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  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia

Baby Brain: The surprising neuroscience of how pregnancy and motherhood sculpt our brains and change our minds (for the better)

Dr Sarah McKay

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Cognitive science, Psychology of gender, Health psychology, Neurosciences, Pregnancy, birth & baby care

Baby brain, contrary to its reputation for forgetfulness and brain fog, includes beneficial changes to mothers' brains. In this fascinating book neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay explores the science to show becoming a mother primes the brain to learn quickly, be empathetic, motivated, socially savvy, bond with baby and remember what's truly important.

If you think baby brain is bad for you, think again - because neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay (author of The Women's Brain Book) has looked at studies and talked to experts from all over the world and the proof is in: giving birth is one of the best things to ever happen to a woman's brain.

Moreover, the positive effects of baby brain last well beyond the baby stage - even into old age, with elderly mothers' brains showing resilience to ageing. Plus, the benefits of baby brain show up for non-birth parents - even fatherhood has a profound effect on the hormones and brains of men.

This fascinating book weaves together baby brain research and interviews with neuroscientists and women's health specialists - many of whom are mothers - with personal experiences from parents concerning baby brain, nesting, maternal instinct, social support, anxiety and sleep. In each aspect the conclusion is clear: having a baby improves a mother's memory, and makes her smarter and more empathetic, intuitive and socially savvy.

Baby Brain contains the ultimate good-news story about mothers' brains, backed up by scientific research from leading experts and presented in highly readable bite-sized sections by one of Australia's leading science communicators.

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Dr Sarah McKay

Dr Sarah McKay is a neuroscientist and science communicator who specialises in translating brain science research into simple, actionable strategies for peak performance, creativity, women's health and wellbeing. Her previous book, The Women's Brain Book: The Neuroscience of Health, Hormones and Happiness, explores the female lifespan through the lens of neurobiology.

Sarah grew up in New Zealand and completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at Otago University before heading to Oxford University for her MSc and PhD training. She sums up her doctoral thesis with the words, 'Nature, Nurture or Neuroplasticity'. Moving again, this time to Sydney, Australia, she completed five years of postdoctoral research in brain plasticity and spinal injury research before hanging up her lab coat to pursue a career in science communications. Sarah is the director of Think Brain, which offers a suite of professional development training programs in applied neuroscience and brain health.

Sarah has been published extensively for public, academic and professional audiences. She's been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Body & Soul. And she can be seen and heard 'explaining the brain' on SBS's Insight, ABC Radio National, Mamamia, NZ Radio National, ABC's Catalyst, and on stage at Business Chicks, Canberra Writers' Festival and Happiness & Its Causes.

Sarah and her Irish husband have settled on Sydney's Northern Beaches, where they are bringing up two surfer dudes and a cocker spaniel. Typically you'll find them in the ocean, either sailing, snorkelling or swimming.

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