#34 Baby Brain Myths - How Motherhood Actually Upgrades Your Brain w/ Dr Jodi Pawluski
Play • 50 min

Amazing things happen in a woman’s brain when she becomes a mother, and we don’t even know half of it yet. Thankfully maternal neuroscience researchers like Dr Jodi Pawluski are making great progress in this very understudied area of science.

In this episode of MAMA, UNLEASHED! I have the absolute pleasure of delving into the brain of Dr Jodi Pawluski, a leading maternal neuroscientist, psychotherapist, and mother of two. We talk about so much, from why we must remove the negative connotations associated with baby brain, to the neuroscience of maternal mental health and how our expectations in motherhood and our understanding around maternal mental illness can influence our experience of matrescence.

- Get the links to Jodi's articles, all we speak about, and more at www.DrJen.com.au/ep34

- About Dr Jodi Pawluski at www.JodiPawluski.com

-   PREPARE YOURSELF FOR MOTHERHOOD-  explore Dr Jen’s course Write Your Empowered Matrescence Plan to learn more about matrescence, how to prepare yourself for matrescence and becoming a mother, and how you can write a matrescence plan to prepare you to thrive during this transformative time thriving at www.drjenhackerpearson.samcart.com/products/matplan

FOLLOW ME: on Instagram or Facebook for more information, knowledge and evidence-based tools to thrive in motherhood  @DrJenHackerPearson

FOLLOW JODI: on Instagram @dr.jodi_pawluski


[4.35] About all things baby brain, pregnancy brain, lactation brain.

[5.55] Memory differences in the brain of (pregnant) mothers vs non-mothers.

[9.10] We have to change the narrative and mindset that there is a deficit in the brain in motherhood.

[10.50] The mental load of motherhood – the “mother load” – evolution will have us pick the most important things

[12.50 Neuroplasticity and the brain changes that happen in matrescence – when a woman becomes a mother.

[13.36] What areas of a mother’s brain changes in size, structure and activity, and what outcome this results in.

[18.00] Brain changes occur in all caregivers, including fathers, adoptive parents, and grandparents, but the effects of pregnancy on the brain are still the greatest in the biological mother.

[20.00] The glorification of motherhood and the expectations that come with that.

[20.23] Matrescence has many similarities to adolescence – we must also look at patrescence.

[30.10] How postpartum depression and postnatal anxiety affect a mother’s brain.

[35.35] There is treatment for postpartum depression that is not medication. This can also lead to neuroplasticity and change in feelings and emotions.

[38.20] There are 6 different types of perinatal depression – we also need to talk about postpartum rage.

[41.00] Education around becoming a mother (not just the birth!) is a must! - So much can happen during birth and early motherhood and it might not go to plan.

[45.45] Exploring yourself and your roots before having a baby so you can be aware of what might come up for you emotionally in motherhood. 


Thanks so much for listening and for your interest in becoming a happier mother.

Be sure to subscribe to MAMA, UNLEASHED! on your favourite podcast channel, and follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more information and tips @DrJenHackerPearson

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