All mothers ask themselves at some point, maybe even daily, “Do all moms feel this crazy?” The scientific causes might surprise you.

In the Atlantic article, “What Happens to a Woman’s Brain When She Becomes a Mother“, by Adrienne Lafrance, she summarizes several studies that have looked at the maternal brain. Our “mom brain” moments have scientific proof and neurological cause.

“Gray matter becomes more concentrated. Activity increases in regions that control empathy, anxiety, and social interaction. On the most basic level, these changes, prompted by a flood of hormones during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, help attract a new mother to her baby. In other words, those maternal feelings of overwhelming love, fierce protectiveness, and constant worry begin with reactions in the brain.”

To all of you today, on Mother’s Day, remember that they love you as much as you love them. They change us from the cellular level up and in our hearts the long months we wait for their impending arrival but we’ve known this on some level no matter what.

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Science needn’t prove to us that we can predict eminent vomit by one little sound in the dark, the tear at our heart when we see fear in their eyes or body, the ache we feel when they hurt, or knowing the different cries of our child. It’s reassuring to have the proof so we feel a little less nuts and to know we are of interest to research and study. But we have our empirical data in every interaction that makes us an expert in loving our children. Or, as I learned to use as a catchall response to my daughter when I can’t think of how to explain something and she’s asked “why” more than three times, “Because…it’s science!”

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