tv Abigail Tucker Mom Genes CSPAN September 6, 2021 10:00am-11:01am EDT
at the trump administration, i alone can fix it. you can watch the programs anytime at book tv.org. >> good evening, i'd like to welcome you to our talk this evening on behalf of the library. i'm the new program coordinaor at the library. ... es a great pleasure to announce the introduction of abigail tucker inside the new science of her ancient internal instinct. a young mother in new york best selling -- "new york times" best selling author and a graduate of harvard college. she writes she now writes for smithsonian magazine. her new title "mom genes" was just published by simon & schuster and expose the biology and psychology of motherhood. part scientific odyssey and part
memoir, "mom genes" weaves the latest research with her personal experiences to great a delightful surprising and often poignant portrait of motherhood. if anybody could wait and put your questions in the q&a we will go over them at the end. thank you very much, and welcome. >> thank you so much for having me. thank you two books on the common and ridgefield library and everybody joining us tonight. i am a journalist interest in all kinds ofct subjects but i am especially fascinated by the sight of domestic life as what you might call the mystery of the familiar. my first book called the line in the living room was about domestication over 10,000 years and the changes cast that help them cope with the world. my new book is called "mom genes: inside the new science of our ancient maternal instinct" "
what do these d subjects have in common? for starters human babies and cats shared characteristics that scientists actually take the time and trouble to study. these features are called baby scientificn the literature and they include big eyes, a snub nose, round cheeks. cats accident of a striking resemblance to human young is likely one reason thatso they're able to take over the world without giving humanity too much in return. you couldld almost say that by o strikingly resembling human babies our pets are preying on our maternal instincts. the other interesting thing is they underwent profound but largely hidden brain changes over those 10,000un years as thy becameho domesticated which help them lose their fear of humans and run roughshod over us, at least in certain households. my new book is again about brain
change but it is a more rapid brain changeap typically happeng in mothers over ten months in the course of pregnancy instead -- over 10,000 years like in cats. it may feel like 10,000 years to some of us but that's the story for another time. a sickly if you take pictures of women's brains before and after pregnancy, you don't look the same. nges in gray matter and volume in areas related to social processing and another spots too. one lab found they identify women who have been pregnant based on brain scans alone. these changes seem to be permanent. they may also be cumulative. similarly changes are likely, and across moms of many species. alongside the universality there are many ways in which each human mother is unique with note
to mom brains looking or acting exactly like. this physical brain change which scientists are still trying to understand is behind the abstract idea we call the maternal instinct. it's a sensitization to baby's cues and a desire to respond. the pro baby drive. it's in waking a renaissance in unmasking of a new identify -- a new identity. often chemically incentivized by the hormones of pregnancy but it doesn't have to be. his most profound mental change outside of childhood barring a traumatic brain injury. their brains during that maternal period are multiple like play dough. scientists consider motherhood as human development. moms are little bit like
adolescents. growing numbers of labs around the world are adjusted in this new mom science and the use all kinds of high-tech tools that my kids would love to get their hands on. why are moms so interested -- interesting for scientists to study? one reason is the brain is shared across mammal kind so it's a common thread in the nurturing of all kinds of species. scientists also hypothesize that maternal -- supplies the raw material for all uniquely human social phenomenon like romantic love religious experience altruism lesbianism music obsessive compulsive disorder. and there are other more reasons to find out what's going on inside of a mother's brain. 90% of women become mothers and 86% of us are mothers by the
time we reach her mid-40s. 70% of moms are in the workforce and women are having more american households than ever. but as the mother of four young children myself i'm also interested in the scientific field for much more personal and i guess you could say selfish reason. becoming a mother is a very baffling and bewildering affair. the physical changes of pregnancy are alarming enough gaining 60 pounds practically overnight or suddenly growing straight hair. there are's psychological ramifications but we won't go there tonight. yet the interior aspect of the maternal transformation are even
more striking and constraints on what's going on on the outside. the brain isn't the first or in the comes to when you think about childbirth but it's really a key player. i wanted to know why am i eating differently than i used to and white do i not find the smell of my daughters diapers disgusting and are there limits to what i feel? and wrapping my mind about the daily wonder father could i wanted to look at the downsides too. for instance in my really getting stupider or am i just tired or is something else going on entirely? there are major issues of mental health to consider which impacts us in the moms we know. when striking piece of evidence of a concrete nature of the maternal transformation is how women's mental health disorders or liberate at this time. postpartum depression affects something like one in five women
yet we still don't really know what causes this disease or how to treat it. ss of compulsive disorder packs more than 10% of new mothers and bipolar depression is also more likely to pop up around the birth of a first child. it's not all sunshine and baby rattles. people's lives are at stake in understanding the maternal brain. the main thing mantu soon and and the hidden complexities of what seems ordinary. when i started reading the mom literature and all the nifty gadgets like -- i notice many tools used in mom brain experiments are just junk found around my house. these researchers is stuff like popcorn kernels more mild control cars and dress-up costumes and froot loops cereal marshmallows family photo albums
and emaus plastic toys and even baby lotion but tonight i'll show you a bit about how scientists used closets to play rooms to get to what the bottom of what's happening in mom's brains. first there's one other important mom science fact about and something i hope that i don't have in my house i should say, rodents. ask i do have a pet hamster. because the maternal instinct is ancient we can use animal models like lab rats to get at some of what's going on inside of our own selves. for instance i visited the lab at new york university to see how his students probe the internal circuitry. when they become mothers rats and mice do not like babies.
a lot of the junk food from her materials list is actually -- these animals love froot loops and super sweet stuff like that. the female mouse will run away at the sound and being ignored is the best-case scenario. sometimes female rats will attack the babies and even kill them. but just around the time a the pregnant rat gives birth for the first time a change takes place inside of her. suddenly she is deferred to food. a new mother rat will press a bar and at the -- infinite number of times. in an early experiment one
mother rat tested the baby bar nearly 700 times in four hours and she didn't stop until the scientists throughout their hands. that mom would also choose thoughts over cocaine causing the babies they once ran away from two -- this is literally quite interesting to. there are clues about how the chemical of pregnancy birth and lactation might facilitate this behavioral change to kick off the process of long-lasting brain surge that we see in human brain cells. for instance oxytocin the birth hormone associated with labor and delivery and also social bonding in to the brains of mice
who had gotten pregnant yet. over the course of three hours they were able to watch the individual brain cells become incensed at tight responding more sharply to the sound of christ. the brained acted more like mother's brains and now if you put these in the cage with babies it's likely they wouldn't run away. they might even perform maternal behaviors. the story is also far more complicated than a single neurotransmitter. in real life lots of other chemicals beyond oxytocin are also involved like and and dopamine which affect each other in ways in which scientists are still trying to understand. and it's not all chemical timing either. you can also reverse engineer
without any hormones at all. researchers in labs are also studying how mice can become maternal if you expose them in to supervise way for about a week or given enough exposure and once hostile female starts to respond to the pops. studies suggest that her brain is altered informing accordingly gaining new receptors in their areas. the inch maternal and >> can see is a latent potential in every brained even male brained that what then write nurse and make grown this may be a little bit like what happens naturally with adoptive mothers. scientists are also pretty sure that they found what they call a central site of maternal behavior in rats called them -- this deep down part of the brain receives lots of sensory
information like the ears and nose and rewards hotspots in the brain. this is really important. new mother rats are so motivated as mother's day you can render them unable to see, hear or taste and they will still continue to care for their pops but if you'd disable that area of their brain the moms will stop feeding their pops. we assume a similar symmetry is involved in human moms only talk about and respond to baby genes but for you and me we aren't allowed to dissect mom brains and furthermore human moms are brains are larger and more complicated. scientists use a different set of tools to study humans for these noninvasive imaging tools
like fmr a high to watch a moms blog blood is moving around inside of your skull and this includes specific rain parts and electroencephalogram studies which measure electrical readings as neurons fire back. the eeg cat is not something i had around my house but i was able to try one out when i volunteered for mom experiments in the third trimester of my fourth pregnancy last year. that was one of the last things that i did in the winter of 2020 before the pandemic lockdown began. even though to different set the human experiments are -- much like they do with rats. scientists expose human women mothers and non-mothers and sometimes dabbed to stimuli like baby faces and watch what happens next. in one experiment i looked at a
bunch of faces of happy and angry babies are the upside is moms are spawned differently than other people do including our former self before we became a mom and if you hear a baby cry hours brains respond and we see slightly different parts of the brain as well. we have stronger reactions to crying or screens. leave are more responsive to cries of pain and of course their major differences in human moms in rat moms for the rodent moms all babies are beautiful but for human moms and some other animals especially herd animals like sheep and crowded and chaotic 20s and knott's underground burrow we are especially responsive to our own
babies. we need to to build a tell these apart so we don't waste our energy on someone else's kid. the human mother must recognize her own infant site smell and sound very quickly. this happens almost instantaneously and scientists have a tough time mixing up perfumes once they can have their baby scent memories. in humans is burning is a bit slower maybe taking a day or so but help and -- it happens. women in a credit maternity ward learned within 48 hours to wait for the sound of their babies cry only and to sleep through the cry of the other is creaming neonates. scientists call this a turn
awakening an affinity for and responsiveness to in pink use sensitization. inside her brain that chemical system in childbirth than that patient or changing away our genes are stressed causing new receptors so that different zones are wired together. our infant has become the star of our universe and the most fascinating thing in the world way better than the circuit. other things going on as well. scientists have noted and motherhood women like many mammals undergo a dampening of our stress responses. we stay cool and collective during stressful events outside the lab buy real-life earthquake. after the big one in california scientist looked at their pregnant subject and find out they reported less stress and in the lab new moms don't as many
hormones as other people do would getting her hands in ice water shown a scary picture. this likely helps moms focus on the baby when under duress and maybe to allow us to stay hidden from predators and facilitate rescue -- that involves sitting for many hours on end. clinically this anxiety is coupled with maternal -- the newfound awareness of our environment including aspects like colors and sounds and especially strangers faces come anything that might pose a threat. the combination of a chilled out state of mind and environmental hyperawareness and everybody's favorite mom behavior. i miss mom will attack up there in the squirrel mom will chase a
rattlesnake. i watched a line is chased down a pack of wild hyenas to savor cubs and the predators ran away. although linus had to do was give them the eye. we all run afoul of an angry mom at one time or another. mother calves sometimes kill a human walker sometimes even the company by dog. rat scientists found they can stop moms by disabling certain oxytocin receiving areas of the maternal brain and by giving extra to human moms you can enhance aggressive behavior when moms are confronted with a stranger in the lab.
another favorite topic of mom's brain moms in the course is undergoing a brain transformation. the short answer is not really. moms get better at certain tasks like -- but with new mothers are reporting an worthy of her attention is a bit different. new moms give up something like 700 hours in the first year alone but there does seem to be a mom effect in matters of recall. moms aren't quite as good at remembering words and maybe this is because avril cat there is as important when you have a 3-month-old infant. interestingly tests mothers of three may be worse at verbal recall than first-timers as a mother for the middle of writing up look this is very bad news to receive.
on the bright side the differences between mothers of one and experience mothers of multiple children are some of the best ever that there is a permanent -- in humans and with the rap moms they do better than first-time moms too. after looking at all these comment threads of mothers of all species not to mention you and me it's interesting to consider our differences as well. to me the striking differences among human moms are just as interesting as our common responses. moms are not robots. we are real people with personalities and all of this factors into the mothers that we become. culture is one huge and obvious aspect of this for the maternal instinct is that the car -- at the core rather than any one
specific mothering behavior we know this because it varies so widely across the globe there certain animals like rabbits that have too rigid -- ritualistically make a nest and eight tear out there for and if you don't let them do this they won't take care of their babies. if you take away my windex i'm still going to carry on and be a mom. they are only a few patterns. that's indicated by goebbels like climate and what mothers out to be doing with their downtime. in some cultures the official term for cube baby talk mother doesn't really -- we for
different durations are not at all. you make eye contact. our unconscious tendency to hold babies on her lap a special in their first few months of life. this is actually common across mammals of any type. new mothers remain with the baby on the left than one study russian scientists saw mothers and their babies. flying foxes hang out in tree branches in sri lanka. this has to do with the latter is rain and how we perceive our baby stayed and emotion couldn't humans holding on the left made
better use information on the right side of the mother's brain where information is processed. also the more expressive left side. i find it literally impossible to hold a baby on my right side or to change a diaper on the record my husband and i have countless discussions about why this might be before he learned about the left side side of cradling side and while certainly women can hold their babies however they want scientists are finding a preliminary link between right holding -- one way they study this is by giving moms photo albums. the very primitive behavior to moms on the same american block can have three different -- and those cans of women's brains before and after pregnancy
scientists found that not all women change to the same degree. a larger change in gray matter predicted a stronger degree of attachment to the baby after birth. in short they can use the moms brain scans to forecast behavior. i found this both fascinating and troubling credit became interested in some of the variables that influence way you are the type of mother that you are and why i am the type of mother that i am. how do you stress front women from all kinds of backgrounds that these are just interesting factors to consider. one type of study that come aye-aye early on, each test given to women with the gene that codes for -- turned out to be a more sensitive mother. i went to lab where scientists involved mothers and babies.
these all sorts of analytical tools take you mother some socio- but -- different scioscia uneconomic backgrounds. in this living room like space their second by second video coding scrutinizing moms interactions in a brain specific way. somewhere the familiar things come into play in these experiments. while mother and father interact in the lab playing dress-up putting on a friendly costume and entering the room to surprise the mother and the child but sometimes the researchers send in a remote controlled car disguised as a giant harry spider. then a setback for four much of the mother and child react. these experiments are designed to slightly rattled the kid but not the mom so she can help the
kid. some moms ignore the kid others overreact and there's everything in between. encoders are touring the moms every move. in the lab collects simple genetic analysis to see if having one type or another predict their behavior. reading these experiments i set my gut very worried that i would have to get my own brain tested to see if i had the sensitive mommy or the sensitive mommy gene. it turns out this work is still in its infancy. researchers have found unique relationships between variants and real-world maternal behavior. that's not to say that genes aren't important. in fact lifestyle scientists are at work now trying to breed
supermom and cows as alarming as that sounds but for animals and humans is not a simple as a good mom gene story and dna is only one poorly understand part of what we see. moms environment is much more established an ed study -- it easy to study. i'm just going to list a few circumstantial factors minor and major attempt implants maternal behavior in various degrees. so do the mom babysit as a kid? how old is she? did she bottler? did she have a c-section or a natural birth and was an unusually painful delivery did you have a boy or girl and how much money is in her bank account? did she work the late shift
issue single and is a diet include a lot of this? speaking of diet there's another study when and make it an the importance of moms broader social world to wales which is a rare animal that has grandmother involvement. there is some evidence that she's meddling in your parenting anyway. the mothers childhood relationship with her on mom can shape her behavior in different ways for turns out that women who have good relationships with their moms may have more gray matter in certain areas of their brains and mothering one study shows previous women seem seem to respond more sharply to pictures of their kids. is this because maternal behavior runs in families? scientist have done longitudinal studies over 30 years following the same families over more than
a generation and subject to start out as young kids grow update become moms for the up and act like their own mom used to. what defines these patterns? there's obviously some genetic component that scientists have also explored other very interesting alternative expert testimony. lab animals like lab rats and they switch around the mother baby pairs of animal mothers get mothers are related to them. turns out that the young grow up to act like their adoptive mother not the biological mother. it appears the relationship is at least in part transmitted through experience rather than inheritance. it's possible that the physical interaction may lead to the enhanced expression of certain genes and that in turn leads to sensitivity of hormones and brain growth or the same genes
might be silenced from early life experiences. to the extent it's not the genes they have that matter it's how they get turned on or off by the nurturing you receive. on the opposite end of the spectrum moms are also affected by their children. quite simply children may account for differences in mothers but i know that my kids have reacted differently which in turn would affect my behavior. for a long time researchers by pregnant women's level of arousal -- so if mom gets startled the baby will sense that in stargel. but then scientist at johns hopkins university notice that the pattern ran the other way to refuse a stimulating the mother.
the scientist use some of our brave favorite materials how corn kernels and -- they put gel maps and noise canceling cat phones on the pregnant women so they couldn't hear or see. the scientist then snuck up on the pregnant women with two bowls of popcorn kernels which they rattled right of other pregnant valley. this triggered a response in the mother changing their heart rate. of course some fetuses are more sensitive and reactive than others. scientists are investigating how the unborn may be preparing their mothers for an actor for a calm child. there are many other aspects including child looks and a powerful because cuteness and intelligence and other factors.
for example moms make slightly more milk has opposed to girls one study found. the milk production seems common across animals. you can make a greater volume of milk for your daughter which is probably something farmers like but there's a larger primates were mother and babies find themselves mothers social construct are vitally important. to study these influences scientists often used which have complex relationships that are more like ours. marshmallows are a favorite monkey food as well as a favorite kids food i have found. the lab at the research center with its huge paddock full of was a little area because the
flies look at like the hollows lights you see at playgrounds and don't forget pumpkin for halloween just like our families do. scientists watch these monkey moms multiple times are we keeping pets -- tabs on her behavior. a dent that certain factors on how i'm other acts. in proximity to her own mother and other female relatives even though they don't go through them retain cordial relationships with their own mom just from having her in the same enclosure. and let me point out in humans the importance of the maternal grandma might just be a global concept that rivals by disparate cultures all over the globe maternal grandmothers use their mothers help in the postpartum period enough for social support
words stop health problems including postpartum depression. other variable is the social status. issued alpha female at the top of the hierarchy are the bottom? it may make them more confident or anxious in handling her baby and trains the stress chemicals and herb loudermilk. hierarchical differences like income equality are sometimes associated with postpartum depression. access to resources like food is another big difference and another monkey lab in new york state scientists used a device can call the variable -- take test our their access to resources and maternal behavior. this contraption looks a little bit like a bevers service card on an airplane but it has a bunch of holes on the side for to reach their hands and feel for food. this piece of hailes
rationalized equipment did look like it might be handy to have around the house like goldfish crackers and things like that. anyway in scientists experiment it's easy to find and sometimes it's hard to find. all the moms and experience get enough food to eat back in the ones with the hard to find food are mothers that -- but some of the moms don't know whether they will get one and among these moms want to experience chronically uncertain conditions and never knew what kind of food they would be getting from week to week the maternal behavior tents to disintegrate and their baby sustained physiological damage. for human moms research is dangerous and economics can have
impact on maternal mental health and behavior. events like economic downturns can lead to miscarriage low birthweight babies and even unexpected decreases and sudden infant death syndrome. adverse conditions like stress and poverty and simple things like diaper shortages can be a contributor to postpartum depression. some scientists think postpartum depression is a way of distancing a mom from her baby so she can move on emotionally and survive until conditions improve and she can pass it on to another baby. it's scary to contemplate but the good news is we have a lot of collective control over arm bar meant. we can make the world better for mothers. scientists are developing the postpartum depression medications and i visited her lab at columbia university where they study therapy.
that's how i ended up getting meditation tapes and getting a baby lotion massage all in the name of science. maybe you could volunteer for an experiment like this one. some show primary evidence that tools can change the mother's response baby cues. but really the best thing to do is to enhance the maternal natural environment by increasing their feelings of economic and social stability. sound hard? it is that support for mothers are one reason why postpartum rates vary and countries. improved health and sanitation policies and have cut down at the death and the
hyperinvestment. to strategy that we see on the playground today. in a pandemic we have seen maternal cues and how dangerous loneliness can be for young mothers. mothers with financial health care policies, and some countries offer nursing services for mothers. one study found maternity leave correlated with the amount of angst -- anti-anxiety medications at of new mothers needed possibly because the mothers felt supported. we didn't use the measurable reality of the maternal instinct as an excuse to leave new mothers high and dry and we assume that mother nature will take everything and mom survived against all kinds of laws for
the maternal instinct is real but it's a process and like a lot of the plastic stuff we have lying around their houses it can bend and eventually break. thank you. >> thank you abby. that was very interesting. i don't know if everyone heard me say if you have questions you should type them in the q&a. please ask any questions that you have. no open questions. how hard was it to write this? [laughter] >> they are for kids threw a wrench into things sometimes but
i have the good fortune of living in connecticut near yale university considered a hub for a lot of these kinds of experiments. the center is the global authority of this kind of fork and that made it possible for me to meet up with some of these moms who were going into the lab and to watch them in byron which would have been hard to do and another thing is moms who are serious about this with covid restrictions lifting that yell will be looking for moms that can go on to the lab which is really one of the best things we can do as moms and humans because these experience --
experiments are super interesting that you have to make the effort. >> would the was in the q&a. a comment. this is absolute fascinating and so affirming. >> thank you. i found it all to be super interesting and it struck me. i had two children when i first heard about the fact that there was developmental change involved with motherhood and i really was kind of floored and the more i learned the more interesting at god. i continue to learn fascinating things as new papers would come out and thinks it that muntu been told even in their visits
being pregnant with a boy is different. i didn't realize having boys comes with a lot of extra help from mom and there's arise women who are pregnant with boys or sliding more likely to have postpartum depression and there's even more fact-finding research about the environment like we were talking about in which a mother finds herself can load the dice for whether or not you have a boy or girl in the first place. they used to be a 50/50 proposition or roll of the dice that there's well-established evidence shows that women who are really stressed out or go through stressful events are
more likely to have girls. for example after 9/11 notches in the new york area but nationally there was a dip in the number of male births nine months after 9/11 and that's actually a very common thing. and again --. >> how much do fathers bring to change during pregnancy and after the birth of child? >> that's a really good question. in the study that i was talking about where they measured pregnant women's rains before they became mothers and after birth and a few years after that they were able to develop an algorithm that could spot moms based on brain scans alone in that algorithm was not able to
spot the bad. the change is not exactly the same and it's a lot more variable. so basically dad can go all the way from not at all if they are having contact with the mother of their child and the baby they don't change in the same way that a mom will all the way to the other end of the spectrum where there have been studies on to father households word dads rains can start to resemble mothers brained if they are given the primary responsibility for the infant and there's reverse engineering that goes on. even though the dad didn't necessarily get earth did this child with intense exposure to the child that maternal instinct deep within the brain starts to grow. i think a lot of the differences that we perceive in the way moms
and dads think have to do with the amount of exposure that as a dad you have to do baby and for those reasons there are a lot of similarities there but that said there are differences that i don't think experience can account for like the fascinating field of research on -- when the fetus' cells cross the placenta into the mother's body and embed becoming part of her heart tissue or her liver tissue and there's a lot of debate about what these cells are doing in your body but they found that the cells can also make it all the way across the barrier of the brain and become neurons. so in moms cells you have the cells of our children and maybe even all for and that's not
something that dads have. they can be equally profound that they are not identical experiences. >> you remember how anderson cooper was so upset that his old baby son started to walk and he didn't see it in his partner didn't tell him. c that's a fail. c the conclusion mothers need social support structures seems obvious. are you aware of any public policy measures coming out the study that would improve -- and the u.s.? it does seem obvious doesn't it ended shocking to me to learn the amount of social support -- i mean i knew europe has quote unquote better social support what -- but i didn't realize if you have a baby and some european countries they will do
things like help you for a week to take care of the new baby and your other children and all kinds of stuff and in australia they have nurses that will keep tabs on new moms for years. and america you get this one measly postpartum visit and you drop off the face of the earth and then it he comes the pediatrician centric kind of thing. they are big extensive measures like that but there is a fascinating study done that yell that shows the number one environmental factor that correlated with depression in new mothers was the lack of access to disposable diapers and so wasn't like food insecurity or relationship stress. it was just very simple things that these women were stressed
out because they didn't know where the diapers were coming from and they were all sorts of barriers to getting diapers if you are somebody living in poverty. to me that is a measure that is crying out for some kind of public action. postpartum depression and maternal substance abuse are all devastating and we can use this research to head some of these problems often dip them in the bud not only is it the right thing to do but it's also the economical thing to do. >> the next question, i'm an antenna step mom but have no children of my own. off topic what year did you graduate? i was glad to say that here you say some things can be triggered in a -- mom.
>> i'm and 98 graduate and jim: it depends on how mammals who have not physically given birth and change and develop a maternal capacity as some of the most inspiring research that i came across and how it goes on in these months. they found given enough time foster moms and adoptive moms start to physiologically respond to their babies much like biological moms do so that is sort of the fascinating thing and the other thing that i kind of loved was this idea that the importance of nurturing early infancy.
the idea that any child that you'd take care of her choose to have her relationship with whether or not they are related to you by blood you are molding that child is a future mother and arguably generations of mothers just by that one caring relationship. i think that study and adoptive moms is one of the coolest things. some of some of the connections between socioeconomic status and postpartum anxiety disorders make a lot of sense. were there any connections to findings that really surprised you? >> i was really surprised that there's a public health scholar in california who studies the relationship between economic downturns and sudden infant death syndrome and i was really shocked and by that.
i can't remember exactly the statistics. it's something like a small drop in the economy with a vibrant 8% number of babies that die and i were shocked by that i was also shocked by how a military baby -- would lead to uptick in premature births in that area. i guess i wasn't quite as aware were tuned into the environment that moms really are and we are constantly absorbing and responding to these cues in ways that are not always to us on the outside, they are not always happy stories i should say.
>> another comment behavioral psychology is a study using mice in this person studied psychology. you discuss her mom's experience experience -- a knott. >> loss of sleep? i don't think it's underestimated. when we are talking about -- and it's a very hot topic this idea of new moms losing cognitive capacity when they have children and it's a very dangerous topic in a way. i'm not sure if i said this in the talk but what of the cool things about writing is so many of their researchers are on the cutting-edge of this work and our young mothers and even pregnant women and their making humongous strides in science and
publishing all the time and working around-the-clock and certainly are not losing their marbles or their ability to string a few words together but that said this idea of whether or not there is the cognitive deficit in areas related to memory and verbal recall is something that scientists go back and forth about a lot still and the study supported each other. somebody did a study of i think it was a meta-analysis of 20 studies where they crunch the numbers and the said yeah moms are losing some verbal recall and whether the cause is sleep or less gray matter that they see on their brain scans i'm not exactly sure why but i think
it's definitely something that is begging for more research and also one of the data points in why moms need social support so much because really it's easy to get frustrated and you push yourself too far and if somebody steps in and helps you then you can see your resistance for stuff that only you can really do. >> let's see. what are some of your favorite motherhood books that you have read on your journey? >> oh gosh. on the light side i love -- my favorite ones are battle hymn of
the tiger mother. they pack a lot of punch. the idea of culture and parenting is something that i was very interested in and i know that pamela zuckerman points out that in france the parenting advice is still taken very seriously and she finds out all five of his children ended up in orphanages. i found that to be a really kind of fascinating point that here we have today emily oscar who i know i i'm like very much but in france they are reading other attacks not just about parenting philosophy but aspects of national policy. there are other books that tend
to take you out of the american parenting mode and make you think about what it would be like to parent not just in a place that is kind of familiar trust like france but in a place where research really is scarce and mothers are constantly dealing with unthinkable and hellacious situations. is it took called death without -- which is about life but also a lot about mothering and parts of brazil and is just stunning to imagine the things that people endure routinely and somehow we are told to endure but that don't seem to be in our modern privileged mom times.
>> here's a nice comment. these are important studies. the research is fascinating in hopefully you will continue to be financially supported. does anyone have any more questions or comments? okay then thank you so much abigail tucker. and thank you everyone for coming and thank you very much to books on common for sponsoring this program. her next program will be august august 11 and veterinarians melissa shapiro talks about a dog named david who is poor and deaf and blind and has for millions to graham followers. i wish that i had copy of the book to hold up and i do not guess i just started its library but you can purchase abigail's book you can purchase this book "mom
genes" from books on the common. thank you so much, abigail. that was really interesting. >> thank you. >> good night. >> good night. >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv document america's stories and on sundays booktv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. .. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications along with these television comedy support c-span2 is a public service.