Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting

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57 Scopus citations

Abstract

New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother–infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human mothers’ brains, and explore how such plasticity supports mothers’ psychological adaptation to parenting and sensitive maternal behaviors. Last, I discuss pregnancy and the early postpartum period as a window of vulnerabilities and opportunities when the human maternal brain is influenced by stress and psychopathology, but also receptive to interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalNew Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Volume2016
Issue number153
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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