प्रेगनेंसी आपके लिए क्या लाती है...? Pregnancy Brings to You...

सिर्फ बच्चा ही नहीं, बल्कि और भी बहुत कुछ...

Not only the baby, but many more...including skills to rare the baby...

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


You are born as a baby, as you grow you are a girl, further you marry, you become a lady but when you become pregnant you become “Mother”. You are born as female but almost took 20 years  to become mother.  Bodily you have changed a lot in these 20 years and learn a lot also, but in these 20years, you did not learn what you have learned in 9 months of pregnancy. In addition to a baby pregnancy bring to you many more things.    

In fact, it is well known that brain is the centre for learning, as late as In 2002 researchers from the Imperial College of London found that pregnant womens' brains before and during pregnancy, and a year after they gave birth, certain areas of women's brains shrunk as seen by Neuroimaging (MRI). About 40% of the human brain is made up of gray matter and the other 60% is white matter. The gray matter, however, consumes about 94% of the total oxygen used by the brain. "Gray matter volume loss can also represent a beneficial process of maturation or specialization."

Experiencing stressful life events can reduce gray matter in critical regions of the brain that regulate emotion and important physiological functions.

Pregnancy is a time when a lady experience dramatic, hormone-driven physiological and physical changes. Blood volume, hormone levels, absorption of nutrients, and other physiological capabilities grow dramatically. Experts believe a combination of hormones, oil and a 40% increase in blood volume makes a pregnant woman's skin seem luminous during pregnancy. The idea that pregnant women experience a “pregnancy glow” is real. The glow comes from an increase in blood volume, estrogen, and progesterone. “More blood flow to the skin gives a 'rosy' appearance, and makes the face appear fuller as well,” “Pregnancy's hormonal changes deliver more oxygen and nutrients to all organs, including the skin,” Dr. Hellman says. Certain medical conditions get better during pregnancy. These include migraines, acne, and even food intolerances.

Hormonal changes 

Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. The stress hormone cortisol plays a vital role in the body and in fetal development. But when a woman is exposed to intense or prolonged stress during pregnancy, excessive levels of cortisol can disrupt development of the unborn child's brain. Exercise naturally increases seritonin levels and reduces cortisol levels. Your pregnant body will be going through lots of changes, continuing a moderate exercise routine can help to relieve stress related to those changes as well as the expected discomforts during pregnancy.

Mother’s Brain during pregnancy 

Normally, we assume that the brain of a mother is comparable to that of a woman who has never, given birth. But it is not true. In fact, during pregnancy women lose GREY matter. This is associated with maternal attachment towards the baby a sort of    brain's “default mode network,”

 Pregnancy shrinks the brain's gray matter, the pinkish-gray tissue continuing the cell bodies and synapses of nerve cells. In particular, gray matter shrinks in areas involved in processing and responding to social signals and care giving behaviours. This means that new mothers' brains are more efficiently ready to work in areas that allow them, for instance, to respond to their infant's needs or to detect threatening people in their environments.

This is the section of the human brain along the line showing distribution of gray and white matter. Grey matter is therefore essential for all most aspects of human life. Throughout development of the embryo, grey matter continues to form until the age of about 8 years old. In fact, it opens the door to the possibility that it might cause changes in parenting that might have implications in decision-making and behaviour later in life,"

Is losing grey matter bad?

Lower gray matter volume in the brain is indicative of a higher risk of developing mental health disorders including depression and psychosis. However, those with slightly greater gray matter volume were more likely to recover from their disorders. A low amount of gray matter in this brain area is related to Alzheimer's disease, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is surprising that decreasing grey matter during pregnancy is a temporary phase and  gray matter come back after pregnancy. Most of the pregnancy-induced gray matter volume reductions can persist six years after delivering a baby. This long association explains measures of mother-to-infant attachment.

What happens if a woman never had a baby?

Women without children have also been found to have an increased risk of breast cancer, and increased mortality from uterine, ovarian and cervical cancer when compared to women with children. Moreover, the fertility declines with the advanced age at first childbearing. (The author has his own study and views)