Motherhood Enhances the Brain

Contrary to the popular idea that having children decreases a woman’s brainpower, giving birth actually perks up mental agility and protects the brain against diseases, researchers in the U.S. found.

Professor Craig Kinsley from the University of Richmond has confirmed that in mammals such as rats and monkeys, giving birth and caring for the young results in positive changes in the formation and function of the brain. Mothers do better on tests of learning and memory, and are less worried in stress-provoking situations, than females who have not had babies.

“While a woman may experience an evident loss of brain function while she is pregnant, this could be because parts of her brain are being modified in preparation for dealing with the complex demands of childrearing,” Kinsley Explained.

In some cases, women appear to reduce their memory and reasoning ability when they are pregnant. But Kinsley and colleagues imply this is a temporary result of the modification that is going on, which in the long term advances the woman’s brainpower.