Pregnancy Brain

Pregnant woman holding belly and thinkingI didn’t really believe the “pregnancy brain” theory. And then one day, I was backing up my car—the same car and the same driveway and the same rock retaining wall that I had successfully avoided for years—and I completely spaced out and hit that wall. And the next week, I parked my car at a friend’s house and just left the car door open, went into their house, visited for a while, and then discovered my mistake upon leaving. It went on and on—just little things, like lost keys, missing purse, forgetting to return calls. I even went to the wrong airport once and nearly missed a flight. I thought I was losing my mind.

And it’s not just me—thousands, maybe millions of mothers-to-be report feeling especially forgetful and absent-minded during pregnancy. But studies show that the brain is unchanged during pregnancy. So what’s the story?

Lack of sleep: The first reason you’re probably losing things and forgetting appointments and shopping list items is because of poor sleeping habits. Maybe you’re uncomfortable due to the pregnancy. Or possibly you’re stressed at the thought of becoming a parent. Maybe you’re stressed because you already have a child or children and you’re wondering how the family dynamic will change. You’re also probably thinking of all the things you need to do to prepare for the new arrival. Lack of sleep is a very common cause of forgetfulness and inability to concentrate.

Hormones: Your hormones are also going crazy during pregnancy. Author Denise Mann cites a recent study that finds hormones may affect spatial memory. Mann also talked with the director of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California. The doctor stated “There are 15 to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen marinating in the brain during pregnancy, and these hormones affect all kinds of neurons in the brain” (qtd. in Mann, 2010).

Will you ever get your normal brain back? It’s hard to say. Once your child starts sleeping well and your hormones even out, it seems like that’s the inevitable outcome. But I’m still waiting. In the meantime, I write everything down— I have lists for everything. I put every appointment, event, party, birthday, or anything in my Outlook calendar and set reminders. I add appointments to my phone and text myself reminders. I still end up slapping my forehead more than I care to, but it’s slowly getting better. At least my car hasn’t been damaged lately!

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Pregnancy Brain

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20 comments

  1. Brae says:

    I was taking college classes and never had a problem while I was pregnant.. but post baby I at least can make sure not toforget my son everything else is out the door I literally have to run through a check list to see what I forgot. I truthfully think it is a brain over load.

  2. Marina says:

    I feel like I am losing it … thanks to the "pregnancy brain".

  3. Pregnancy brain is embarrassing. I’ll be talking and then in mid sentence I’ll completely forget what I’ve been talking about.

  4. Kesha says:

    i have pregnancy brain too, all of my friend s and family laugh at me because i cant remember too much lol smh.

  5. jackie says:

    i also have pregnancy brain because I’m forgetting a lot of things to do and my boyfriend gets sometimes mad about it only on important thinks that i forget.

  6. Sara says:

    I’ve always been kinda spacey but the pregnancy definitely increased my spacial memory. I will think of something and completely forget it seconds later

  7. AmyC says:

    I was already used to being forgetful due to my Fibromyalgia ( fibro fog) now it’s just more often. Plus I’m usually clueless that I’ve missed something until it’s pointed out to me. Even then "Are you sure I did that?" 😛

  8. Jeanetta says:

    I lost my car keys the other day, something I’ve never done before. I’ve lost my cell phone. I called my doctor’s office and told them I could not make my appointment the next day could I come in the following week and she said honey your appointment is next month. So I’m starting to think pregnancy brain is real…LOL

  9. Hope says:

    This is real! I did research on a study that was done that proved pregnancy brain. What really sucks is I’m still in school!

  10. Julie says:

    Just yesterday I left my cell phone at my dad’s house when we were all leaving from a visit with him. He was in his truck ready to go when I happened to remember it so we had to go back and get it lol I do stuff like this all the time.

  11. marichinno says:

    I have had pregnancy brain since my 1st born and with this 3rd pregnancy is a lot worse.

  12. That’s exactly the same kinda stuff that I’ve been doing. I’ve been forgetting addresses that I use all the time and other info that I should know and my mind completely blanks. It’s good to know that this is normal and not long term, lol.

  13. It just kicked in with me…I’m almost 26 weeks pregnant and it really is embarrassing and frustrating. My husband has been getting irritated so I explained to him that it was because of the pregnancy and was only temporary. He has been much more patient with me since then.

  14. I’m a victim. Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to tell my husband that I’m a complete ditz due to pregnancy. I feel like the excuse isn’t adequate enough. Hahaha!

  15. I thought I was going crazy. Friends keep asking me if I’m okay. I stalled my car and forgot that my friend rode with me so I asked where his car was. These are just a few instances. I feel insane!

  16. Ernestina says:

    Lol happens to me lots of times I for get everything

  17. Misty says:

    I have Pregnancy Brain.An my hubby thinks it is funny some time.I do to some time.an there are days i wish i did not have it.

  18. I have pregnancy brain, but it could be worse!

  19. mommybear says:

    i definatly have pregnancy brain…lucky me lol.

  20. NikkiC12 says:

    I have been experiencing total pregnancy brain…cannot remember anything these days and do some really goofy stuff!!!

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