5 myths about men, women and pregnancy
Men also get breastfeeding brains, and picky babies are already forming in the stomach. Science is zooming in on the time when two cells merge into a human.
Breastfeeding hormone in fathers
The researchers measured the amount of the hormone prolactin in first- and multiple-stage fathers. The increase was most significant among experienced fathers - perhaps because they know that children require care.
1: The fetus can taste mom’s food – TRUE
When a pregnant woman drinks a glass of juice for breakfast, the fetus in her uterus feels the taste of the fruit juice ten minutes later.
During pregnancy, the placenta ensures that beneficial substances such as oxygen and nutrition are transported to the fetus without harmful bacteria and viruses being given access to the unborn baby.
The woman’s meals are broken down in the intestines where the blood takes up nutrients. When the blood reaches the uterus, the flavors pass on to the amniotic fluid or the baby’s blood. After four months, a fetus has receptors on its tongue and can taste the water around it.
Studies show that pregnant women who drink carrot juice have children who enjoy carrots. Researchers believe that the child gets used to the taste in the fetal stage.
2: Pregnant gets breastfeeding brain – TRUE
According to the myth, new mothers are confused and forgetful during pregnancy and the time after childbirth. Researchers have documented that women really get something similar to the breastfeeding brain when expecting children.
An international research team has scanned women’s brains before, during and after their pregnancies. In particular, they observed the gray areas of the brain, where the nuclei of the brain cells act as a sort of control center for the rest of the brain.
There, the research team saw that several of the women’s gray areas shrank during pregnancy.
Among other things, the hippocampus – the memory center – became smaller, which may explain why some women become more forgetful during a period after childbirth.
At the same time, areas that are associated with our social abilities and our ability to connect with other people have shrunk. The researchers believe that the gray areas are shrinking because the white areas of the brain at the same time become larger.
Gravida’s brains change in five places:
The precuneus area is part of the memory and changes there may, according to researchers, explain why pregnant women have less memory, ie get “breastfeeding brain”.
Recognition of words and faces is controlled by the coil-shaped winding. Changes there may make it easier for the mother to read the child’s language.
Social abilities such as recognition of voices lie in the upper temporal vein. Researchers believe that the area is adapted so that the mother attaches more to the child.
Several language areas are located around the lower temporal canal. Changes there are likely to improve the mother’s ability to communicate with the child.
The area sulcus frontalis medius helps control our focus. Researchers say changes are making mothers more aware of their children.
In the white matter, the connections of the brain cells take precedence, which is likely to make their electrical communication more efficient during pregnancy.
This means that the brains of the new mothers are probably optimized to connect to their offspring and understand the needs of the child.
3: Only women become hormonal – FALSE
Women are not alone in going through a hormonal roller coaster when two become three or more. The man’s hormone levels also fluctuate.
A Canadian research team measured the amount of hor monetary prolactin in 21 men two weeks before and two weeks and two months after birth. At the same time, they asked the fathers to answer questions that showed how much they worried about their children.
The researchers recorded an increase in the amount of prolactin before and after birth. Prolactin is formed in an area of the brain called the pituitary gland, which, among other things, controls social skills.
In women, the hormone regulates milk production while, according to the researchers, it probably makes men more protective and strengthens the bond to the baby.
4: Alcohol harms the child – TRUE
Alcohol is a poison and when you drink a glass of wine, several enzymes therefore immediately start to break it down. These enzymes have not yet developed in the fetus. When a pregnant woman consumes alcohol, it goes into the bloodstream and is transported to the placenta.
Because alcohol is an extremely small molecule, it does not slow down in the mother’s cake filter, but can instead migrate freely over to amniotic fluid or fetal blood vessels. The enzymes that burn alcohol in the adult body have not yet developed in the fetus.
Therefore, the alcohol accumulates in the child’s blood or amniotic fluid for longer than in adults and the toxic effect becomes greater. The nervous system of the fetus is particularly vulnerable because the ability of the nerve cells to divide is inhibited.
If the fetus has alcohol in the body for a long time and in large quantities, the baby can be born with a smaller brain; so-called fetal alcohol syndrome.
5: Parents can influence the child’s gender – FALSE
Thirty years ago, the American physician Landrum Shettles launched a theory that the timing of intercourse determines the child’s sex. But that’s not true at all. Male sperm cells contain either a Y chromosome or an X chromosome.
Along with the egg’s chromosome, the baby becomes a boy if the sperm contains a Y chromosome, while a sperm with an X chromosome becomes a girl. Shettle’s theory is that sperm cells with a Y chromosome are faster.
A couple who have intercourse just before ovulation would therefore have a boy. On the other hand, sperm cells with an X chromosome can survive longer in the uterus. Therefore, a sexual intercourse 3 to 4 days before ovulation would result in a girl.
In recent years, several studies have rejected the fact that the date of intercourse can affect the child’s gender.
However, researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in the Canadian city of Toronto have followed 1,411 pregnant women and the results indicate that women with high blood pressure are more likely to have boys.
The researchers have not yet found the specific mechanisms behind the hypothesis, which will be studied further.