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Baby Brain: Does it exist?



Does "baby brain" really exist?

Answer by Myra Wick, MD, Ph.D.

There is not enough information to substantiate the existence of a baby brain or a pregnancy brain idea that pregnancy or early motherhood can harm a woman's memory and thinking ability.

The researchers began to study the theory of the baby brain because women often report cognitive changes, especially forgetfulness, during pregnancy and shortly after Mother's Day. However, studies that examine the relationship between pregnancy or the early stages of motherhood and changes in a woman's thinking ability have produced conflicting results.

Some studies have shown that pregnancy may affect a woman's memory during pregnancy and, shortly thereafter, hormonal changes, sleep deprivation or stress in coping with a major life change. At least one study has suggested that short-term memory problems during pregnancy may be associated with depressed mood. Further research is required. Other studies have shown that pregnancy and motherhood have no negative cognitive effects.

Because the concept of the baby brain is so prevalent, some experts believe that pregnant women and new mothers are aware of the common cognitive error. As a result, they may mistakenly find themselves problematic.

If you are pregnant or a new mother, do not assume that you are experiencing cognitive decline. Being a mother means an emotional and physical transition. Concentrate on adapting to the positive aspects of pregnancy, motherhood and the upcoming journey. If you are concerned about your moods, consult your doctor.

Updated: 2015-11-12

Release date: 2015-11-12


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