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New study provides first insight into the impact pregnancy has on gray matter in mothers.


Pregnancy may trigger changes in the structure and size of regions in a woman’s brain that are involved in responding to social and emotional cues, a recent study suggests.

Many of these changes appeared to last at least two years after giving birth, the study found. Mothers who had the most pronounced alterations in their brains also scored higher on tests of emotional attachment to their babies than women whose brains underwent subtler changes.

"This study provides the first insights into the impact of pregnancy on the gray matter architecture of the human brain," said lead study author Elseline Hoekzema of the University of Leiden in The Netherlands.


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