Pregnancy disrupts maternal brain structure and activity

2022/11/30 Elhuyar Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Ed. fezailc/Pixabay

Pregnancy causes changes in the structure and activity of the mother's brain that could be related to the effect of hormones, a study published in the journal Nature Communications suggests. The researchers consider that these changes can help to strengthen the bond with the fetus and the baby, to respond physiologically to the signals of the children and their behavior in the preparation of the “nest”.

40 women were followed before pregnancy, during pregnancy, after delivery and one year after delivery to observe brain changes. And in addition to confirming the changes in gray matter, they've seen that during pregnancy there is a change in the organization of the neural network and an increase in the activity of some interconnected brain regions. In addition, a correlation has been found between the activity level of these regions and the relationship between the mother and the child and their changes.

Moreover, they have seen that these brain changes are related to changes in hormone levels, especially with the increase in the level of estradiol in the third trimester. On the contrary, no relationship has been found between these changes and other factors such as stress or sleep disturbances.


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