80% of women say that they experience symptoms of “mumnesia,” often characterized by forgetfulness, attention deficit, and an impairment in spatial memory (remembering where things are located). Maybe you’ve heard of it called “preg head” or “pregnancy” or “baby brain.” Take this short quiz and guess whether these examples are facts or myths. (Or, recall if you experienced these symptoms during your pregnancy!)

Fact or Myth?

“I walked into the bathroom to get something…but now that I’m here I can’t remember what it was!

Fact or Myth?

“I went to my washing machine to hang up the clean clothes, only to find out that I didn’t even turn it on!”

Fact or Myth?

“What did you say?” …five minutes later…”I’m sorry, what were you talking about?”

Fact or Myth?

“I opened up the refrigerator this morning and found a pair of scissors and a box of cereal in there.”

Fact or Myth?

“So yesterday at work I….I…I forgot what I was going to say!”

Does the research agree with the 80% of women who experience pregnancy brain?

Researchers have concluded that pregnancy causes a spike in estrogen and progesterone. Those hormones can be produced up to 40 times more during pregnancy! In general, hormones are known to effect our ability to remember where things are (spatial memory skills). This helps explains why most pregnant women forget where they left their purse, or why there are scissors and a box of cereal in the fridge. Throw in how mommy may forget an important appointment or lose her words mid-sentence, and you can see how forgetfulness is part of preg head symptoms.

Those raging hormones also cause Moms to have difficulty getting adequate, quality sleep. We all know, pregnant or not, that a lack of sleep means a lack of energy and focus. 85% of pregnant women experience, and there is evidence that vomiting due to pregnancy causes an aversion to strong vegetables, meats, poultry, and eggs, as well as animal products, If the Mom-to-be has morning sickness, then she may also be slightly dehydrated or have a lack of essential nutrients. Combine the raging hormones, muddled memory, lack of sleep, and waning energy, and it’s understandable why scientists confirm that mumnesia is a reality.

Is this normal?

Whether your words get jumbled up, you can’t remember any details, or you simply live in a daze, relax…this mumnesia isn’t fatal or permanent, it’s normal! It’s common for expecting mothers to be overwhelmed with emotions (ranging from sad to happy and everything in between). Your life is going through a major priority shift to focus on your little bundle of joy, which explains why it’s impossible to focus on anything else.

Action points to boost your brain during pregnancy

Can you still function well with the minimal effects of mumnesia? Do you mind the occasional moments of baby brain? Or do you (and your spouse) need to choose alternative actions to help thrive despite preg head? Although your memory may be impaired during pregnancy (and likely postpartum as well), here are a few simple actions you can take to help pop out of the fog of baby brain.

  • Reduce your stress level. This is good advice for everyone, but especially in preparation for motherhood. Try taking deep breaths with your eyes closed and imagine the stress rolling off of your body as if it were raindrops.
  • Sleep, or try to. Amid the hormones, morning sickness, emotions, and changing body, sleep may feel like it’s miles away. But it will help your both your body and mind remain strong for your baby. Regularly taking prenatal vitamins will help with this as well.
  • Write things down. Keep a notepad and pen in your purse. Post a pad of paper on your refrigerator. Keep a running list on your phone. Just write it down and you’re more likely to not forget it (that is, if you can remember where you keep your list)!
  • Create lists. I know, you just read about writing it down. But keeping lists will allow you to better organize things. Plus, writing things down will help you remember things better!
  • Engage in habits. Think simply, like waking up, putting on your slippers, and grabbing a cup of coffee. Make easy habits to help you flow through your day well instead of the day floating by. Perhaps you check your calendar every morning after breakfast and every evening after dinner to ensure you don’t forget an event. Maybe you load the dishwasher and the washing machine at the same time every day so you won’t forget about it.
  • Allow yourself the freedom to laugh it off. You’re probably going to zone out, forget at least one thing, misplace items often, and mix up your words. It’s your body’s way of reminding you what you should be focusing on: your baby!

Fact

Mumnesia (preg head, pregnancy brain, baby brain) is certainly backed by many mothers. And take heart, research supports it as well. Remind yourself of two things: 1. This normal and it won’t last forever, and 2. Think of it as a sweet reminder about the child in your belly!
P.S. Dads-to-be, offer endless reassurance, grace, and laughter! Trust me, it will provide you will plenty of funny stories for the future.

Jana

Jana is the odd one out. Not a parent herself, she writes from the perspective of a young baby sitter. Experienced in making bedtime fun, she brings a unique perspective to parenting. She hopes that all she learns now will make the magic of being a parent just that extra bit special. She has no fixed address and is vagabonding around the globe, widening her world view.