It’s official — “baby brain” is real. Have you been feeling less “sharp” in the latter stage of your pregnancy? Perhaps more forgetful than usual? Turns out you’re not imagining it.
A recent study published in the Medical Journal of Australia showed that women in their last three months of pregnancy had worse memories on average than other women. The study also showed that their “executive functioning” was negatively impacted e.g, planning.
These “baby brain” symptoms could include poor concentration and absent-mindedness, and the study showed up to 81% of women reported some effects.
“That seems to confirm a lot of what we hear anecdotally where women say they start forgetting things during pregnancy — they put the car keys in the fridge or miss appointments,” said the study authors.
The study analysed 20 previous “baby brain” studies published globally between 1986 and 2014. It was seen that pregnant women in their third trimester performed well below the average for other women on memory tasks, and slightly below average on “executive functioning” which includes attention, planning, shifting between ideas, generating new responses, problem-solving and abstraction.
Mother-to-be Alina Tooley told ABC News in Australia that she is looking forward to the end of her ”baby brain”.
“I’m usually quite intelligent, so it came as a bit of a shock when I put things that should be in the fridge in the cupboard, or left my keys in strange places,” she said. “I left my handbag in a restaurant, which is something I’d never usually do normally.”
With four out of five women reporting forgetfulness, Alina is not alone. Yet she had a different explanation for baby brain.
“I’m not sure if this is something going on with the brain, or if I’m just so focused on getting ready for the baby that minor things just don’t seem as important anymore,” she said.
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