Motherhood is life-changing. Your pregnancy brings about so many changes that you never imagined. Your hormones increase and decrease as needed, so that your body can change to make room for and protect the baby.
The hormones don’t just change your body. They can change the way you feel and think. Along with the intense love you feel for your little one, and the emotional confusion you might go through, you may also experience brain fog. In other words, you may sometimes find yourself unable to remember things - this can happen either during or after your pregnancy.
The common term that many to-be moms have given this experience is ‘momnesia’ - an ‘amnesia’ that affects moms or to-be-mothers. It refers to the forgetfulness you experience during pregnancy. And until now, we thought this was a myth, but some scientists have found that pregnant women find it harder to focus and remember the more difficult things they encounter. Now you might worry about this, but don’t worry, most moms go through it, and it will only be a phase!
What Causes ‘Momnesia’?
Some scientists believe that during pregnancy, the hormonal changes in your body alter the functional ability of your brain. In other words, in order to prepare your brain to bond with the baby, your hormones cause you to ‘lose’ some neural networks that you do not actually need. In other words, your hormones prioritise for you, so that for a short while, you are able to focus on just your little one and the bonding you form with him or her.
Other scientists believe that ‘momnesia’ or ‘pregnant brain’ is caused by all the lifestyle changes that pregnancy brings for you. Along with having to change many things in your daily life, you also experience some amount of stress, a change in your sleep cycles and excitement, which can lead you to have a lower ability to concentrate or remember things as well as you normally would.
How You Can Handle ‘Momnesia’
Forgetting things is normal during pregnancy, considering how many things you have on your mind. But in case you find this becoming a big inconvenience, there are ways that you can handle it better to make life easier for you:
- Keep a note of things to remember them. Whether it’s on your phone or the traditional pen and paper, having a list at hand can really make a difference. It may not help you remember exactly, but you’re more likely to get your day’s work done.
- At home, keep things in their same place everyday so that you don’t have to search for them later. This also forms a good habit and makes it easier to remember where you kept whatever it is you’re looking for.
- Sleep well. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling tired and confused. Take naps if you need them, but make sure to get enough rest so that your mind and body can cope with all the fast changes that pregnancy brings.
- Do some light exercise as it will keep your body and mind active. It can also help you reduce your stress, which can otherwise cause ‘momnesia’.
- Focus on staying happy. Pamper yourself, and spend time around the ones you love most.
While momnesia is normal during your pregnancy, you should see a doctor if it begins to make you moody and gloomy, or if you begin to lose your appetite and are feeling doubtful because of it. This will help you deal with it emotionally. After all, a happy mommy gives birth to a happy, healthy baby.
Ask for help when you need it. Involve your partner so that you can get everything done and have help remembering your to-do list. Take care of yourself first and focus on feeling good. Things will soon fall into place.