Chronicles of a New Mum: Mama Brain
Instances like this are part of the course when you’re pregnant and a new mum. “Pregnancy brain,” “mommy brain,” and “momnesia” are common terms that make us feel a little bit better about putting the car keys in the fridge, not having a clue what day of the week it is, and frantically checking to make sure we remembered to wear pants. (Even Adele has mommy brain and handles it like a champ.)
There are tons of studies that explain how massive hormonal changes in pregnancy and childbirth are to blame for that general foggy (a.k.a brain mush) feeling, inability to concentrate, and forgetfulness (hence why the milk container is still sitting on the counter since breakfast). On the positive side, these changes prepare a woman’s brain for the demands of motherhood—helping her become less rattled by stress and more attuned to her baby’s needs. Research has also shown an increase in activity and structure in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for things like decision making, learning and regulating emotions. (Phew.)
Our frazzled brains are actually evolving so we can be better parents. So, next time you can’t remember your husband’s name, remind yourself it’s because you’re busy prioritizing keeping that little person you created alive.
Not sure if you have a case of “mommy brain?” Here are some telltale signs:
- It’s a pleasant surprise when you actually have diapers and wipes in the diaper bag.
- Sometimes you wash your hair twice (you think?) because you weren’t paying attention—but hey, at least the spit-up is really gone.
- You called to make a doctor’s appointment and hung up before giving the receptionist your name.
- You almost missed your own birthday because you thought it was a different month.
- You stood in an aisle of the supermarket and thought, “Why am I here?”
- You finally made a recipe in the slow cooker, but forgot to plug it in.
- You spent 20 minutes looking for your phone, and then realized you were talking to your friend ON THE PHONE the entire time.
- You poured hot coffee in a juice glass instead of a mug.
- You thanked the babysitter and then forgot to pay her while she stared at you awkwardly.
- You went to work wearing two different shoes (but at least they were the same color).
The good news is, being a mom has probably made you much more efficient in other parts of your life. Your problem solving skills are incredible and you can successfully do 12 things at once without batting an eyelash.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go retrieve my keys out of the front door lock.