If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ve probably blamed everything from misplacing the remote to forgetting your sister-in-law’s name on “pregnancy brain.” If you’ve never been pregnant, you’ve probably rolled your eyes at that excuse.
If you fall in the latter camp, you owe your mom friends an apology. That’s because a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience just confirmed not only that pregnancy brain is real, but also that it might last for up to two years after a pregnancy.
The study, which followed 25 women in their 30s in Spain over five years, found that making another human being changes the size and structure of parts of the brain that deal with perceiving feelings and empathy. What’s more, most of these changes remained for up to two years.
Another strange slash sweet detail? Scientists also found that the more gray matter a woman lost, the more emotionally attached to her baby she tended to be.
So the next time your pregnant pal flakes on your dinner date, cut her some slack—it’s the baby’s fault.