Five Changes That Can Occur in Parenthood
1. The brain - Research has shown that certain regions in the brain actually grow in density (grey matter) in new mothers and that growth is associated with positive feelings towards their infants. These areas include the amygdala, the oxytocin-producing hypothalamus and the dopamine system . 2. Relationship- Having a new child introduces new challenges to the parents as a couple. Conflicts typically increase in a relationship after the birth of a child. Couples are challenged to re-synchronize their relationship and develop a new sense of teamwork. . 3. Memory - In a meta-analysis of 17 studies, 80% of women reported impaired aspects of memory (recall and executive function) that began in pregnancy and persisted into the postpartum period. . 4. Intuition/instinct - A parent’s attention for a baby’s needs sharpen. This has been proven by research studies that show the thinking regions of the brain (the higher cortex) become more active. Also, women have claimed an intuitive link with their children for centuries. Now, science has found the cells of offsprings in the brains of mothers! . 5. Sleep - If you’re a new parent the number one advice you have heard from other parents is: “Get as much sleep as possible before it comes.” Research has shown that parents tend to lose the most sleep in the first three months of a newborns life. Particularly mothers are affected more.