There are a lot of physical changes that many women experience after giving birth.
Not only does the body adjust, uteruses contract and breasts develop milk, but there are also HEAPS of changes going on inside the head too.
In fact, your brain may shrink or you might start forgetting the simplest things!
Here are some of the strangest things that happen to a woman’s brain after she becomes a mum…
10 weird things that happen to your brain after you’ve given birth
1. Hormones are released to help you bond with baby
As soon as your baby is a born, hormones such as oxytocin will be released to help you bond with your baby. This hormone is also released when you breastfeed. These hormones produce a feeling of love.
2. Your brain may shrink
Some research using MRI scans has shown that a woman’s brain might actually decrease in size after pregnancy. Why this happens, nobody is quite sure yet.
3. You’ll slowly forget about how painful the birth was
Many women report that the pain of labour evaporates as soon as they hold their child for the first time. This is known as the ‘halo effect’ and is due to the release of the hormone oxytocin, creating a euphoria.
4. You could feel anxious
Some new mums feel anxious as soon as their baby is born. This may be due to breastfeeding struggles or the urge to look after her child. It’s completely normal, but if you are worried there is another underlying issue or that you may be experiencing postnatal depression, we advise you speak to your GP as soon as possible.
5. You might feel on a high just looking at your baby
Experts reveal mothers feel a natural high after becoming a mum. This is why they say having kids can be addictive, even if you’ve had a rough pregnancy.
6. You may become more forgetful
A lot of women report feeling more forgetful when they become a mum.
Scientists at Nature Neuroscience found that a pregnant woman’s brain changes during pregnancy and this cognitive mental fog lasts for at least two years!
7. You’ll be more finely tuned to hear your baby’s cries
After a woman gives birth the oxytocin release may cause changes to the nervous system, and this heightens hearing so mum can respond to her baby’s cries.
8. You’ll also think you can hear your baby when you’re in the shower
Are you constantly convinced you can hear your baby crying when you are in the shower?
Hearing ‘phantom’ cries from your baby seems to be very common in new parents, and is most likely just an inability to switch off from the intense demands of parenting a newborn.
It is typically experienced in the shower, or in other situations where one’s hearing is restricted.
9. You may experience a lot of headaches
After giving birth, you may find that the change in hormones causes you to develop headaches, but it may also be due to not getting enough sleep or feeling anxious. Make sure you take the time you can to rest after giving birth.
10. Postnatal depression may hit
Chronic stress during pregnancy triggers an immune response in the brain that has the potential to alter the brain’s function and could contribute to postpartum depression, new research suggests.
If you are looking for extra support – join The Healthy Mummy’s Support Group
Becoming a mum – especially of the first time – can be an exciting, daunting, confusing and interesting experience. You certainly step into a whole new world – that often feels a whole lot unfamiliar.
Breastfeeding, formula, dummies, cots, postnatal depression, mastitis, baby health and development – there are so many things to know and understand.
If you are a new mum wanting to connect with other new mums, ask questions and share your own experiences – you should join The Healthy Mummy’s Facebook Private Support Group.