Momnesia: Is It Normal To Be Forgetful When You Are Pregnant?

Pregnancy brings about several changes - physical, mental and emotional. All the changes are primarily blamed on the hormonal fluctuations that are common when you are approaching motherhood. There could be plenty of things in the list of alterations that one sees after being pregnant. One such change, which can turn quite annoying, is amnesia. Have you faced bouts of forgetfulness once you were pregnant? If yes, then you could be having something known as "momnesia".

The hormones fluctuate and cause an alteration in the brain function that results in this temporary ailment. More than 50 per cent of expectant mothers are believed to have faced issues with memory and concentration. This phenomenon has also been referred to as momnesia or pregnant brain.

what is momnesai
  • What Is Pregnancy Brain Or Momnesia?
  • Is Pregnancy Brain Real? What Does It Feel Like?
  • Why Does It Happen?
  • How To Deal With Momnesia?

What Is Pregnancy Brain Or Momnesia?

Pregnancy has been associated with a kind of memory lapse and concentration issues. Studies conducted to find the truth behind this revealed that it does happen and is not a myth, as believed by many.

A neuropsychological research was conducted in the form of a memory performance test. The research was based on inputs and outputs from about 412 pregnant ladies, 272 mothers and 386 non-pregnant ladies. When memory tasks were assigned, pregnant women appeared to face the worst problems.

Although clinical tests have shown that there are no such structural changes in the brain when one is pregnant, research hints that functional changes in the brain do occur during pregnancy. These functional changes cause you to become forgetful. This is temporary and you are most likely to have your sharp memory power back once you deliver the baby.

Is Pregnancy Brain Real? What Does It Feel Like?

Researchers have contemplated that this form of pregnancy-related memory lapse occurs when the brain gives up focusing on the neural network. Factors such as stress, sleepless nights and anxiety are also to be blamed for momnesia. Slight memory loss is acceptable during pregnancy. However, if it is severe, then consulting a doctor is recommended.

Moreover, other behavioral changes such as losing appetite and feeling low or gloomy, always linked with memory loss could be indicating other serious health hazards that might have accompanied pregnancy.

Simple day-to-day things such as remembering where you placed a certain item can seem tough at times during pregnancy. This is basically because the abnormal behaviour of the hormone levels affects the spatial memory.

Few take this aspect positively by saying that the memory impairment actually helps the pregnant women by making her forget everything else and just lets her focus on her health and the soon to be born baby.

So, if you are pregnant and off late facing issues of lost keys, lost wallet, or forgetting why you went to the grocery store - the answer is to relax and blame it on the hormones. These are all common.

Why Does It Happen?

Medical science refers to memory loss as amnesia and when this happens during pregnancy, it can be referred to as momnesia. Memory deficit is common during pregnancy. Hormones are to be blamed to alter the functionality of the brain during pregnancy (although there is no structural alteration in the brain).

According to a leading doctor from Jaipur, MRIs of pregnant women were studied that indicated that some amount of grey matter loss did happen during the pregnancy term. The parts of the brain affected were that which were linked to social reasoning and the judgment towards other people's perspectives.

Pregnancy does not alter your brain structure, but you might find changes in how mentally sharp you act. These little bouts of forgetfulness are quite common for a to-be mother. Pregnancy brain, as believed earlier, is not considered a myth any longer. Researchers have proven it to be real.

Going by what science says, when one is pregnant, the parts of the brain that are responsible for anxiety, empathy and social interaction appear busy. This is, in fact, to help the mother bond with her baby.

How To Deal With Momnesia?

Nutrients that have been identified in helping to reduce the symptoms of memory loss are zinc, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Have a diet that is rich in boosting your memory during pregnancy. Eat blueberries, coconut, walnuts, tomatoes, whole grains and beetroot.

Doctors have suggested the below tips and strategies to overcome and manage momnesia.

• Keep things where they belong. Place all things in a certain order at home.

• If you are finding that your memory is not reliable, start taking down notes on activities that you need to or plan to do.

• Mnemonic devices can help. When you meet a new person, you usually ask his or her name, but then forget it a little while later. Well, you could find an association which would help you remember the person's name better. Form associations with things that are already present in your built-in memory (for instance, connecting a person's name to that of the name of a flower).

• A sleep-deprived brain never functions properly. Try to have utmost rest and sleep at least 8 hours daily.

• Exercise or yoga can help you stay stress-free. You can ensure a healthy mind by indulging in mild exercises daily.

• Do not get overworked. Share daily routine tasks with your partner or family members.

The feelings of motherhood are definitely beautiful, but as we all say, "with good things, there are bound to be certain bad ones too". This applies to being pregnant as well. Irrespective of how much happiness the soon to be born baby has brought into your life, you would need to deal with pregnancy-related hormonal issues.

Some of them are tolerable and curable through medicines, while some are quite common and there is nothing much that you can do about it - one such being the pregnancy brain or momnesia. Accept it just as you would as a phase that would pass soon. Focus on the happy stages of your pregnancy and make use of the above tips to handle momnesia so that you are able to take care of your pregnant body in a much better way.

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    Read more about: baby pregnancy
    Story first published: Thursday, August 30, 2018, 18:05 [IST]
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