Pregnancy brain is a condition that affects expectant mothers, usually during the first and third trimesters. Sometimes known as placenta brain or baby brain drain, the condition is usually characterized by short-term memory loss or forgetfulness. Some medical experts say that pregnancy brain is a myth, but evidence shows that many women have experienced this condition.
Studies linking memory and pregnancy are limited, and their results have been irregular. However, pregnant women have claimed to experience frustration while trying to remember the most simple everyday tasks. Some working women who are pregnant have become emotionally distressed because the condition has rendered them unable to work effectively.
It's understandable that women's emotional levels vary greatly during pregnancy. Hormonal surges, combined with the fact that pregnant women must eat for two and may be getting less sleep, are contributory. A great deal of the mother's time is taken up with thoughts of the baby, so a little forgetfulness is expected.
Increased levels of the hormone progesterone are thought to be a culprit in pregnancy brain. Progesterone can often cause headaches, mood swings and fatigue. The increase of progesterone is often greatest in the first trimester and may be the reason for increased forgetfulness.
The effects of pregnancy brain vary greatly among women. They can be as simple as forgetting phone numbers that one has dialed for years or placing toilet paper in the fridge. One mother-to-be drove home only to find she had arrived at a previous home she had not lived in for six years.
Doctors have devised a few key steps that may help pregnant women decrease the risk of pregnancy brain. Sleep is a key factor in keeping the mind mentally healthy. A pregnant woman should try to get the same amount of sleep as she did before the pregnancy. Eating a well-balanced diet is essential to keep both mother and baby healthy. Doctors recommend that pregnant women take prenatal vitamins in order to ensure the intake of vital vitamins and minerals.
Exercise is also essential to keep the circulation flowing, decrease tiredness and make the mother feel mentally healthier. Another tip is to drink plenty of fluids. When pregnant women become dehydrated, their electrolytes may be disrupted, causing decreased memory and confusion.
The good news for pregnant women is that pregnancy brain is only temporary. It should start to decrease once the baby is born, although some mothers claim that pregnancy brain can last for some time after the birth. However, with most of the mother's time spent taking care of a newborn baby, this is only to be expected.