Mommy Brain: Does Pregnancy Really Make You Forgetful?

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pregnant-wore-out-by-bubblesandbugs.jpg Many claim that absentmindedness and forgetfulness during pregnancy are, indeed, very real!

This condition is commonly referred to as:

Soon into your pregnancy, don’t be surprised if you feel foggy-brained and forgetful. You may find yourself misplacing your purse, forgetting to return phone calls, or going off to fetch something only to discover you have forgotten what you are looking for. At work, you may catch yourself daydreaming through meetings or staring out the window rather than completing that report. Source

 

Following are some thoughts about mommy brain from both sides of the fence — the naysayers who say pregnancy brain doesn’t exist, as well as some mothers who say they have experienced it firsthand themselves.

 

Why Pregnancy Brain Happens

There are several theories as to why forgetfulness during pregnancy happens.

Some believe it is hormone changes during pregnancy which cause it. Others feel it could be the result of an iron deficiency.

Whatever the reason, mommy brain can last for 2 years after the baby is born.

Here’s a poem about mommy brain.

 

Those Who Say That Mommy Brain Doesn’t Exist

Not all agree that mommy brain exists.

According to a survey at the Australian National University, pregnancy brain is a myth.

The findings contradict previous studies and the commonly held belief that pregnancy can damage a woman’s cognitive functions. Helen Christensen, who led the research team, said: “We found no effects of pregnancy on cognitive capacity and motherhood also had no detrimental effects.”  Source

Yet, the myth lives on…

Here’s a funny story: Heidi Klum’s Cheeto-Fueled Pregnancy Brain.

 

Those Who Say That Mommy Brain Does Exist

the-mommy-brain-book-by-katherine-ellison.jpg A CNN article used the Australian study mentioned above to report that there is, in fact, a subtle memory loss that occurs when a women is pregnant. The report shows that during pregnancy there are some very obvious small effects.

For example, a pregnant woman is more likely to forget a new telephone number, but she is able to recall a number she has dialed many times before.  Source

On Oprah, Dr. Oz mentioned there was support that pregnant women do often experience absentmindedness and memory loss.

He showed real models of a man’s brain and a pregnant woman’s brain. He showed how a woman’s brain was smaller, but had deeper grooves than a man’s brain. He also explained that a baby will rob the fat it needs to grow and develop from the mother, even if it means some of that fat comes from her brain.

 

How Do Pregnant Moms Feel About Mommy Brain?

I keep hearing these tales of the pregnancy brain, that because you are pregnant you are prone to forget-fullness, etc. and whims of wacky behavior … And then … it happened!  — Lauren

Lauren continues by telling about the time she got all the way to the bus stop only to realize that she didn’t have her wallet and bus pass. She got home and decided to drive, but couldn’t park where she usually does, so she ended up walking — only she ended up walking in circles because of more mental confusion.

 

My 1st sign that I was pregnant with #2 happened about 2 months ago when I was at work talking to another psychologist. I was trying to ask her about 2 students that I’d known very well for years and years and I suddenly had NO IDEA what their names were. It was almost scary how blank my mi
nd was, and I realized that it was not normal, and I must be pregnant. Sure enough! My first sign that I was pregnant with #2 happened about 2 months ago when I was at work talking to another psychologist. I was trying to ask her about 2 students that I’d known very well for years and years and I suddenly had NO IDEA what their names were. It was almost scary how blank my mind was, and I realized that it was not normal, and I must be pregnant. Sure enough. — Melissa

Melissa also tells a story about how she accidentally put her mom’s roll-on menthol under her arms instead of deodorant.

 

My hairdresser once said to me, “Can I please dye your hair blond so you’ll have an excuse?” (an excuse for being so air-headed, that is!)  — Sarah

frazzled-by-Barbarellaa.jpg

 

 

My $.02

Even with these charming stories, I have my doubts as to the validity of absentmindedness during pregnancy.

I don’t remember a single time when I was more spacey than usual because I was pregnant. I was more demanding, more needy, more pushy, and even more mean, but not more forgetful. On the other hand, my husband was definitely more frazzled and absent minded during my pregnancy!

Maybe pregnancy brain is more about having anxiety over the pregnancy than the state of the brain.


What do you think? Does mommy brain really exist?…

 

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