Pregnancy Brain Is Real And It Extends Into Postpartum

Hormones, stress, changes in sleeping habits, and other physical changes during pregnancy impact the intensity of symptoms.

Katie Sue Webber
Katie Sue Webber
Mom to two sweet little boys. Helping moms is her passion.
Last updated
April 4, 2023

"Pregnancy brain" or "baby brain" is a real phenomenon experienced by most women during pregnancy or postpartum. It is characterized by forgetfulness, difficulty focusing, and difficulty multitasking. The rush of hormones at the beginning of pregnancy is believed to be the primary cause of this cognitive impairment, which becomes more significant in the second and third trimesters. Many women experience particularly noticeable pregnancy brain in the third trimester. Lisa Becht, MD, FACOG and Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist at HRC Fertility, adds that the high and fluctuating hormone state of pregnancy and postpartum can affect the brain and cause physiological changes that lead to pregnancy brain. Additionally, stress, changes in sleeping habits, and other physical changes during pregnancy can impact the intensity of symptoms.

While symptoms may vary, pregnancy brain is similar to brain fog but is particular to pregnancy. A 2021 report published in Scientific Reports studied 40 pregnant and non-pregnant women and found memory impairment in pregnant women, and "language skills, particularly naming, were also impaired.”

For most, the brain fog will last into postpartum, although new moms are likely to be somewhat sleep deprived, and it can be difficult to discern what's pregnancy brain and what's fatigue. While consistent sleep is hard to come by in the early postpartum days, exercise and good nutrition may also help with symptoms.

Read more (via Popsugar)

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