Researchers from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Leidan University conducted MRI brain scans for 25 first-time mothers and 20 women who had never been pregnant. By comparing the scans of the first-time mothers with the scans of the non-pregnant women, the researchers found that the first-time mothers had experienced loss of gray matter in the areas of the brain responsible for social cognition. This loss of gray matter was seen right after the first-time mothers gave birth and two years later.
The researchers found no evidence that the reduction in gray matter volume impacted the intelligence or memory of the women. However, the findings did show that the mothers experienced changes in their brain chemistry. Some researchers believe that these changes may have a positive impact on the ability of the mother and baby to bond with each other. The researchers also found that the mothers who experienced the greatest reductions in gray matter volume had the highest scores for maternal attachment.
If you’re expecting a child, here are the top 10 signs that you have “pregnancy brain.”
1. People Stop and Stare
Clothing mishaps are common among women experiencing mommy brain. Therefore, if you’re out in public and you notice that people are staring at you with a confused look on your face, you should head to the bathroom to take a look at your outfit. You may find that you’re wearing your shirt inside out or you may be wearing two different shoes.
2. You Can’t Function Without a List
As noted above, many new moms suffer from short-term memory loss. Therefore, if you find that you simply can’t get your errands done without a list, you can attribute it to pregnancy brain. Rather than fighting it, you should embrace it and start writing lists every time you go grocery shopping. You should email this list to yourself because pregnancy brain might cause you to forget the list at home.
3. You’re Always Losing Your Keys
Chances are, you know how stressful it can be to not be able to find your keys when you have an appointment in 20 minutes. Now, imagine experiencing this on a regular basis. Unfortunately, mumnesia causes many pregnant mothers to lose all recollection about the whereabouts of their keys.
4. You’re Calling AAA On the Regular
If you find yourself calling AAA about once a week for locking yourself out of your car, you can safely assume that you’re dealing with pregnancy brain.
5. Forgetting Your Own Phone Number
If you attend childbirth preparation classes, chances are you’re going to bond with the other mothers there. Unfortunately, you may find your mind blanking when it’s time to exchange phone numbers. However, there’s no need to be embarrassed! You can simply blame it on pregnancy brain.
6. Calling People By the Wrong Name
Many pregnant women find themselves calling out any name and hoping they got it right. However, due to pregnancy brain, they have a 50 percent chance of getting the name right. 50 percent of the time, they end up calling their husband by the dog’s name.
7. Forgetting Food on the Table
For many pregnant women, it’s not an uncommon event to wake up in the morning only to find the leftovers from yesterday’s dinner still on the table.
8. Technology Becomes Confusing
Pregnancy brain is probably at work if you find yourself pressing the same button dozens of times trying to change the channel only to realize you have a smartphone and not a remote in your hand.
9. You Stop Talking Mid-Sentence
Even the most articulate pregnant women find themselves having to stop mid-sentence to recollect their thoughts.
10. Everything Is a Surprise
If you find yourself constantly in a state of surprise over the occurrences around you, chances are you’re suffering from pregnancy brain.
As you can see, there is no need to worry if short-term memory loss and lack of concentration has become a way of life for you after becoming pregnant. For more information about pregnancy brain, don’t hesitate to contact us.