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Pregnancy Brain: Not a Myth

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forgetfulness from pregnancy brain is not a myth iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Pregnancy Brain. It that a technical term?

It seemed like the movie “Groundhog Day” a lot at my house when I was pregnant. I would stop what I was doing and waddle with my baby bump leading the way, into another room in search of some item.

As soon as I would reach my destination, I would stand in the doorway of the room, pointer finger tapping my lip as I wondered what it was that I came there for. Unable to remember, I would shrug my shoulders and go back to what I was doing.

Sometimes, I would repeat this action several times in one day. It would drive me crazy.

I wanted to call a friend, “Hi. Can I borrow your maternity clothes ... and your brain?”

I usually had very good focus and had a strong memory. So why was I now so forgetful?

With a Costco-size bag of gingersnaps, I powered through the morning sickness and began to research words like “pregnancy brain,” “mommy brain,” and “pregnancy amnesia.”

Pregnancy brain is the term that is typically given to the short-term memory loss and forgetfulness that pregnant women experience. It tends to occur most frequently during a women’s first and third trimester.

According to Helen Christensen, PhD, of The Australian National University, "If you read pregnancy manuals and listen to pregnant mothers – yes, there is such a thing as pregnancy brain. There is also evidence from research showing deficits in memory but the evidence from our study shows that the capacity of the brain is unaltered in pregnancy.” (WebMD.com)

WebMD.com also points out that handling the needs of a family, multi-tasking and not getting enough sleep, are circumstances that could cause forgetfulness.

It still didn’t make sense to me. Before having my children, I had a job where I performing a lot of multi-tasking and worked long hours, resulting in lack of sleep.

There had to be more. As I read down the page, suddenly there was my answer. Hormones.

“Surging hormone levels and new priorities may explain why pregnancy brain happens.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.