New Moms Are Smarter Than You Think

   By drodriguez  Oct 25, 2010

It may not just be your belly that grows when having a baby.  A new study coming from researchers at Yale University shows that a woman’s brain actually increases in size after giving birth.  The brain growth is being blamed on specific hormone changes that occur in a woman’s body during the weeks after having a baby.  

The study, reported about in Business Week, shows that the areas of the brain that increased in activity were the ones associated with maternal motivation, behaviour and the processing of emotions.  This may explain how new moms can deal with lack of sleep, constant feeding, diaper changing, etc. and still be able to care for their babies in a loving way.  

Interestingly, moms who showed more enthusiasm about their new babies experienced larger growth in these areas of the brain, whereas mothers who suffered from postpartum depression actually showed a decrease in brain size in these specific areas.  

Researchers believe this study proves a new mother may be driven more by their “active brain building” than an instinctual type of reaction.  The growth of brain volume is so significant in new moms because we generally do not see big changes in brain size over just a few months unless there has been a large increase of learning, brain injury, illness, or a major change in environment.

What do you think of the new study showing new moms show significant brain growth after giving birth?

Why do you think this is?

Make a Comment

simplelife83 by simplelife83 | Stephenville, TX
Mar 25, 2011

I am a mother of two little ones and reading this article made me laugh! While I was pregnant with both children I could have sworn that I lost my brain somewhere. Maybe it was the hormonal changes that were occurring or maybe it was because I was so tired. Regardless, I do feel as though I am more creative and smarter in some areas than I used to be. It's good to know that I may have gotten smarter to keep up with my smarty pants kids one day :)

yamagirl by yamagirl | POWDER SPGS, GA
Nov 21, 2010

I wish someone would tell my sister in law that !!!!

mommasuesue by mommasuesue | Cedar Rapids, IA
Nov 15, 2010

Interesting , MY new daughter in law just had my Grtandson ! I agree with sharman 421 also

purplerosecharm by purplerosecharm | SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Nov 10, 2010

I believe the other way round as I become so forgetful since I found out myself pregnant with my first child. And many girlfriends of mine think the same way. It's glad to read this article and I think that it maybe true. We women have to be multi-tasking after we have little ones added to the house which add so many works to our routines. I may have a bigger brain than I know as I need to get all the things done and DH still complains how little I have get done. I need to show him this article today.

sharman421 by sharman421 | TALLAHASSEE, FL
Nov 07, 2010

New moms have to be smart. Whether it's hormonal or not, babies bring is more maturity, patience, and love. All very smart things!

jennwigg by jennwigg | Raleigh, NC
Oct 30, 2010

I, think nature takes care of our body & brains! We're always changing & so does are brain. This's great information for new mothers!

Sparkleandshine by Sparkleandshine | Chandler, AZ
Oct 29, 2010

Wow, I always jokes about having 'pregnancy brain' - I swear I thought the baby was sucking my brains OUT. I was so forgetful when I was PG. Maybe it's because the brain is growing in other areas. This is really facinating!

fishersonia by fishersonia | TEMECULA, CA
Oct 28, 2010

wow, I believe it! My brother just said the other day about his pregnant wife, "she isn't strong like you. I don't know how she is going to do it." And I said back, "you become strong AFTER you have the baby!" I liked this article.

josmommy by josmommy | toledo, OH
Oct 27, 2010

This acctually made me laugh a little cause since the moment I found I was pregnant with son number 1 I would've forgot my head had it not been attached.Reading this artical made me smile!Nice to know maybe I am bigger brained than I thought

SmileItsCasey by SmileItsCasey | Spring, TX
Oct 27, 2010

My sister-in-law is three months pregnant, and was really excited to hear this! She said it's a good thing, because she's not sure how she's gonna handle all the new-mom duties!

FeliciaGarcia by FeliciaGarcia | Belleview, FL
Oct 26, 2010

i have two children and i think if our brains didn't get bigger after having them our lives would be alot more hectic then they already are! =)

sister3of5 by sister3of5 | Jacksonville, FL
Oct 26, 2010

I think our brain grows in order to get us ready for all the responsibility we have ahead of us. I am so glad mine grew so I could be ready for all that "new" math later on!! :)

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Oct 25, 2010

I think Moms always have to be on their toes and alert. I think that brain growth comes with multi-tasking...and we certainly do that, I think more so when we have kids.

mazo77 by mazo77 | Ayer, MA
Oct 25, 2010

I've had three kids, and I feel like I get more forgetful with each new child! I would agree that the brain increase is associated with maternal motivation, b/c man is it hard in the beginning!!!