I Think I've Lost My Mind

It's Real - Thank Heaven You Haven't Lost Your Mind

A pregnant woman deals with so many things. She feels as big as a barn and she's hoping the Old Wives tale that heartburn means the baby will have a head full of hair is true, because she's been dealing with heartburn every single day. She's sure her bladder has shrunken because she's running to the bathroom every ten minutes. And on top of all of that - she can't remember where she put her keys!

While not every single pregnant woman suffers from forgetfulness, it is a very real part of most pregnancies.

It has long been thought that it is "just one of those things" that a woman has to deal with during pregnancy. Now, some medical researchers are investigating various possible causes for the short-term memory loss many pregnant women experience, particularly in the third trimester of their pregnancy. It appears this phenomena is a common symptom during pregnancy and, much to the relief of myriad women, it is not their imagination.

Sleep, Or The Lack Of It, Has An Effect On Memory

It has been suggested that, rather than changes to the brain, the changes in sleep patterns during pregnancy affect a woman's ability to remember information. Admittedly, anybody who suffers from a change to their sleeping patterns experiences a number of different side-effects, including the inability to remember things.

Iron-Deficiency Anemia Can Mean Memory Deficiency

The common iron deficiency which is experienced by many pregnant women has also been tagged as a possible contributor to forgetfulness. If the body doesn't have enough iron to enable hemoglobin production for both mother and baby, then iron-deficiency anemia may occur. Fatigue, weakness, irritability and forgetfulness are all accompanying signs of the lack of iron in the blood. Adding leafy green veggies and lentils to the diet should be sufficient to address this deficiency.

Ah, Hormones.  What Would We Be Without Them?

There's been a very interesting study done on the brains of pregnant women and the results seem to indicate that late in the third trimester of pregnancy, due to hormonal changes, the brains of pregnant women show signs of shrinkage. Don't worry; they plump up again after the birth. If this is consistent, it would certainly give credence to the thought that pregnant women do sometimes feel as though they've left their brain somewhere and hope to find it again soon. Ah, hormones.

Whether or not the brain actually does shrink, the fact is that hormones are a very real and pertinent part of the process of pregnancy. Pamela Keenan, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, has shown that women in their third trimester of pregnancy experience forgetfulness approximately fifteen percent more than the average person. One possible cause is the high level of oxytocin, a hormone naturally produced by women during pregnancy and while nursing.

Eat, Sleep, Remain Calm.  It Will Be Over When You Have The Baby

Dr. Keenan notes, "Oxytocin is known to have an amnesic effect, which may contribute to a weakened memory." So, with everything else a woman needs to keep track of, she must also be sure to eat her greens, get enough sleep, stay calm, cool and collected and monitor how the brain is functioning. But, not to worry, everything goes back to normal quite quickly after the birth of the baby.

 

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