When Does Pregnancy Brain (Momnesia) Start?

Pregnancy brain syndrome is a kind of forgetfulness syndrome that may occur during pregnancy. But this definition is still debatable since there is no plenty of research to confirm this issue. Some women report about forgetfulness that strikes when they are being pregnant! Even it may also strike shortly after becoming mothers. So, when does it start? Does it really exist or is it just a myth?

This syndrome is also familiar called as ‘momnesia’ or ‘baby brain’ – a term used to point the idea that an early motherhood or a pregnancy affects the way of a woman’s memory to work. Since there are now a lot of reports about this symptom, science has looked into this.

Unfortunately there is still no clearly answer to confirm this issue. Studies on this found conflicting results.

What are signs of this syndrome – what does it feel like?

Signs of momnesia are closely similar to the common signs of regular forgetfulness. These may include:

  1. Gotten lost driving, particularly on the streets that you know completely before.
  2. You often forget to certain topic that you want to discuss with your friends. As a result, you may often stop your conversation because you suddenly lose the subject of your conversation.
  3. You frequently forget to an appointment that you have made.
  4. Forgotten some names of your friends and your pets. Even sometimes you may forget the names of your partner /husband or even your name!
  5. You frequently forget when you put your keys.
  6. Etc.

If in the previous 2 weeks you experience one or some of those symptoms – and you are also being pregnant or after birth (in the early stages of motherhood), you may be suffering a condition called baby brain /pregnancy brain /momnesia!

Women with this syndrome can lose their memory of what they went /did for about 5-10 times a day! Though pregnancy brain could be bothersome, interestingly it it may help a pregnant woman to mainly focus on caring for the child.

Pregnancy brain syndrome is not myth – it is real, but…?

As mentioned before, many pregnant women and new mothers report that they don’t feel as sharp as before their pregnancy. On the other hand, it’s hard to confirm scientifically. Also, experts still believe that a pregnancy should not change or decrease a woman’s brain memory.

However there are also some studies found that pregnancy may contribute in causing deficits in memory, while others found that the capacity of brain of some pregnant women is unaltered during pregnancy.

Overall, the issue of whether or not a pregnancy would affect a woman’s memory is still debatable. Nevertheless, momnesia is now so widely accepted.

Then, when does the pregnancy brain syndrome start? Keep reading!

The possible causes of baby brain syndrome

In general, it is perfectly normal and very common to be forgetful and have memory lapses when we are at stressful period, being very busy, or having lack of sleep.

There are some possible reasons & causes of why decreased memory may occur during pregnancy and even after birth for some new moms. Here are a few possible explanations.

Hormonal changes and new priorities

Did you know that your estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can go up to 15-40 times higher than when you are not pregnant?

Your body also will produce a lot of oxytocin in order to trigger your uterus for contraction by the time of your delivery. Huge surges of oxytocin are also needed to trigger milk for breastfeeding. All of these processes may have an impact on the way of brain circuits to work!

The elevated level of some pregnancy hormones may impair the brain memory (spatial memory) during and after pregnancy (shortly afterward) — according to one British Study. These hormones may affect a lot of neurons in the brain – however, more research are needed to identify this finding clearly!

What else?

These may include:

  1. Women are also at higher chance of developing mood changes (including stress) and sleep deprivation during pregnancy – and these factors with many hormonal changes during pregnancy can probably be the major cause of baby brain syndrome.
  2. Misconception in understanding momnesia! As well we know that today this syndrome is very widely accepted, and this may cause some new mothers & pregnant women to be more aware of daily cognitive slips – as a result, most of them might mistakenly interpret themselves as having memory problem /trouble thinking.
  3. Many new mothers and pregnant women are more likely to spend a lot of time thinking about the new changes & adjustments to respond the pregnancy and taking care of their baby – as a result, their short-term memory might be impaired!

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