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What Is Pregnancy Brain? Symptoms, Causes And Management

Becoming a mother involves a lot of physical and emotional changes. Pregnancy brain or forgetfulness during pregnancy and early motherhood are considered to be one such change which is temporary and may get resolved within a few months after the delivery. [1]

Pregnancy brain is some degree of cognitive changes in women during pregnancy and postpartum periods. The changes are usually memory disturbances, forgetfulness, difficulty reading and poor concentration.

Though pregnancy brain is considered to be a common postpartum condition, discussion on its existence is debatable. Take a look at the details.

Some Symptoms Of Pregnancy Brain

Some of the symptoms of pregnancy brain include:

  • Difficulties in remembering some details.
  • Difficulties to focus on certain tasks.
  • Forgetting the date of the appointment.
  • Shifting things to a different place and forgetting later.

What Are The Causes Of Pregnancy Brain?

The most common cause of pregnancy brain is drastic fluctuation in hormones during the gestation period. Studies say that primary pregnancy hormones like progesterone and estradiol increase by 70 and 30-fold compared to other nonpregnant hormones in the body. [2]

Other reproductive hormones like prolactin and testosterone also fluctuate during these times. Key steroid hormones like cortisol hike in the morning while decline throughout the day.

Another study talks about changes in brain size during and after pregnancy. It says that during pregnancy, the size of the brain decreases while it increases in size after delivery. This may explain a bit about pregnancy brain. [3]

Changes in the brain's grey matter also take place post-delivery. According to a study, grey matter of the brain that helps process information, increases within 4-6 weeks after delivery. This may give rise to the pregnancy brain. [4]

Other causes of pregnancy brain may include sleep deprivation and stress that automatically follows pregnancy.

Is Pregnancy Brain A Normal Condition?

Yes, experts say that pregnancy brain is a normal condition. This is because childbirth is both exciting and overwhelming, followed by the anxiety of the responsibility of a child. This may make you multitask a lot, and in the process, you may temporarily start forgetting things, leading to pregnancy brain.

How To Manage Pregnancy Brain?

Some of the best ways to manage pregnancy brain include:

  • Get enough sleep: Maternal sleep deprivation may significantly increase anxiety and depression in pregnant women and cause deficits in memory and learning abilities. This is why get enough sleep and relax and give enough time to your brain to process things. [5]
  • Drink enough water: Dehydration has a lot of adverse effects on the body, including mental health. Drinking enough water throughout the day helps keep the vitals healthy and maintain your cognitive health.
  • Eat nutritional foods: Malnutrition can also lead to improper functioning of the brain, leading to forgetfulness. Eat nutritional foods consisting of nutrients like omega-3, antioxidants, vitamin K and folate that helps keep the brain cells healthy.
  • Keep a daily calendar: Keeping and maintaining a daily calendar helps you keep a note of your daily tasks and avoid any confusion in memorising things.
  • Set alarms or reminders: Setting up reminders may help you remember your appointment dates. It also helps you set priorities and complete tasks in an organised way.

To Conclude

Though pregnancy brain is a common condition, it is not common in all pregnant women. The best way to deal with the condition is to keep a note of your daily essentials, get enough sleep and maintain a healthy diet.

How does pregnancy affect your brain?

Pregnancy is a period when a lot of hormonal and emotional changes take place in the body. Some of these changes like fluctuation in progesterone hormone directly affect mental health and lead to cognitive changes like forgetfulness or pregnancy brain.

When do you get pregnancy brain?

Pregnancy brain is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy or after delivery. It is characterised by forgetfulness and difficulties in remembering details.

What causes pregnancy brain fog?

Pregnancy brain fog or say pregnancy brain is mainly caused by factors like hormonal fluctuation, stress, inadequate diet and changes in brain structure.

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