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It can get really frustrating for pregnant and postpartum women to experience an induced brain fog that is apparently a hallmark of pregnancy. Perhaps, if you are reading this and agree with the first statement itself, this article by Parenthoodbliss has been curated just for you, and for those who don’t, it doesn’t harm to always gather extra information on pregnancy. Right?
This forgetfulness in pregnant women or the changes in human brain is known as a “pregnancy brain,” where, you might more often find memory lapses where you might forget appointments, what you had walked into the store for, where you left your purse last, if you turned the stove off, or just maybe your phone number?
However, this isn’t just due to a lack of sleep playing tricks, and the research suggests that pregnancy doesn’t alter the woman’s brain.
What are the causes of the pregnant brain in pregnant women?
These memory problems in pregnant women are often caused due to the changes of the hormones in the trimester. The lack of quality sleep due to the number of sleep-busting conditions in pregnancy that is commonly seen in the first and third trimesters could also play a role in memory and attention shortage. This may cause a constant zapping of energy that is much needed by the brain in order to stay focused.
Perhaps, researchers have observed that the pregnancy brain during pregnancy functions differently as compared to the otherwise normal functioning of the brain. It leads to long-lasting increased activity of the emotional skills, in other words, to ensure that the pregnant women are neurologically attuned to the baby’s facial emotions at birth for better bonding.
Adding to that, the volume of the brain cell actually decreases in the third trimester of pregnancy. This explains why the moms-to-be tend to forget more as they come closer to their D-day. However, do not worry, the brain will get back to its normal functioning post a few months after the delivery. But, is it natural? Let’s find out.
Is the pregnant brain normal?
If you are being forgetful during your pregnancy, it does not mean you are abnormal. Being forgetful is both completely normal and common to experience. Even if you try to multitask or try to stay organized, you will perhaps find yourself facing trouble in concentrating. Therefore, if you are feeling like not yourself, take a break and ask for help.
But hey, the good part as we mentioned is that it is temporary. So, as soon as you meet the little one, you will be able to be and feel like yourself. So, give yourself some time and do not overstress.
Medically reviewed tips to aid the pregnant brain
- Take deep breaths
Do not be hard on yourself and avoid stressing out as it will only end up clouding the pregnancy brain. Take deep breaths when needed and release the stress out of your system.
- Pen down
If you are facing a problem in remembering things, simply carry a notepad and pen and start penning it down. This could be helpful if you are going to buy groceries, need to make a phone call, have to ask questions from the practitioner, need medications, etc.
- Use digital calendars
Turn high-tech by making use of the calendars to set reminders over the phone to help keep yourself organized.
- Delegate work to friends or family members
You must avoid a pile of work but simply delegating work to friends and family members, instead. This will help you minimize the list and push you off the gray matter.
- Be happy
We understand it is perhaps difficult for you at the moment, but finding yourself a laugh would do no harm. Try booking tickets to the nearby comedy stages, do things that matter and make you happy, watch a comedy movie, read a novel or poems, encourage your partner to partner up and go crazy!
- Consume more choline
Choline is a mineral that helps as a building block in the memory-forming brain chemical known as acetylcholine. As per the researchers, eating plenty of choline-rich foods during pregnancy may help boost the brain function of both, you and your baby. These include beef, Brussel sprouts, whole eggs, lima beans, etc.
- Eat loads of omega-3s
These DHA-rich foods include pregnancy-safe fish like salmon as they help support a healthy brain function for the fetus and the maternal.
- Avoid having ginkgo
Avoid taking this herbal supplement as it is proven to not be safe during pregnancy.
- Prepare beforehand
Prepare yourself for the haze to hang in the first weeks or even months post-birth. As it can take the place of the hormones as a primary culprit, but remember, it is all temporary.
If you find yourself being forgetful quite often in your pregnancy, you must foremost not stress it out. Know that it is temporary and it shall pass too. Prepare yourself beforehand as per the tips mentioned above and you’ll surely brave through Pregnancy Brain.