain continually changes itself over the years in order to allow her to bond and interact with her children throughout the various phases of their life.
A study showed that women who undergo pregnancy actually experience an increase in grey-matter in areas of the brain that play a key role in raising another human. The study involved taking images of a mother’s brain through MRI, these images were capture before her pregnancy and after it, and a follow up MRI was conducted as well 2 years after the woman had given birth. The results of her MRI were compared to that of a woman who had never undergone pregnancy and the difference between the two were quite noticeable.
If we look at all the evidence we have, it becomes clear that becoming a mother is more than just a state of mind, the human body actually undergoes changes in order to play out the role of a mother as efficiently as possible. While going through these changes may feel unpleasant, they are definitely important.