I don’t believe it! We’ve all comforted ourselves during our more scatterbrained moments of pregnancy with the understanding that hormones were impacting our cognitive abilities. It’s not our fault! It’s pregnancy brain! But a new study out of Australian National University says there is no such thing. No such thing? Phooey! Tell that to a pregnant woman who has just found one of her baby’s freshly purchased onsies in the refrigerator, next to the pepper.
But the team at ANU asked a group of women who had been or were pregnant, in 1999, and then again last year, to memorize sequences of numbers and pairs of words. They were then tested on them. They found pregnancy had no impact on the results whatsoever. Therefore, they conclude, pregnancy brain is a myth.
Other studies — even Australian ones — have come to different conclusions.
What do I think? I think it exists, although not everyone may deal with it, and it’s unlikely a diagnosable condition. But at different points during pregnancy, it may be difficult to impossible for some of you to sleep. Sleep deprivation takes its toll on cognitive ability. You are dealing with hormonal surges, and are awash in that sleepy-weepy hormone progesterone. You may be anxious as you contemplate the meteoric changes that are happening in your body and in your life. You’re having a baby! You’ll soon be someone’s mom! These are all great distractions. I think you are to be forgiven if you lose your keys or forget where you were going on your way to the store.
So I will take this study and put it into the refrigerator, next to the onsie and the pepper. If I were still pregnant, the moment I closed the door, I would forget that it was there!
For everything you need to know about looking a feeling your very best during pregnancy, please click over to our Pea in the Podcast Looking and Feeling Good.