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Mommy Brain – Boon or Burden?!


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Hello to all the Moms out there who are trying to learn English, today at LearningitLovingit we are dedicating this post to you.

So, have you ever heard of the phrase Mommy Brain?

HINT: Can you relate to what Scarymommy.com says?

I’m confused a lot, and I forget things I shouldn’t, like what day it is or my name. Granted, the confusion also comes from my kids. If you’ve ever had a conversation with a toddler about why they don’t like strawberries today when they loved them yesterday, then you understand confusion as a parent.

If yes, then it’s most likely that you have one too. In reality, it’s not as bad as it seems. Watch the video below to find out

Listening

Get to grips with the video better by familiarising yourselves with the following phrases and vocabulary before you watch

  • Burden something that has to be carried or tolerated. An unpleasant routine that has to done
  • Boon synonym of benefit
  • Spacey someone not quite present
  • A phrase gets thrown around a phrase that is used in popular culture
  • Dopey to act stupid, as if drowsey or sleepy.
  • to do something in a split second acomplish a task almost immediately
  • coping skills an abililty to tolerate and endure uncomfortable situations
  • the stealth of a ninja the ability to be as silent in motion as a ninja
  • a brain fart an informal expression for when you make a foolish mistake

Writing / Speaking Task

Can you summarise the video in your own words? Try doing it while recording yourself or even writing. Keep it short and if you like, publish it in the Comments box below! We’d love hear from you

Reading & Speaking Task

The following is an extract from New Scientist’s feature article called Chemical You; Volume 235, Issue 3138, 12 August 2017, Pages 30–34

Read the article while recording yourself with your phone’s audio recorder and listen to the playback. You’ll be amazed how many pronunciation mistakes you can pick up (find) yourselves and correct!

Parenthood changes everything, and at least some of that comes down to the way that a flood of hormones prepares the mother’s brain for the challenges ahead. Some of these changes happen in pregnancy, but far from turning the brain to mush, most are beneficial. One is an increase in the relative amounts of grey matter in brain regions involved in social cognition, priming the brain for empathy and reasoning. Women in the third trimester also have a reduced stress response, which protects the baby from high cortisol levels that can trigger early birth. It also means that soon-to-be mothers may be less likely to feel stressed than usual.

The changes don’t end when the baby arrives. In experiments, rat mothers have sharper foraging skills and reaction times, taking just 50 seconds on average to find food hidden in their cage versus 270 seconds for rats that haven’t had pups. And human brain scans have shown that in the weeks and months following birth, areas of the mother’s brain involved in reward processing, reasoning, empathy and regulating emotion all bulk up. The researchers linked the changes to an increase in oestrogen, oxytocin and another hormone, prolactin, although how they bring these changes about isn’t yet clear.

Laura Glynn, who researches maternal brain changes at Chapman University, California, says that it’s probably a combination of hormones making the brain more malleable, and sensory stimulation by the baby. It could be that, as in the case of oxytocin (see “Oxytocin equals love”), the hormones make mothers’ brains more sensitive to the world around them.

The effects can be long-lasting. Having children alters the mother’s hormone levels for decades, says Liisa Galea at the University of British Columbia, Canada, so it’s not surprising that we see long-lasting effects on behaviour.

Fathers, too, show a rise in oxytocin and also in prolactin, which lowers testosterone. In one study, fathers had lower testosterone levels that other men of the same age. Those who spent 3 hours a day or more with their kids had the lowest testosterone levels of all. Perhaps the hormone changes make men more attentive fathers. EY

 Vocabulary from the Text

  • A flood of hormones a large quantity of hormones
  • The challenges ahead the challenges in the near future
  • Turning the brain to mush drastically reducing the processing power of the brain
  • Priming the brain preparing the brain
  • Trigger early birth induce early birth

 

Writing

Try composing a piece of writing that includes all of the idioms below. If you can also include the expressions and vocabulary from the video and reading, you can give yourself a big star! 🌟

 

Baby Realted Idioms

  • In embryo – If something is in embryo, it exists but has not developed.
  • Out of the mouths of babes – People say this when children unexpectedly say something very intelligent or wise.
  • Spare the rod and spoil the child – This means that if you don’t discipline children, they will become spoilt.
  • Throw the baby out with the bath water – If you get rid of useful things when discarding inessential things, you throw the baby out with the bath water.
  • Sleep like a baby – If you sleep very well, you sleep like a baby.
  • Rob the cradle – To rob the cradle is to marry or have a relationship with someone much younger.

 

We’d love to see how creative a story teller you are so don’t forget to post your compositions in the Comments Box below

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Featured Image of Bathing Baby

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