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Are You Suffering from Pregnancy Brain?

Are You Suffering from Pregnancy Brain?
July 09
10:23 2018

Pregnancy causes a number of changes within a woman and those closest to her. There is no doubt that pregnant women undergo mood swings due to the different concentrations of hormones being secreted due to the pregnancy. They often become more emotional over different things and some pregnant women even report that they are more sexually aroused during pregnancy.

One of the most common changes many pregnant women go through are different food cravings. There is a common tale of many pregnant women craving pickles, but the cravings go beyond that. When my wife was pregnant, she craved hot fudge sundaes. A friend of ours craved grilled cheese sandwiches and another craved pancakes and waffles.

There is another common occurrence that many pregnant women experience, but it’s one that has been difficult to scientifically test and quantify and that is something often referred to as pregnancy brain. It refers to the phenomenon many pregnant women experience where they become forgetful and/or find it difficult to concentrate on whatever tasks they are doing. They often have to pause while talking to someone as they search for the right word, as if it just slipped from their mind.

A survey found that around 64% of pregnant women have reported suffering from pregnant brain.

According to a report:

“Though pregnant women may notice changes in their memory, there’s a host of other behavioral adaptions going on that may not be as obvious, such as increased awareness of potential threats. Indeed, pregnancy (and early postpartum) causes huge changes in a mother’s brain. ‘It is the time in your life [that your brain] is most plastic during adulthood,’ said Jodi Pawluski, a research associate who studies maternal mental health at the University of Rennes 1 in France.”

“Raising a child and being attuned to their needs requires a parent’s brain to forge new neurological connections that support these unfamiliar responsibilities, Pawluski told Live Science. Those changes stick around, too — a 2016 study published in the journal Nature used MRI scans to show that a specific pattern of gray matter, or brain cells, changes in pregnant women and that those alterations last at least two years after they give birth.”

In 2008, a study was done trying to quantify the existence of pregnant brain. Conducted in Australia, researchers found that in lab testing, pregnant women performed no different than non-pregnant women. However, when the same women got home, the performance of pregnant women dropped.

The conclusion reached by researchers is that part of the issue of pregnant brain can be due to a more drastic schedule at home and/or due to the making adjustments to home life and being pregnant.

There is still no definitive proof of pregnancy brain being due to anything physical, but those who have studied the phenomenon are content that it could be a combination of the changes taking place in a pregnant woman’s brain, the hormones and all of the added stress and changes they deal with.

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HLA Staff

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