Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology
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.
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Kim, P. (2016). Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 2016(153), 47-58.