I always liked Walker's description because it’s more precise than the shorthand most people use for life with a newborn: Because a lot of things do change, of course, but for new mothers, some of the starkest differences are also the most intimate ones—the emotional changes.
This growth, researchers believe, is correlated with how a new mother behaves—an enhanced amygdala makes her hypersensitive to her baby's needs—while a cocktail of hormones, which find more receptors in a larger amygdala, help create a positive feedback loop to motivate mothering behaviors.
Just by staring at her baby, the reward centers of a mother's brain will light up, scientists have found in several studies.
On the most basic level, these changes, prompted by a flood of hormones during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, help attract a new mother to her baby.
In other words, those maternal feelings of overwhelming love, fierce protectiveness, and constant worry begin with reactions in the brain. ""In new moms, there are changes in many of the brain areas," Kim continued.
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