Do you find yourself worrying about misplacing and forgetting things after you conceived? Are you unable to remember where you kept something, or what it was that you started doing and then forgot?
If your brain seems to be playing truant and your memory seems to be revolting, you may be suffering from the ‘pregnancy brain’. Read on to know why you tend to become forgetful during your pregnancy. Also, find out what you can do about it.
Is Becoming Forgetful During Pregnancy Normal?
You may be experiencing episodes of forgetfulness in pregnancy. The memory loss is usually temporary and may last for a few minutes or an hour or so. Sometimes, it may also show up in your inability to concentrate. You are not able to focus on what you are listening, or what you are doing. Chances are you will soon forget what you were doing or saying as well!
‘Momnesia’ or the pregnancy brain (1) aptly describes these bouts of forgetfulness during pregnancy. However, this does not mean that you will suffer from forgetfulness for life. Your pregnancy does not change the way your brain functions. Pregnancy does not change your brain’s capacity or its capabilities (2).
[ Read: Emotional Changes During Pregnancy ]
Are Pregnant Women Forgetful?
Are you worried why you keep forgetting things? Well, according to some psychologists, becoming forgetful during pregnancy does have a purpose. Psychologists feel that the changes in your brain during pregnancy help you prepare for bonding with your little one (3).
According to a study, when you are pregnant, there is increased activity in the area of your brain related to emotional skills. According to the results of this study, you are more likely to use the right side of your brain during pregnancy instead of the left one. The left side of your brain is responsible for retrieving data from your memory (4).
Researcher Diane Farrar of the University of Bradford and Bradford Institute for Health Research in England conducted a research on spatial memory loss in women (5). The research looked at results of pregnant women who did simple tasks like remembering where they parked their car or kept a key. As per the results, the condition worsens in later trimesters of pregnancy. Therefore, if you are in your second and third trimester, you are more likely to forget things. In some cases, the forgetfulness can last until about three to four months after delivery.
One possibility suggests that the increase in your sex hormones during pregnancy may affect your memory. Your sex steroids are at an all-time high when you are pregnant. The sex steroids can adversely affect that part of your brain that stores your memory (6).
Another possibility is that suffering from depression during pregnancy can also affect your memory. While your depression may come under control within three to four months after childbirth, memory may take a little longer to recover.
Pregnancy is a time when you undergo innumerable changes both internally and externally. Lack of sleep, worrying about your pregnancy may have increased your anxiety and stress levels. All these factors combined may have taken a toll on your memory temporarily. Your earlier caffeine addiction and your current renunciation of it may also cause a short-term memory loss.
[ Read: Anxiety During Pregnancy ]
How Do I Remember?
While there is not much you can do medically, here are a few easy and practical tips you can follow:
- Always make a note in your phone about important appointments.
- Put an alarm along with the note to help you remember.
- You can also write down important things in a small notepad that you can carry wherever you go.
- Put up a sticky note on the fridge about all the important to-dos.
- Click pictures on your phone. For example, if you kept the key on the counter, click it in such a way that you can see the key and its location. It will help you recollect where you placed it.
[ Read: Pranayama During Pregnancy ]
Forgetting things during your pregnancy is a very common and normal occurrence. Do not worry even if it seems that your memory is slowly fading away. Once your baby arrives, your memory will jog back in place within a couple of months.
Until then, forget about worrying and instead think about the exciting days of motherhood to come!
If you have suffered from ‘momnesia’, please share your experience and tips to tackle it.
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