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Is Pregnesia/Pregnant Brain Real?

Sarah Pollak

Posted on May 16 2017

I am not a doctor. I do not play one on T.V.or anywhere else. I took as little science as humanly possible in high school and college. I believe in, and am grateful for, science. I am a mom. I have spent the past 20 years chatting with pregnant women.

Yesterday one of those women I was chatting with told me that there had a been a NYT article a few weeks ago stating that pregnant brain was proven to be not real. I did a search and couldn't find it.

Here's one of the many things that I believe about parenting, and about life as our CFO likes to point out- the only constant is change. When my first was born, 22 years ago, the wisdom of the day, based on the science of the day, was that you should put babies to sleep on their side, that was the safest. Have you ever seen a baby sleep on it's side? For the really diligent first time, totally terrified, mother this meant purchasing these two wedge shaped, flannel covered triangles. Want to know a sure fire way to make a new mom get even less sleep? Tell her to make sure that her baby sleeps on their side. Babies wiggle.I sat there and waited for my sleeping baby to move so I could re-position them on their side. The Back to Sleep Campaign started shortly thereafter.

I was able to find an article on the Mayo Clinic site saying yes-no-maybe-no proof.

I did find a NYT article from December 2016 titled "Pregnancy Changes the Brain in Ways that may Help Mothering" In this article it states that pregnancy brain actually extends into the toddler years, and "the more pronounced the brain changes, the higher mothers scored on a score of emotional attachment to their babies".

So, to that pregnant mom of a toddler who was in the other day, the one who was calling AAA and said to me "I hope that they send a different guy than they sent 2 hours ago- the first time I locked my keys in the car!", and to that mom who was 20 weeks pregnant with her first and said that she lived 10 minutes away but it had taken her an hour to get here because she had to go back into the house 4 times and had still failed to bring the box for UPS-it's all good, your scores are off the charts!

So, is it real? For today? Sure! Most importantly, don't stress, don't fight it. If you forget something, you forgot it. Forgive and move on. How important is the cause? What can you do about it? Beat yourself up? Yeah. Let's just say it's real shall we? We've asked a few experts-moms, and, 10 out of 10 have experienced the symptoms. That's real enough for us.



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