The perinatal period represents a unique window of opportunity in the brains of both the parent and the newborn.
Not only are newborn brains growing at an astounding rate, but they also arrive hard-wired for relationship readiness. In the first few days of life, newborns are already able to imitate caregiver facial gestures and distinguish their mother’s breast pad from another’s by smell alone. Additionally, researchers have shown that all parents’ brains change and develop during the transition to parenthood. It is not only the pregnant person whose brain changes, hormonal and neurological changes occur in partners as well, regardless of gender. These cascading changes mean that parents’ brains are uniquely open to substantive changes in behavior, thinking, motivation, and patterns during the first weeks and months of an infant’s life.