How Baby Brain Affects Future Mothers

Several mothers claim to have concentration or attention problems during pregnancy. Studies have confirmed this phenomenon, called "baby brain." 
How Baby Brain Affects Future Mothers

Last update: 07 July, 2019

In pregnancy, mothers may have difficulty concentrating and remembering things. This phenomenon is called baby brain. It’s characterized by memory and concentration loss that affect mothers in the gestation stage.

What is the baby brain phenomenon about?

Little research has been done on baby brain so far. However, a study conducted by Deakin University in Australia points out that baby brain is a genuine and measurable phenomenon. In this study, they found that:

“General cognitive functioning, memory, and executive functioning were significantly reduced during the third trimester of pregnancy, but not during the first two trimesters.”

On the other hand, Dr. María Noelia Pontello, of the Department of Neuropsychiatry of INECO, emphasizes that baby brain affects many pregnant women. It’s characterized by a lack of mental clarity and minor forgetfulness.

How Baby Brain Affects Future Mothers

Four out of five women report it in different degrees. The changes aren’t very visible. Only women who suffer from it notice those changes. Deakin University conducted a total of 20 studies with more than 1,200 women.

A large percentage of mothers suffer from baby brain

Although many people don’t usually perceive it, studies say that four out of five women suffer from baby brain. The most common symptoms include lack of memory, concentration problems, and difficulty performing various tasks at the same time. Before pregnancy, those tasks were easy to perform.

Researchers at Deakin University point out that one of the strongest changes they analyzed was memory loss, particularly during the third trimester of pregnancy. The executive function also decreased in the final stage of gestation.

Is baby brain the result of motherhood?

Marisa Russomando, a specialist in maternity and upbringing, highlights that baby brain has a strong impact on the mother’s psyche. It affects her body and takes all her focus, which also includes her cognitive abilities.

In general, mothers describe baby brain as difficulty concentrating and forgetting various things that don’t have anything to do with their pregnancy.

They add that baby brain can still affect them even after the baby is born. So Russomando stresses that it’s normal for the mother to focus all her energy and attention on her baby.

The changes aren’t visible to others

Researchers at Deakin University point out that on many occasions, other people don’t notice those changes. It’s important to be aware of baby brain because it affects a woman’s quality of life, which can be evidenced at work or during the performance of their daily activities.

The experts add that, although it may seem like a worrisome condition, it isn’t. It’s a normal part of pregnancy and preparing to be a mother, where all her attention will be directed toward her baby.

How Baby Brain Affects Future Mothers

Is it about hormones?

Psychology graduate Gabriela Nelli, of the Instituto Criar y Alojar, stresses that pregnancy causes a hormonal imbalance that directly affects brain function. In turn, that affects cognitive functions.

Researcher Liliana Nieri, of the Institute of Psychology and Social Sciences at the UADE Foundation, adds that the hormonal alterations that occur during pregnancy affect neurons of the brain. That causes mood changes and affects the ability to concentrate.

She also adds that other factors can influence a mother’s ability to concentrate, including lack of sleep and maternal stress.

In conclusion, baby brain is a normal part of pregnancy and doesn’t refer to a specific brain condition. Mothers need to work on their concentration so that it doesn’t significantly affect them during pregnancy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.