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The “mom brain” phenomenon explained by a neurosurgeon

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In the immediate postpartum period, and even just before giving birth, in the last trimester, many pregnant women will report a significant decrease in verbal memory.he explains.

We forget names, we forget words. In the discussions, we have really very important memory gaps, and unfortunately, this type of phenomenon is not necessarily recovered once we have given birth and the child is at term. he adds.

The phenomenon is however accompanied by positive effects, reassures Dr. Fortin.

It was also noted in these same patients that there was a significant increase in the ability to remain calm in stressful moments, that there was an increase in alertness in the event of danger and a greatly increased ability to interpret cries. treble of a baby depending on the circumstances that dads don’t havehe says.

It seems that the positive effects outweigh the negative effects. »

A quote from Dr. David Fortin, neurosurgeon

Mothers eventually regain their verbal memory, he adds.

Five to six years after the birth of the child, when we do verbal memory tests, we no longer see any difference. It is replaced, but the structure of the brain which has been modified, because we see certain places in the brain which are modified around the birth of a child, these structures remain unchangedhe adds.

hormones involved

A hormone particularly active at the time of birth is partly responsible for the “mom brain”, says Dr. Fortin.

It is especially oxytocin that seems to be the number one culprit in the installation of these clinical changes there at the level of cognitive function, and that is coupled with well-identified structural changes at the level of the brain.he says.

Structural changes in the brain may even be linked to the level of attachment a mother has to her child, researchers suggest.

If the bond that develops between mother and newborn is not so intense, the structural changes observed in the brain will not be so obvious. But we have to be careful with these results, because we are not talking about very large cohorts of patients, these are studies that affect around twenty patients who have just given birth.suggests Dr. Fortin.

The other phenomenon which would be in question, it is quite fascinating, is fetal microchimerism. It is the fact that the fetus has the ability to send, via the placenta, stem cells to the maternal side. Experts wonder if these cells from the fetus are not responsible for this phenomenon.he also points out.

The neurosurgeon concludes with a recommendation: don’t panic about it […] You have many other attributes that are improving and overall, when you put it all in the balance, it seems like your brain is just profiting from those changes in the end.

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