How to Deal With That Annoying Pregnancy Brain

pregnant woman worried

As wonderful as pregnancy can be, there are definitely some negatives to creating life that can pop up and really stretch out those 9 months. One of the most popular conditions women may experience is pregnancy brain. Also referred to as "momnesia," pregnancy brain is generally defined as little spurts of forgetfulness which, although completely temporary, can definitely cause the mommy-to-be to experience unnecessary discomfort, anxiety and fear. The good news is, the only permanent result of your pregnancy is going to be a baby, so shake off your hesitation and take a look at what you can do to help out with those lapses in memory.

pregnant belly from side

Causes: Studies have shown that there are two primary causes of pregnancy brain:

  • Changing hormone levels: Many experts agree that hormone levels vary greatly during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester and in the first couple months following the birth of the baby. Studies have proven that 15 to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen enter your body during pregnancy, and these spikes in your hormones can contribute to memory loss. Helen Christensen, PhD, from the Australian National University, reassuringly asserts that while pregnancy brain is very real, there is no permanent damage to the brain. (via WebMD)
  • Sleep deprivation: Especially during the last trimester and in the first year following the birth of your baby, getting enough sleep can be a real challenge. Keeping your baby safe and happy is going to out-rank everything, including your need for sleep. Those late-night feedings and diaper changes are going to make you more than just frustrated and stressed. Many studies have shown that lack of sleep is a main contributor to memory loss. (via Fit Pregnancy)

Treatments: Unfortunately, there is no instant cure for pregnancy brain. There are, however, several things you can do to alleviate some of that stress and get your life back on track:

  • Get some sleep: We understand that the baby is going to be your top priority, but do your best to integrate a little alone time into your schedule so that you can adjust to all the new changes in your life. Even a 45-minute nap can make a huge difference in getting you back on track! (via Fit Pregnancy)
  • Create a daily calendar: By keeping track of everything you need to get done on a piece of paper, rather than in your head, you can reduce much of the unnecessary frustration. You can also use sticky notes to jog your memory! (via Baby Center)
  • Have a sense of humor: Rather than succumbing to anger and frustration, remember that pregnancy brain is completely temporary. Let yourself laugh off those little memory lapses! They will make for some great stories at the dinner table in the future. (via What To Expect)
  • Simplify your life: As you learn to adjust to all the new developments in your life, you may realize that you just don't have enough time (or energy) to keep up with your pre-baby schedule. Just prioritize what is truly important, and you will go a long way in regaining some normalcy in your life! (via Baby Center)

A new baby brings more than just joy to your family, and all the new changes may initially generate more stress than you anticipated. This is a new phase in your life, so we want to make sure you are as prepared as possible to jump right in!

For more information on pregnancy brain, check out these links:

WebMD, Fit Pregnancy, Baby Center, What To Expect, The Guardian