Lots of pregnant moms, particularly later on in gestation, talk about experiencing feelings of fogginess or trouble remembering things. This is sometimes called “pregnancy brain” – though some sense of forgetfulness and feeling frazzled is a normal part of many life-changes, especially those as major as adding a new member to the family, so not everyone differentiates this feeling from a normal stress response.
What causes it?
Researchers aren’t totally sure what causes it, though possible answers could include hormones, stress, and a lack of sleep.
- Hormones: Like most funky pregnancy symptoms, it’s possible that hormones are a factor. Healthcare providers aren’t sure exactly how hormones can affect the brain, but it’s more likely that the other factors are bigger contributors to any fogginess.
- Stress: People who are under an inordinate amount of stress may have difficulty remembering things or focusing, and because many pregnant women feel under a lot of stress, this seems a likely correlation.
- Lack of sleep: Finding a cozy position to sleep in and snoozing through the night can be very difficult when pregnant, so women who don’t get all of their needed ZZZs might notice pregnancy brain more frequently.
Because we aren’t sure what exactly causes pregnancy brain, it can be tough to manage. Fortunately, it should subside shortly after you give birth (though, indeed, in those early days you’ll certainly be dealing with some more lack of sleep). But in the meantime, getting more sleep, staying as calm as you can, and eating a balanced diet healthy may help you feel a little more on top of things.
- “Brain Activity Changes in Pregnant Women, Study Finds.” HealthDay. HealthDay, 5/8/2014. Web.
- Roger W. Harms, M.D. “Does “baby brain” really exist?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 12/8/2012. Web.