Feeling totally scatterbrained is a part of being pregnant. Read on to find out why, and what you can do about “pregnancy brain.”
With pregnancy brain, you might forget what you just walked into a room for, forget to show up for appointments, or forget where you left your keys. Pregnancy brain is caused by the surging levels of hormones in your body right now; you have much more progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy. Pregnancy brain can also be caused by stress and lack of sleep. During the third trimester of your pregnancy, your brain-cell volume will actually decrease. But don’t worry; you’ll be back to your old self a few months after delivery.
Experiencing pregnancy brain or forgetfulness is completely normal, and common. Know too that it’s just temporary. Stress can make “pregnancy brain” worse, so try not to be too hard on yourself.
Here are a few tips for how to handle pregnancy brain:
- Make notes. Write yourself a big note and put it in a place in your home where you know you’ll see it. This is great for when you really need to remember something, like a prenatal appointment or to take your prenatal vitamin. Also, put a pen and paper in spots such as your purse, your car, and your bathroom so you can easily get to them.
- Hand off some of your responsibilities. By passing off some of your tasks to others, you’ll be able to cut down on the amount of tasks and items you have to remember.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’ll help if you can have a sense of humor about this pregnancy side effect, and encourage others in your life to as well.
- Use technology. Set reminders on your smartphone, laptop, or other electronic organizer to go off when you need to remember a task or appointment. Being organized with reminders will help you feel less absentminded.
- Don’t believe the hype about the herbal supplement gingko biloba. This so-called memory-enhancer hasn’t even been proven safe to take during pregnancy.