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Pregnancy Shrinks Women’s Brains; Gray Matter Reduces During Pregnancy To Benefit Babies

Update Date: May 03, 2017 07:42 PM EDT

The period of pregnancy and post-delivery periods are one of the most sacred phases of any woman’s life. She is the first to experience a deep bond between her and her baby.

It could be said that nature has set everything in a very systemic way. Hence, in order to create a very deep relationship between mother and newborns - mother’s brains shrink. This is what researchers have recently discovered.

A recent study published in the journal, Nature Neuroscience, stated that pregnancy is such a phase in a woman’s life that leaves her with reduced gray matter in her brain. This happens in those areas of the brain that deal with people’s feelings and nonverbal signals, as reported by USA Today.

What’s The Consequence Of Losing This Gray Matter During Pregnancy?

The researchers said that this loss of gray matter in women during pregnancy makes it more efficient in supporting an improved interpretation of the requirement of their newborns, added with emotions and attachment that is even higher from fathers. This would not have been possible if the gray matter would have diminished during the period of pregnancy.

According to Metro, the experiment was conducted on a group of fathers and first-time mothers, who were given MRI scans before pregnancy and after delivering their babies. The researchers observed that the fathers’ brains remained unchanged, whereas loss of gray matter took place only in mothers’ brains.

Is This Loss Of Gray Matter Permanent In Women?

However, the researchers are yet to understand one important thing, which was not possible to get the answer to, because of time frame. They wanted to know whether the aforementioned effects of losing gray matter are permanent or temporary. 

“Loss of volume does not necessarily translate to a loss of function. Sometimes less is more,” Elseline Hoekzema, co-lead author of the study opined. Stay tuned for more updates on this study.

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