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Monday, November 10, 2008

Pregnancy Makes Your Brain Shrink?

So, after talking to a friend of mine who recently gave birth to her 6th child, I have become more interested in the effects of pregnancy on the brain. She told me that her and another friend of ours, who is a mother of 7, are both experiencing something really weird. She explained that their memory, vocabulary, and concentration have all seemed to diminish considerably after having their last babies.

Now I know for sure I don't feel as "sharp" as I usually do when I'm pregnant (this is also why I haven't written as many blog posts since I've been pregnant;) I've always attributed that "out of whack" feeling to hormones. However, now I'm wondering if its actually related to the changes that the pregnant brain undergoes.

In my research on this subject, I ran across an article entitled, "Pregnancy Makes Your Brain Shrink". The first paragraph reads,

"The brains of pregnant women appear to shrink during late pregnancy, according to research which offers an explanation for cognitive problems some women complain of before and after giving birth. The doctors at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London found that it can take up to six months for the women's brains to regain their full size."

Another article, "Placenta Brains"suggests that if you are pregnant or post-partum and have recently:

Lost your keys.
Forgotten an appointment.
Forgotten your name.
Stopped talking, you'd forgotten what you were saying.
Felt just plain fuzzy mentally.
Gotten lost driving on your own street.
Forgotten names, particularly that of your husband, children, or pets.

you may be experiencing the symptoms of this brain shrinkage!

This is quite the explanation for alot of undone work, missed appointments, and "spacing out" that I've done over the past few years, is it not? Boy, if I had gotten ahold of this information when I was working outside the home, I might have sucked this one dry! Can you imagine me apologizing to my boss, "I'm sorry for missing our meeting. I just forgot. Its the pregnancy. Yeah, in fact, my brain is shrinking right now as we speak."


  1. At last - a scientific explanation for my "mommy fried" brain. I know there are physical things that are different for awhile after pregnancy, but it's nice to know that I'm not just losing it when I forget things.

  2. I totally feel you. Something was quite comforting about this information!

  3. i can't believe you're on your third! you're amazing. by the way, as your former "boss" (HA HA!) i thought you handled being pregnant while at work gracefully. you're so sweet! and i wanted to say, as far as natural birth goes, girl, you can do it! i had zoe without any meds and i labored at home from july 3-the early morning of july 7 when she was born. i was 8 centimeters when i got the hospital, so that helped, and we had a doula, which was also awesome! good luck to you! remind me your due date again? LOVE YOU! jerri

  4. LOL! Thanks Jerri (but I did forget supervision and a couple of youth team meetings though; glad those episodes are not highlighted in your memory!!!LOL!

    Thank you for the words of encouragement about natural birth!(I needed that!) You sound like you were a trooper! I really am excited about doing this naturally! We have a midwife delivering the baby this time, which I think will help as well. Love you too! Kiss baby Zoe for me!


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