The truth behind your pregnancy brain

“The casserole needs more carrots, and… Oh, what did I do with my car keys?” Sorry, what?

Does this sound familiar to you? Welcome to the world of pregnancy forgetfulness, one of the few joys of pregnancy your doctor didn’t warn you about. If you lately have a tendency to forget names, phone numbers, and even your address, you most like have what other mummies call a “pregnancy brain”.

You might have even heard that feeling like a ditsy airhead is part of being pregnant, but is pregnancy forgetfulness a real and accepted phenomenon? Actually, this pregnancy-induced fog in a very real hallmark of the life you are carrying inside you. You will forget everything from why you walked into the store to where you left your purse and everything in between.

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Doctors and mummies refer to this pregnancy forgetfulness as “mumnesia,” so at least you know the situation is extremely common, completely normal, and thankfully, also temporary.

What causes pregnancy brain?

Typical during a pregnancy, your hormones are just having some fun at your expense. Recent studies in Britain have shown that these same pregnancy hormones can affect spatial memory – the part of your brain that is responsible for remembering where things are.

Aside from the obvious hormonal influence, being pregnant will reshuffle your priorities. While your IQ doesn’t actually change, what captures your attention does. Think of your brain having only so much shelf space – your impending motherhood takes up most of it.

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Many new mummies also complain about intense fatigue, especially in the first trimester, and being overly tired will not win any favours to combat pregnancy forgetfulness.

What can you do about it?

There is not much you can do to prevent pregnancy forgetfulness, but there are a few life-hacker techniques that will make it easier on you. Don’t be too hard on yourself during this time, and rely on your sense of humour to see you through. It will make for great stories one day, and before you know it, you will have total recall again.

  • Reduce the amount of things you need to remember by reducing your responsibilities. It might sound easier said than done, but as far as possible, delegate a few less important jobs to others.

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  • Commit it to paper. Pen down all the vital bits you need to remember, and leave big bright notes in obvious places. There is not point to jot it down in a notebook, since you will just forget where you put said notebook.
  • Use the technology at your disposal. Aside from sticky notes, use your cell phone / tablet to keep your daily life more organised.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Stress only aids in pregnancy forgetfulness, and really, who cares if you left your phone in the freezer.
  • If you are having trouble remembering things; try slowing down and practice visualization. Getting tripped up on a phone number? Imagine the sequence in which you dialed the numbers, and you will be surprised at how being calm can help to fire up those neutrons again.
  • Sleep is best remedy for mumnesia, so try to get as much as you can, as often as you can. A foggy brain is not running at full capacity, and you will need your wits about one once the little one makes his first appearance.

Forgetfulness is not a problem in itself, but if you are really feeling out of sorts and overwhelmed, discuss these feelings with your caregiver.

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Source: Pregnancy Brain: Myth or Reality?