- Neuroscientists are not yet sure what causes it
- Mothers-to-be are most likely to be affected in their last trimester
- Memory lapses and problems planning are mild and mostly unnoticeable to others
Researchers at Deakin University, reports Associate Professor Linda Byrne, undertook a meta-analysis of 20 studies involving more than 1,200 women. They found overall cognitive functioning was poorer in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women.
Common issues were attention to detail, planning and problem solving and were mostly minor such as forgetting to book an appointment, leaving car keys in a restaurant or forgetting where the car was parked in a supermarket.
In another study, it was discovered that structural changes in the brain were caused by pregnancy could last for at least two years.
‘Like the brain equivalent of defragging your computer, it appears grey matter shrinks during pregnancy as the neural networks become more specialised in areas involved in processing and responding to social signals.This neural disk clean-up would then, as an example, allow new mothers to better identify and respond to their infant’s needs or react to external threats. The hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory, also loses volume.’ ABC News, 2017
After two years, however, the good news is that the hippocampus had recovered its full volume.
How to Help ‘Baby Brain’?
Say ‘NO’ when you need to – you can’t do everything!
Put items you always need in the same place – somewhere visible, like a bowl on the kitchen table or worktop.
When you make an appointment, add it to your calendar straight away.
Make task lists and tick them off when they’re done.
- Try to simplify your life. You don’t have to decorate right now, or clear out every cupboard before your baby arrives. This sort of self-imposed stress can lead to forgetting things.
Above all, be kind to yourself.
Here are some excellent tips from babycentre.co.uk
take a long bath
have a swim
enjoy a leisurely dinner with your partner
put your feet up with a good book
rest and listen to a pregnancy relaxation podcast
Have you a story to share? Please leave a comment to help others.