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It's in the brain, dads are wired to be as nurturing as mothers
According to science, the paternal brain is every bit as nurturing as its maternal counterpart. Here's how a man's brain changes after fatherhood.
Dads are not "babysitters"! (iStock)
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Somehow, most of what we've been exposed to about parenting, whether movies, television or any other media, has mainly revolved around women. 

Sure, women carry and birth the baby but without our male counterparts, creating life wouldn't be possible. 

Society might also play a part, since mothers are viewed as having an automatic natural inclination for bonding with and caring for their babies, which kicks in during pregnancy (although this is not always the case for all women), while fathers have been allowed to occupy a more distant, even an acceptably negligent, bread-winning role. 

But more and more research into the many ways parenting impacts men have been conducted and is slowly chipping away at this stereotype, revealing the unseen changes men undergo when becoming a father.

Men can be nurturing

These findings prove that men are not only very much capable of being nurturing and caregiving figures for their children, their brains are hardwired for it


Did taking care of your first baby come naturally to you as a father or did it take a while to get the hang of things? Tell us your story by emailing to chatback@parent24.com and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.  


Men can be nurturing

    Engaging the 'parental caregiving network' in the brain 

    Through experimentation, researchers at the Oregon State University's School of Psychological Science found that "fathers’ brains are malleable and can adapt to different parental roles."

    While watching previously recorded footage of loving interactions with their infants, both primary caregiving mothers and fathers were hooked up to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to determine which parts of the brain became activated. 

    After viewing their scans, experts found that the same parts of the brain were activated for both mothers and fathers, and includes the areas responsible for emotions (the amygdala and ventral tegmental area) and analysis (the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus).  

    Researchers dubbed this the "parental caregiving network". 

    Men can be nurturing

    For the School of Psychological Science researchers, the key aspect to these areas being activated was the amount of time a parent spent with an infant, as well as the caretaking activities carried out by a parent, essentially proposing that hands-on experience is what makes a parent, a parent, regardless of gender. 

    Did taking care of your first baby come naturally to you as a father or did it take a while to get the hang of things? Tell us your story by emailing to chatback@parent24.com and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.

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