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Unlocking the Mysteries of Mom Brain: A Dive into Matrescence in Motherhood


Empower 2 Heal Podcast banner announcing season 2 episode 3: What does it mean to have mom brain? Image of podcast host Dena Tibsherany holding her son with leaves in he background


Today, we're delving into the fascinating world of matrescence and its neurological impact; particularly the phenomenon we commonly know as "Mom Brain." If you're a parent or soon-to-be parent, you're probably familiar with the sudden shifts in cognitive function that come with the territory of caring for a newborn. In this episode, we explore the science behind Mom Brain and why it's not only normal but an essential part of the parenting journey.


For the full 20 minute podcast on Mom Brain, tune into episode 3 HERE.


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The Mom Brain Experience:

The journey into motherhood is an incredible rollercoaster, affecting us psychologically, neurologically, physically, emotionally, and relationally. The term "Mom Brain" often evokes images of forgetting keys or putting them in the fridge, but its impact goes far beyond these everyday occurrences.


One vivid example shared in this episode involves the emotional breakdown as a new mom struggling with a malfunctioning breast pump. The sheer exhaustion and overwhelming responsibility of caring for a newborn led to moments of panic and self-doubt. These experiences are not unique, many parents resonate with the challenges that come with Mom Brain.


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Neuroplasticity and Synaptic Pruning:

Understanding the science behind Mom Brain involves diving into the concepts of neuroplasticity and synaptic pruning. Neuroplasticity reveals our brain's ability to grow and adapt. Synaptic pruning refers to the intentional removal of certain neural connections to make way for new ones. This process is a survival mechanism designed to help parents focus on the immediate needs of their infants.


In the postpartum season, the brain undergoes synaptic pruning, particularly in the gray matter responsible for memory, muscle control, and high-level tasks. This pruning allows parents to hyper-focus on the cues and needs of their newborns. The effects of synaptic pruning can last up to two years, impacting various aspects of a parent's life.


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Reclaiming Yourself:

As parents navigate the challenges of Mom Brain, it's essential to recognize that this phase is temporary. The podcast emphasizes that once a child becomes more independent, the brain gradually rebuilds the gray matter, allowing parents to reclaim aspects of themselves outside of caregiving.


The journey of rediscovering personal identity, social interactions, and interests beyond parenting can be challenging but is an integral part of the postpartum season. Embracing this natural process with patience and understanding is crucial for parents transitioning through these phases.


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To sum it up, Mom Brain is not a sign of incompetence or cognitive decline but a necessary adaptation for the survival of the newborn. If you find yourself in the throes of Mom Brain, know that you are not alone, and it's okay. The neurological changes you're experiencing are part of a beautiful and challenging journey called matrescence.


The Empower 2 Heal Motherhood Podcast invites you to explore these topics further through our episodes. Join us in uncovering the mysteries of motherhood and understanding the science behind the incredible transformations your brain undergoes during this unique phase.


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Ready to dive deeper into the world of matrescence and parenting? Check out the full episode on The Empower 2 Heal Podcast HERE


Subscribe for more insightful discussions and practical insights into the beautiful journey of parenthood. Your brain might be undergoing changes, but with knowledge and support, you will be equipped to navigate this transformative experience.


Listen now and embrace the adventure of matrescence!



Thank you for joining us in this essential discussion!


💖 With gratitude and love,

Dena Tibsherany

LMSW, PMH-C

Your Motherhood Therapist, Coach, & Podcast Host

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