Here you are pregnant, will be soon be caring for a newborn infant who will keep you awake all night long and you cannot even remember where you left your car keys or to pay a bill on time. Your brain feels like mush, you are forgetful, a bit emotional, and seem to have a much harder time remembering simple things and getting through your day than ever before. Is this early Alzheimer’s or pregnancy brain?
So, here’s the scoop. The reality is that on a completely medical and physiological level the capacity of your brain remains unchanged during pregnancy. You are still smart as a whip, and sharp as a tack. So what is up with all this forgetfulness, then? According to experts from The Australian National University, the problem is surging hormone levels during pregnancy.
When you are pregnant your body has 15 to 40 times more estrogen and progesterone than normal, which affect all kinds of neurotransmitters in the brain. Not only that, but increases in oxytocin that prepare you for labor and delivery also affect your brain’s ability to function normally. Add some lack of sleep, the generalized worries of pregnancy and childbirth, and increased stress levels (and more stress hormones) and it is only natural and normal for you to feel like a complete idiot suffering from the inability to remember anything.
Another factor is that your focus – or your priorities – change. Chances are you are spending more and more time thinking about your baby and the changes that you will be making in your life. This too, is natural and is the first transition in a long line of changes that occur once you become a parent. Since you are more focused on all things baby, it is only natural to lose retention of some of the other less important aspects of your life.
The good news, however, is that once you have the baby and hormones level off, you will feel better. The bad news, of course, is that parenting in and of itself can turn the brain of any man or woman to mush – and you are looking at many years of changed focus, worry, lack of sleep, and stress that will certainly at times incapacitate your ability to think clearly. Welcome to parenthood!
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.