The Realities of Pregnancy Brain

Memory gone MIA? If you’re expecting, blame it on your bump

Be Healthy

If you’ve ever gone to meet up with a friend who’s expecting and she’s late because she forgot where she put her keys … or the time you were supposed to meet … or that you were even meeting, you’ve likely heard the lament: “I’m so sorry, I completely forgot! It totally slipped my mind. Ugh, this pregnancy brain is no joke.” 

Unless you’ve been a mother-to-be yourself, you have to wonder – is pregnancy brain a real thing? 

“Yes, it is a real thing!” says Dr. Cheryl Twu, an OB-GYN at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children and mother of one. 

“Pregnancy brain is attributed to the hormones of pregnancy and usually affects women in the first trimester, when they feel the most hormones, and then again in the third trimester, when women may also start to have lack of sleep,” Twu explains. 

As this lapse in memory is related to natural-occurring hormonal shifts, Twu says there is, unfortunately, nothing women can do to prevent pregnancy brain. 

“The good news is that your memory will return once the hormones die down and you start getting regular sleep. This happens sometime in the postpartum period and varies between women, with the average being about six months after giving birth,” Twu says. 

In the meantime, Twu says there are ways women can work through the fog:

  • Get more sleep.
  • Write down lists of things you need to accomplish instead of trying to rely on your memory, which you may have been used to doing prior to pregnancy.
  • Set alarms or reminders on your phone.
  • Have your partner help you with tasks that need to get done. 

“Moms are used to taking care of everything on their own and forget that their partner also wants to be involved to help with childcare or welcoming the new baby,” Twu says. 

For more answers to other commonly asked questions when you have a baby on board, click here.

 

Published on: March 14, 2018