4 Mothers On What “Pregnancy Brain” Actually Feels Like
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Momnesia is real.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re pregnant.
Whether you’re prepping your home for your new arrival or wondering if you remembered to add fries to that late night pregnancy craving order, everyone knows moms-to-be have a lot on their mind.
Which is why “pregnancy brain,” or the temporary fog that many women report as part of their pregnancies, is especially frustrating.
However, you shouldn’t be alarmed. Dr. Sherry A. Ross, OBGYN, and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period., explains that estrogen, progesterone, and oxytocin hormones affecting the brain during pregnancy are responsible for “momnesia.” Between the lack of sleep, excitement of new responsibility, and multi-tasking, momnesia can even affect moms even after giving birth.
The hormones may change, but your responsibilities will only increase once you’ve got a whole new human to keep an eye on.
Here, eight women describe how pregnancy brain affected them:
1. “Pregnancy brain is real. I didn’t believe it at first but it happened to me. It became really evident as I was teaching Zumba classes and I’d forget choreography that I’d already been doing for months. I also continuously left my iPod in different spots at the gym after class or I’d walk out with the iPod still plugged into the speakers. I also forgot someone’s name I was interviewing mid-conversation.”—Terri, 29
2.“Just imagine completely forgetting what you were about to do in just about every task you attempt to complete. That’s pregnancy brain. You do random things you don’t remember doing, like putting a pitcher of juice in the cupboard, losing your cell phone for days on end, and even what you did in the previous hour! The best way I can explain it is like having short bursts of Alzheimer’s throughout the day.”—Demia, 31
3. “I was absolutely convinced that as an ‘older’ pregnant woman, my brain wouldn’t be susceptible to ‘pregnancy fog.’ Wrong. I had always been able to remember and process large amounts of information quickly. But growing a human takes away from everyday brain power.
I started keeping pens and post-it notes in my bag to jot down things as well as making notes in my phone.
It almost feels like I am checking my homework at the end of the night to see if it is done. If it is not written down, chances are I will forget and remember weeks later.
Pregnancy brain feels like waking up, needing a coffee, having it, but it never really kicks in. Somehow you manage to get through it by modifying the simplest of tasks. In the beginning it was really frustrating, but now I am empowered by all that my body and brain can do at one time, with a little help and organization!”—Rubina, 38
4. “My memory was never any good, but no one would ever believe me until I was pregnant! The moment I became pregnant and forgot something, everyone chucked it up to ‘pregnancy brain’ fog. It was like people expected me to forget stuff when I was pregnant.
If I missed a doctor’s appointment or got there late, I’d be excused because I was pregnant. It was great because I didn’t have to explain why I forgot something important, people just knew it came with being pregnant and didn’t ask questions.”—Sanaa, 25