Have you been feeling like you’re losing your mind lately? Are you placing items down but can’t seem to find them? Are you forgetting those important appointments?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be wondering if you have that thing they call pregnancy brain! We conducted a bit of research on what some people call “Momnesia, ” and this is what we found.[toc]
What is pregnancy brain?
Pregnancy brain, also called “baby brain,” is when you feel like you have forgetfulness or temporary memory loss during pregnancy and after pregnancy. However, pregnancy brain studies to date have been limited and don’t provide hard evidence that pregnant women suffer from memory loss.
A particular study from the British Journal of Psychiatry explains that women did show signs of memory loss but only in their third trimester. The Hormones Matter website states that the fluctuating pregnancy hormones can lead to those memory problems.
Other contributing factors that lead to pregnancy and post-natal brain fog include:
- Lack of Sleep
- Morning sickness and just feeling unwell
- Stress or anxiousness
- Poor eating habits or not staying hydrated
What does pregnancy brain feel like?
Here are some examples that you may be able to relate to:
- You leave the house and start driving down the road and suddenly think, “Did I close the front door” or “Did I turn the oven off?”
- As you arrive home, you place your keys down in the same spot every day – yet all of a sudden you forget where that was.
- You’ve booked a vet appointment for your dog and realize one hour after you were meant to be there that you’ve missed the appointment!
- You head to a particular room on a mission but when you arrive there, you wonder what it was that you needed to do.
I think you get the idea!
When does pregnancy brain start?
For most of us, it can start anywhere and at anytime! It seems, though, that the moment we pee on the stick and get a positive pregnancy result that good ole brain fog sets in and we start forgetting stuff left, right, and center! Trust me you will know when it starts.
How to cure pregnancy brain or at least try to prevent it?
Some moms get maternal amnesia (yup another name for it), and some moms don’t. This could simply be due to their lifestyle, but there are ways to help prevent pregnancy brain. Here are some tips:
As I’m sure you are well aware, sleep is so important in helping us rejuvenate and refresh ourselves. You need to ensure you are getting a good amount of sleep. Your body is working hard growing a baby!
Try going to bed earlier to see if this helps. If you struggle to get to sleep at night, set your alarm for around 8.30pm to start a bedtime wind-down routine. Your routine could involve:
- A shower or bath
- Listening to calming music
- Popping on your comfiest PJs and settling into bed with an enjoyable book
Using electronic devices before bed is not the best idea. It sometimes does not allow you to fully relax. Therefore, it may be wise to keep them switched off once your bedtime routine alarm goes off.
Take a nap during the day
If you get a spare hour to yourself during the day, try taking a short nap to recharge and get you through the rest of the day. Having a quick nap is great especially if you are feeling fatigued after lunch. Just don’t nap for too long or you will find it difficult to get to sleep at night.
Try different relaxation techniques to fight that brain fog. Listening to calming music, going for a walk, taking a warm bath, or enjoying a peaceful pregnancy massage are all great ways to relax.
Write a to-do list for the day
If you feel that you forget to do things during the day, write a to-do list either the night before or in the morning. This way you can tick off each item as you do them and won’t be left wondering what you have forgotten.
Keep a journal
Keeping a journal with you at all times is a wonderful way to help prevent momnesia. Regardless of where you are, if you think of something to do or items you don’t want to forget, pull out your journal and jot it down.
Get some help
If you’re feeling like everything is getting on top of you and this is contributing to your pregnancy brain then seek some help. It may only be for a few hours a week, but it might just do the trick to ease that brain fog. Share the workload with your spouse or partner. Have children? Arrange a babysitter every so often or get your partner to take them out so you have time to relax or catch up on chores. If you can afford it, get a profesional house cleaker every once in a while to take care of those big jobs around the house.
Eating a healthy diet (which consists of nutrient-dense food necessary to build an entirely new human body) will help fight off that sluggish feeling. Look at your diet and see if you can make some changes to it. Beautiful Babies is an excellent guidebook to learn about foods necessary for pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Drinking plenty of fluids during the day will also help that baby brain. If drinking your recommended daily amount is tough, try adding fruit to infuse it and give it some flavor.
Talk about it
Make sure you talk about things with your spouse, partner or a good friend. Talking this through with someone you trust can help you to feel so much better which in return may ease that annoying pregnancy brain!
What about memory loss during childbirth or postpartum…is there such a thing?
Some women find that they suffer memory loss during childbirth. However, this could be due to the excitement, anticipation, and anxiety we feel during this special event.
After the baby’s born, moms find they still have brain fog for months to come. Factors that contribute to this could include:
- Lack of sleep
- Fluctuating hormones
- Not eating enough good, nutritious foods or staying hydrated
The Hormones Matter website states that as your hormones stabilize then so does your momnesia! Trying the tips mentioned above may just help relieve it!
No need to worry
The majority of expectant moms will at some stage experience pregnancy brain. If you feel brain fog is taking over your life, then step back and take a look at your lifestyle and try and make changes where necessary.
Remember that your body is putting in a lot of energy and effort to support your pregnancy so go easy on yourself. Nourish your body well, get extra rest, and remember – pregnancy brain will soon be a distant memory!
The British Journal of Psych
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