1) Did you know… baby brain is real!
Baby Brain is real, according to scientists, who found in a study published this year that what was generally thought to be pregnancy folklore seems to have a grounding in empirical fact. The research, published in the Journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, used electroencephalogram to measure brain function during tasks, and found that women struggled to focus as their pregnancies advanced, possibly explaining the perceived memory deficits many women report between their second and third trimesters (although it’s worth noting that the women were still broadly performing in the normal range). Why this happens is still moot – some suggest that it may be to enable the brain to adapt to becoming a new mother, while others say it could be that the mother’s brain power is being channeled into that of her growing baby. Could you pass the memory test for mums-to-be?
Read the numbers, close your eyes and recite them backwards: 5, 7, 9, 2, 4, 3, 8, 1.
2) Did you know… It’s better to be open about emotions with your kids
Research from Washington State University shows that it can be better for children to witness their parents’ emotions, even when they are negative ones, than to feel the tension of them being suppressed. “When parents are trying to stamp down or suppress their negative emotions, children pick up on that,” says Dr Sara Waters, assistant professor in human development at WSU. “They know something is wrong. The danger is that children can very easily think it’s their fault.” While it’s never good to have very aggressive arguments in front of children, the research shows that children who see their parents fight and then resolve it in a healthy way have much better emotion-regulation skills and do much better in their social interactions than kids who don’t ever see that.
3) Did you know… Mums who work from home do more childcare
A new German study has found that fathers who are able to work from home tend to actually do marginally less childcare than those who work only in the office, but put in an extra two to four hours of work per week, while mothers who work from home tend to spend three extra hours on childcare, while also feeling compelled to work longer. The amount of time the average German woman spends on childcare is 21 hours a week, compared to 8.6 hours per week for the average German man.
4) Did you know… Older mums have happier kids
Older mums have happier kids, according to a recent Danish study of almost 5,000 mothers. Although we’re often warned about the dangers of ‘advanced maternal age’, there are actually some benefits to having a baby later in life – research found that older mothers were more relaxed in their pregnancy, and more laidback in their parenting, leading to children with fewer emotional and behavioural problems as they grew up.
5) Did you know… you should eat nuts during pregnancy
Eating nuts during pregnancy is good for your baby’s brain development. According to a study published by ScienceDaily.com, eating three 30g-servings per week in the first trimester of pregnancy was linked with better cognitive function, attention capacity and working memory at 18 months, five years and eight years of age.