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Mommy Brain Revisited

Mommy Brain Revisited

By Dr. Jodi Pawluski
Mommy Brain Revisited: the neuroscience of parenting - A podcast for parents, health care providers, scientists and anyone interested in current research on ‘mommy brain’ and brain changes with parenting.

Interviewing leading researchers in the field.

Brain art: www.maayanillustrations.com from Pawluski et al, 2017 Neurobiology of Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. Trends in Neurosciences.

Music: "All in My Head" by Luna Wave via Soundstripe

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23. Sleep and Motherhood
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Katherine M. Sharkey, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in the USA. We talk about her research on sleep in motherhood and how it is related to maternal mood disorders and breastfeeding. She also does some myth busting: Is poor sleep in pregnancy preparing you for the postpartum? Should you sleep when baby sleeps? Are new dads sleeping more? We talk a lot about getting our babies and kids to sleep but in this podcast it is all about parent’s sleep – how important it is and how to improve it.  You won’t want to miss this one! For more information about Dr. Sharkey and her research click here.
48:51
March 12, 2021
22. Postpartum Depression and the Amygdala
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Aya Dudin, a PhD Candidate in Neuroscience, supervised by Dr. Geoffrey Hall, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. We talk about her research on the neurobiology of Postpartum Depression and how it differs from that of Major Depression. We focus our discussion on her research in the Amygdala but we also talk about treatments for PPD, the importance of translational research to understand the uniqueness of maternal mental illnesses and the exciting role the gut-brain axis may play as a target for treatment for these disorders. For more information about Aya Dudin’s research click here .
39:37
February 19, 2021
21. Oxytocin and Bonding
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr. Larry Young, a William P. Timmie Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the School of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. We talk about his research on the neuroscience of oxytocin and bonding. So interesting! We also talk about oxytocin’s role in the maternal brain, mental illness and child development. Hearing about this ancient maternal hormone is a must. For more information about Dr. Larry Young and his research click here.  
54:41
January 29, 2021
20. The Neurobiology of Postpartum Psychosis
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Prof Paola Dazzan, Professor of Neurobiology of Psychosis, Vice Dean (International) at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK. We talk about her research investigating the neurobiology of Postpartum Psychosis. So important! We talk about the biological basis of this debilitating disorder, treatment options and aims for future research. For more information about Prof Dazzan’s and her research click here.  
52:52
January 7, 2021
19. The Neurons Essential For Parenting
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Catherine Dulac, Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the USA. We talk about her research on neurons expressing galanin in the MPOA and their essential role in parenting behaviors in females and males. So interesting! We also talk about the potential role of these neurons in maternal mental illness and whether or not we should be using the word 'instinct' when we talk about parental behaviour.  For more information about Dr. Dulac's research click here.   Here is a direct link to her publications.  
53:44
December 3, 2020
18. Dopamine in the Postpartum
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Millie Rincón-Cortés, a Research Assistant Professor in Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh in the USA. We talk about her research investigating VTA dopamine neuron activity in the postpartum maternal brain and its role in normative changes in postpartum mood and anxiety. We also talk about maternal separation from offspring, parental leave duration, and how much we need to know about how these effects can impact the maternal brain. Don’t miss this one! For more information about Dr. Rincón-Cortés click here.   Here is a direct link to their publications.  
01:02:29
November 19, 2020
17. Stress and the Maternal Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Pilyoung Kim, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver in Colorado where she heads the Family and Child Neuroscience Lab. We jump right in to talk about our experiences with Mommy Brain and then we talk stress and motherhood. Dr Kim’s research investigates how life stress, such as socioeconomic status and poverty, affects the maternal brain and behavior. So important! We also talk about race, resilience, coping, cannabis, and the need for social policies to support mothers, and parents in general. For more information about Dr. Kim’s research click here.   Here is a direct link to her publications.
59:59
November 5, 2020
16. Immune Changes in the Maternal Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Benedetta Leuner who is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University in the USA.  We talk about her research investigating the neuroimmune changes in the maternal brain. So important! We talk about microglia changes during pregnancy and the postpartum, their role in neuroplasticity, mechanisms behind their changes, and the potential role of neuroimmune changes in maternal mental illnesses such as Postpartum Depression.  We also talk about our experiences with ‘Mommy Brain’ – 😊 . For more information about Dr. Leuner's research click here.   Here is a direct link to her publications.  
39:60
October 22, 2020
15. Enduring Effects of Parenting on the Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Winnie Orchard, a PhD candidate at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health and Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Her recent research focuses on parenthood and the aging brain in humans and she works under the supervision of Dr Sharna Jamadar. In this episode we talk about how parenting affects your brain and memory when you’re 70+ years old! We also talk about how these changes affect mothers and fathers differently and how the number of children you have may be related to these effects. So interesting! Check out her Facebook page @maternalbrain For more information on the team she is part of see link Here is a direct link to her publications. 
46:20
October 8, 2020
14. Opioid Use and the Maternal Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr James Swain, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York State, USA. We talk about his nearly 20 years of research on the human maternal brain and his current research on how opioid use disorder can alter the maternal brain and potentially behavior. [When we talk about opioid use disorder we’re often talking about prescription medications.] We also talk about the Mom Power intervention and how interventions like this can change our maternal brains for the better. If you’re struggling with opioid use please reach out for support. You are not alone. Treatment can help. Talk to you health care provider today. Click here for more information on the research of Dr. Swain.    Click here for his current publications.
57:50
September 24, 2020
13. Pregnancy and the Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Elseline Hoekzema, a senior neuroscientist at the Brain & Development Research Center, Leiden University, the Netherlands. We talk about her research investigating the effects of pregnancy on the human brain. Fascinating! We also talk about how amazing the maternal brain is, despite experiences with ‘mommy brain’ – and yes we both experienced it -, and to trust biology as it takes us through this transition into parenthood. For more information on her research see link. Here is a direct link to her publications.
37:08
September 10, 2020
12. Partner Loss and the Maternal Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr. Oliver Bosch, Professor in the Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine at the University of Regensburg, Germany. We talk about his recent research on partner loss and the maternal brain in relation to corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). We also talk about so much more – how fascinating the maternal brain is as well as single parenthood, social support, pregnancy loss and how much we need to know about how stressful events can impact the parental brain. For more information on his research see link.  Here is a direct link to his publications. Have questions or comments - let me know: www.jodipawluski.com
45:27
August 27, 2020
11. Maternal Experience and the Ageing Maternal Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr. Liisa Galea, Professor in the Department of Psychology and Centre for Brain Health at The University of British Columbia, Canada. We talk about her recent research on maternal experience and its effect on the aging hippocampus. We also talk about other effects of motherhood on ageing, menopause, and the lack of funding for women’s health research. Let’s support maternal health research! For more information on her research see here.  Here is a direct link to her publications.
45:42
August 13, 2020
10. TIDA Neurons and Lactation: A focus on network activity
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr. Christian Broberger, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Stockholm University, Sweden. We talk about his recent research on electrical activity of TIDA neurons and their role in lactation. We talk dopamine, prolactin and a bit about oxytocin. Very interesting! For more information on his research see link.  Here is a direct link to the publication we talk about. 
43:00
July 30, 2020
9. Postpartum Attention: An important component of Mommy Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Valerie Miller, MA, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University in the USA. We talk about her recent research on attention in mothers during the postpartum and how it may relate to feelings of Mommy Brain as well as mental health. We also talk about the important role that community may have on being a mom.  For more information on her research see: https://cla.purdue.edu/directory/profiles/valerie-miller.html  Here is a direct link to the publication we talk about,
53:22
July 16, 2020
8. Prolactin and the Maternal Brain: So much more than for lactation!
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Professor Dave Grattan the Director of the Centre of Neuroendocrinology, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand . We talk about his research on prolactin and motherhood.  Prolactin really is so much more than for lactation - It affects parental behaviors, mental health, food intake and so much more! Listen now, you don't want to miss this one.  For more information on Prof Grattan's research see: https://www.otago.ac.nz/neuroendocrinology/research/dave-grattan.html For a direct link to publications by Prof Grattan see: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=bgrXFdoAAAAJ&hl=en
59:07
July 3, 2020
7. Fatherhood and the Hippocampus: Importance of interacting with kids
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Erica Glasper an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland at College Park, USA. We talk about her research on how fatherhood affects a dad's brain, particularly the hippocampus, and the importance of interacting with offspring on brain health. For more information on her research see: https://psyc.umd.edu/facultyprofile/glasper/erica Here is a direct link to publications by Dr Glasper.
41:43
June 19, 2020
6. Matrescence and Adolescence: Which has a greater impact on the brain?
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr. Susanna Carmona from the Neuroimaging Centre in the Laboratory for Medical Imaging at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon in Madrid, Spain. We talk about her recent research on brain changes during the transition to motherhood (matrescence) and how significant these changes are – as significant as during adolescence. We also talk about what this means, what more we need to know about the brain with motherhood, fatherhood, maternal mental illness and effects of pregnancy loss. So many questions need answers! For more information on her research see: https://image.hggm.es/en/susana-carmona Here is a direct link to the publication we talk about: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hbm.24513
29:27
June 5, 2020
5. Mommy Brain during Pregnancy: What does the Science Say?
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Sasha Davies a PhD Candidate in the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit in the School of Psychology at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. We talk about her recent research on Mommy Brain and how the idea of Mommy Brain needs a rebrand. For more information on her research see: https://babybrainresearch.com/ Here is a direct link to the publication we talk about: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.5694/mja17.00131
30:39
May 28, 2020
4. Fear Memories and the Maternal Brain: More than just sex differences, motherhood matters.
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Bronwyn Graham an Associate Professor at School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia about her research on how motherhood impacts fear memories and fear extinction and the role that this may have for exposure therapy for anxiety disorders. We also talk a bit about living through the COVID pandemic and how important it is to ask for help if you are struggling. See her publications here.  
37:07
May 20, 2020
3. Roundup and Maternal Gut-Brain effects: Should we worry about glyphosate?
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Professor Thierry Charlier at the Institut de Recherche en Santé, Environnement et Travail (Irset) at the Universitie de Rennes 1 (France) about his research on how glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup, affect maternal behavior, brain and microbiome. For more information on his research see: https://www.irset.org/interlocuteurs/charlier-thierry-0 For a direct link to this paper we discuss: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31066122
30:41
May 13, 2020
2. Allopregnanolone to Zulresso: A treatment for Postpartum Depression
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Jamie Maguire an Associate Professor of Neuroscience in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University in the USA about her research on allopregnanolone, a neurosteroid, which formed the foundation for Zulresso (Sage Therapeutics) – the first unique treatment for Postpartum Depression. A great story from basic research in the maternal brain to clinical application. For more information on Dr. Maguire’s research see: https://www.maguirelab.com/ For a direct link to her publications see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=maguire+jamie Questions, comments, suggestions - Get in touch www.jodipawluski.com / j.pawluski@gmail.com
31:59
May 6, 2020
1. Anxiety and the Maternal Brain
In this episode of Mommy Brain Revisited I talk with Dr Joseph Lonstein a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University about his research on the neuroscience of postpartum anxiety and the importance of infant touch in modulating maternal feelings of anxiety. For more information on his research see: https://neuroscience.natsci.msu.edu/directory/faculty/joseph-s-lonstein-phd/ For a direct link to his publications see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lonstein+JS Questions, comments, suggestions - Get in touch www.jodipawluski.com
39:03
April 22, 2020
0. Why we need to revisit Mommy Brain
This episode is a brief introduction as to why I'm doing this podcast; Why we need to talk about what we know and what we don't know when it comes to brain changes during pregnancy and the postpartum period - in health and illness.  I also ask my kids, ages 6 and 8, what they think happens to our brains when we become parents.  Apparently they aren't listening to me! Music: All in my head - Luna Wave (via Soundstripe)
08:41
April 9, 2020