BABY BRAIN EQUALITY? FIRST TIME FATHERS’ BRAINS SHRINK BY 2% AFTER CHILD IS BORN
This news I can barely understand. But maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe? A new study has made a rather stunning finding about what fatherhood does for first time fathers. It turns out that right after the birth of their first child, fathers’ brains literally shrink as much as 2%. So to parse that into easier terms, having a kid for the first time makes a dad’s brain smaller. Literally. And here I thought that chronic exhaustion, stress and anxiety were the things that made me feel dumber. Well, among other things.
FIRST TIME FATHERS’ BRAINS LOSE A MODICUM OF THEIR LITERAL GREY MATTER ITSELF
But really, science has proven that becoming a father for the first time makes fathers brains smaller. And the finding makes it clear that this is totally normal, a part of how we are wired to work. We’ve all already heard a lot about how many women experience cognitive issues both during and after pregnancy. The common term for that is “baby brain.” Pregnancy and early motherhood often cause changes to mothers’ limbic subcortical networks. Or, the part of the brain associated with pregnancy hormones. But what about fathers’ brains? You may have guessed, but that 2% of brain loss is also in their cortical volume of the brain, too. Not the subcortical. But the grey matter itself.
STUDY DISCOVERS THAT FIRST TIME FATHERS’ BRAINS SHRINKAGE IS ABOUT SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING
The findings come from researches at the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid. They made the discovery by conducting MRIs on 40 first time fathers’ brains in both Spain and the United States. Why does nature do this? That answer isn’t clear. But the study found that it may have something to do with how this makes it easier for fathers to connect with their offspring. The grey matter of the cortical region of the brain has a lot to do with social understanding.
But me? I just feel dumber reading this.