Cover Image: Mother Brain

Mother Brain

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Important, if only because it validates many birthing parents’ experiences and will hopefully get people talking about the importance of child caring.
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Ok, I know the author is a journalist and not a scientist, but based on the title and the blurb I certainly expected a more scientific approach to be applied in this book. What I got instead was a lot of personal opinions/experience and political social justice nonsense. Just when she was scratching the surface of something interesting boom personal option or nonsense to follow. I feel annoyed that I wasted my time on this book. The fact that the author is a journalist should have been a red flag from the start because modern day journalism is so weighed down by personal belief and opinions instead of actual information.
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This book is chock full of research on the history, evolution, social aspects, scientific approaches, opinions both professional and personal on motherhood — I devoured it. It is very enlightening!
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While not entertaining, this book contains a wealth of knowledge on how parenthood affects the human brain and let’s just say I’m much more normal than I thought!
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Aptly named "Mother" Brain because the dismissiveness with which we as a society use the term "mommy brain" doesn't serve mothers, other caregivers, the modern family, or society as a whole. Conaboy does an expert job distilling both the historical beliefs and trajectory of modern research regarding motherhood and parenthood down into easily understood chapters in this book.  And her writing is so inclusive- she belabors the point that most of the research on the brain around birth and parenthood has studied birthing mothers but has neglected to study sufficiently fathers, non cis-gendered parents, adoptive parents, amd other caregivers.  What little research we have in these areas shows that there are remarkable brain changes occurring in all people who are committed caregivers to a child.  Furthermore, transitioning to motherhood is often treated as a temporary state where the research clearly shows that after entering parenthood, your brain is changed, sometimes forever making the argument that more acknowledgement needs to be made around this fact.

I learned so much from this book about where we are in the research, where we've been, amd just how far we have to go (it's far). 

My interest in this book was two-fold:
1. I am a mother to a wonderful two year-old
2. Prior to leaving work to stay home with my daughter I spent 10 years in the field of mental health pharmacology

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

If you enjoy neuroscience or want to learn more about the expansive changes that occur in your brain when transitioning to parenthood, this book is for you!
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Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest, albeit late review. This just came out last month and I do recommend that parents check this out!

Speaking of "parents," don't let the title fool you. Yes, it's called <I>Mother Brain</I>, but the book in question is less about the so-called "mommy brain" that makes us "dumb" after having kids. It's actually much more about what happens in our brains when we become parents or caregivers, whether we are women, men, trans, nonbinary, adoptive, birthing parents, non-birthing parents, etc. In fact, it's so inclusive, it actually serves as almost a debunk for the very term it uses.

The author is a journalist, not a neuroscientist, but I don't think this takes away from the point of the book. The science-y parts actually felt like almost too much to digest audibly for me (I went with the audiobook). However, where the book was the strongest was its arguments for better involvement from the male counterparts in heterosexual couples, improved health care support for birthing parents, more support in our raging late capitalistic society, etc. Becoming a parent absolutely rocked my world AND my husband's. Often the narrative leaves out the partner, which serves to continue the cycle of disengaged men and patriarchal gender roles. The book really fights back against all of this, proving that we're all pretty much made of the same stuff when it comes to caring for our young.

Anyway, it was a very interesting read that I recommend for anyone interested in crushing the patriarchy and creating a new set of "family values."
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This was an interesting look at motherhood and the changes that occur in the brain along the parenting journey. It was fascinating read. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
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I received this as an ARC for an honest review via NetGalley.

This book was fascinating, but VERY long. I felt like I could relate to many of the experiences the author discusses. I would recommend this to any parent wanting a better understanding of what they may be going through.
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Chelsea Conaboy has delved deep into forbidden territory with MOTHER BRAIN. With unflinching examination of her experience of parenting and of what neuroscience, tradition, and others have to share, Conaboy describes the myriad profound changes that occur in men and women in raising a child. I related powerfully to her experiences from the joys to the dilemmas and terrible quandaries so many of us face in bringing a child to independence. This book is not an easy read, offering challenges as well as perplexing  situations with evenhanded intelligence, earnest heart, and hard-won wisdom. I received a copy of this book and these opinions are my own, unbiased thoughts.
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This was definitely my slow read! 
Mother Brain goes into the science of the changes on the brain during parenthood.  She touches on the history of motherhood, the views, and what is being revealed today. 
A recommendation to anyone wanting tha beginner course into the subject. The writing was very much easy to follow and a lot of references to futher reading.
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i have mixed thoughts about this book -- it certainly made me think though and as a mom of three young kids it's definitely one that will sent in my mind for awhile and that I'll consider as I parent.
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I had really high hopes for this book after reading the description. I was particularly fascinated with the neuroscience aspect. That was before I realized the author was a journalist with no background in science. Its quite obvious when reading this that that is the case as she speaks with experts but spends most of the book asserting her personal beliefs. There was a lot of data used that supported her preconceived biases but not a lot of good science to back up her beliefs. I did find this pretty interesting but don't think the title is very fitting of encompasses what this is truly about. Thank you to the publisher & author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Conaboy brought ALL the information for this one. It is a lot of great information too but it reads like a textbook. I don't know how she could have done it any differently but it's definitely a little hard to read.
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This book is great for anyone.  Mothers, people wanting to become mothers, friends with a mothers, grandmothers....ANYONE.   It open my eyes to the massive transformation of "motherhood"  takes on someone.  It is education, informative and relatable.  The personal stories woven in this book were my favorite.
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Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me access this title early! I am a postpartum depression survivor, and I will forever be interested and continue to educate myself on how our brains change after we become mothers so I can continue to help myself and others from the unavoidable challenges and changes that come with motherhood.
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The premise was fascinating, but more research on this topic needs to be done. The studies the author cited were often inconclusive, too small, or not published or peer-reviewed. I grew weary after many pages spent simply summarizing such studies, interspersed with personal anecdotes rather than compelling, well-developed case studies. I agree from personal experience that caregiving changes the brain, that this effect is not limited to females or biological parents, and that parenting is a developmental stage that takes time to unfold. I wish I had known these things earlier, and that more research and knowledge had been available to help me as a new parent; it seems this awareness is just unfolding. I hope for tomorrow's parents it will become more established, but this book is not quite the means to do it.
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I had such high hopes for this book. I was quite drawn in by the neuroscience aspect, as it is a field I am passionate about. However, I didn't realize the author was a journalist with zero background in science. It was very obvious through much of the book. While she speaks with some experts, it seems the book is mainly her asserting her personal beliefs with nothing to actually back them up. She use various studies, but many contain extremely small sample sizes and are not significant enough to base a foundation upon. While anyone can justify their view by cherry picking data (she does a lot of this) and looking for outcomes, over quality studies or experiments, it does not validate your opinion. Many times she speaks negatively of experts in their respective fields, in fields she has no education in, and she even said in the book, multiple times that she didn't have data to back something up, but just felt like something was so. While the writing itself wasn't bad, comments like that further invalidated her arguments. The organization of the book itself was a bit scattered and many parts were quite redundant. Very few points on neuroscience were actually made and she spends way too much time exerting political beliefs and rallying for policy changes. Perhaps it is asking too much as she is not a scientist or a doctor, but I was really hoping for more actual neuroscience. She mostly references experiments of parents look at faces of babies. I understand the field is a growing one and there isn't as much out there on the subject as she may like, especially since it isn't a field she works in and is experience, but the book really could then use a title change if she didn't have enough information to actually write on it. While there was some interesting tidbits, the info garnered could be summarized into an essay.
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A very intriguing read about what makes a mother (or caregiver). I found it very insightful to read as I’m pregnant with our second child, and learn more about the science behind motherhood and hear such a fresh, new perspective.
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This is the book that I have been waiting for! As a therapist that works with mothers, and a mother myself, we clearly feel and know that biologically there are changes going on after we have a child.  Thankfully, there is now a book that dives into the neuroscience of parenting and it's a great one. Using the in-depth collection of research we have so far in this realm, Chelsea Conaboy speaks to how we can use this information to challenge myths and stereotypes around parenting that in no way benefit the parent. What we are using now, the belief that children should be raised singularly by a white, female, woman, is not entirely correct or beneficial to the child or family as a whole.  This work along with further research in this field, I hope will drive much needed changes on a political and system level.
This will be a book that I will be buying for myself and recommending to many in the field of maternal mental health. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Henry Hold and Co for the ARC!
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