Pregnancy Forgetfulness: I Can't Remember...

March 4, 2009

Ah, pregnancy. That time when you experience life from an entirely new paradigm. Initially you couldn't stay awake for longer than two hours at a time. Then your belly began to swell, and it turned out to be gas, the baby bump hadn't even begun to show yet. Frequent trips to the bathroom meant either pressure on the bladder or the need to wretch.  All of these things, and now you're wondering if you've lost your mind. You can't remember anything.

Pregnancy Mind--Am I Losing My Mind?

Along with all of the changes and challenges of pregnancy on your body, there is also the effect of pregnancy on your mind. It's no secret that emotions swing like a trapeze artist out of control and everyone has learned to be very cautious of your sensitivities. Around the third trimester, your mental health may be assailed once more and forgetfulness may pay a visit. While it doesn't happen to all women, it is not at all uncommon for pregnancy women to experience the frustration of not being able to remember where they put their keys and if they turned off the stove before they left home.

Pregnancy Memory Loss--Finally, Somebody Out There Is Listening

No longer is short-term memory loss pooh-poohed by the medical world. Researchers have been investigating the probable causes of this phenomena and have suggested several different possibilities. One suggestion is that the change of sleeping patterns, the loss of sleep due to disruptions and discomfort, can affect a woman's ability to remember information. Then there are the well-meaning contributors who say that the stress of being pregnant and the upcoming birth can plague a woman to the point where she is overwhelmed and in turn becomes forgetful.

Iron Deficient Anemia Is More Than Tired Blood

There are studies which link iron deficiency with memory loss during pregnancy. If your body is deficient in iron, hemoglobin production is reduced. Your growing baby is taking up the iron and affecting you with iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms of this deficiency include weakness, feeling tired and irritable and of course, forgetfulness. Adding leafy green vegetables and lentils to your diet is a good way to address this situation.

Pregnancy Hormones and the Brain

British researchers scanned the brains of mothers-to-be and found that their brains actually shrunk during the last trimester of their pregnancies. The good news is that they plumped up again after delivery of their babies. However, the change was evident and has been ascribed to hormones.

There seems to be no escape from the wrath of hormones. Whether the brain shrinks or not, it has been shown that women in their third trimester do experience forgetfulness nearly 15 times more than the average person. The hormone which likely causes this effect is oxytocin which is present in high levels during the third trimester of pregnancy and while nursing and is known to have an amnesic effect. This would contribute to forgetfulness.

So, on top of getting regular sleep, eating the right foods and staying calm, you can take heart in the fact that everything will come back to normal after the baby is born. Sorry, there's not much you can do about the hormones, it's all part of pregnancy.

 

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