New parents undergo major structural and functional brain changes, driven by hormones and the deluge of stimuli a baby provides. These neurobiological changes help all parents—birthing or otherwise—adapt in those intense first days and prepare for a long period of learning how to meet their child’s needs. Pregnancy produces such significant changes in brain anatomy that researchers can easily sort those who have had one from those who haven't. And all highly involved parents, no matter their path to parenthood, develop similar caregiving circuitry. Yet this emerging science, which provides key insights into the wide-ranging experience of parenthood, from the intensity of our individual emotions to its larger role in shaping human nature, is mostly absent from the public conversation about parenthood.
Join us for this author talk!