Baby brain – does it really exist?

does baby brain exist

Walked into the room and completely forgotten why? Or perhaps you found the car keys in the fridge again. It’s time to say hello to pregnancy baby brain!

That pregnancy-induced fog seems so real – but science isn’t quite sure whether it actually exists. Research has discovered that pregnancy actually changes the structure of our brain, and this can last for more than two years after giving birth! But why does carrying a baby put so much strain on our brains?

Like so many other pregnancy symptoms, baby brain is usually blamed on our haywire hormones.

Does baby brain actually exist?

The short answer is, maybe. Some studies have found that women who are pregnant have worse memories and recall, while others have found no link between hormones and the memory deficits pregnant women have.

One study on mice discovered a decrease in the birth of new neurons in the hippocampus of pregnant mice – that’s the part of the brain that’s used for short and long-term memory and spatial navigation (like remembering where you left something). So perhaps our brains are just in a bit of a holding pattern while we put all our energy into creating new life.

We asked our Mum’s Grapevine community to tell us the strangest thing they’ve done when suffering from baby brain:

“Putting the shopping in the car and put the keys in the boot. Forgot I put the keys in the boot and spent an hour going back around to each shop trying to find my keys. Didn’t even occur to me that the keys must have been in the car otherwise how did I unlock it!” – Kristen

“Forgot I had a roast cooking in the oven and decided I couldn’t be bothered making dinner so went and got takeaway. Came home and wondered why the light was on in oven.” – Tammy 

“Called a handyman because I thought the cat was stuck under the house to discover it was a cat meowing on the iPad!” – Carolyn 

“Turned up to work at a job I hadn’t been at for 5 years.” – Tel 

“Tried to open the foil on milo by stabbing it with a knife, only to realise it was the lid.” – Kate 

“Tried to open our front door with my car key open door button.” – Melanie 

“Drank baby milk instead of coffee. Put salt in fridge and coffee in baby bottle.” – Anita 

“Walked around all day with my jeans on backwards.” – Gill 

Or are we just tired?

Some experts say it’s just sleep deprivation and the stress of a huge life change that triggers absent-mindedness in pregnancy. Regardless of whether science is able to prove baby brain, if you are finding yourself becoming more forgetful, it’s probably a sign that you need to slow down!

Want to know more about pregnancy symptoms? Read our article about the nine pregnancy symptoms that are totally awesome.

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