Pregnancy does have a big impact on the brains of mums-to-be – but not in the way you might expect. The results of a study of 25 women published in Nature Neuroscience found changes in the size and structure of the women’s brains when they were carrying a baby compared to before the pregnancy. Specifically, grey matter in certain areas of the brain shrank, and stayed that way for up to two years. But rather than being a case of dumbing down, researchers think the shrinkage is part of a process that actually helps those parts of the brain become more specialised and efficient in preparation for meeting the needs of a baby. According to study co-author Erika Barba, “these changes concern brain areas associated with functions necessary to manage the challenges of motherhood.” If you are plagued with fogginess or forgetfulness, it may not be the explanation you were hoping for, but it is a reminder that your body has got this, girl!