Brain Yoga and Pregnancy
Pregnancy Brain: Fact or Myth?
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For those who are pregnant or have been pregnant, you know that there’s no shortage of symptoms and side effects related to bringing a child into this world. Lots has been written about one particular condition, “pregnancy brain” – how, during pregnancy, the mom-to-be can sometimes feel particularly forgetful or like her mind just isn’t operating at 100 percent.
Even with all the anecdotal stories out there, the medical research on whether pregnancy brain is biologically real so far has provided mixed results. One of the most cited medical reports is a , which looked at 14 studies conducted over the previous 17 years on possible mental impairment in pregnant women. The conclusion? “The results indicate that pregnant women are significantly impaired on some, but not all, measures of memory.”
But, in 2010, Australian researchers found the opposite to be true. In this case, they followed a group of women before, during and after pregnancy, and found no significant changes in memory or cognition due to pregnancy. They concluded, “The hypothesis that pregnancy and motherhood are associated with persistent cognitive deterioration was not supported.”
Even though the jury is still out on whether pregnancy brain is a real biological phenomenon, we do know that hormones are rapidly changing during pregnancy, creating lots of new, different emotions. Combine that with the mental and physical stress of carrying a child, bringing it into the world and caring for it for years and years, and things are bound to feel “different” compared to pre-pregnancy. In many women, this could manifest in memory lapses or a feeling that their brain is all fogged up.
If you’re pregnant and feeling particularly forgetful, don’t be alarmed – you haven’t lost your mind and it certainly isn’t permanent. Take a step back and assess whether you’ve been stressed out, anxious or worried lately. Perhaps a quiet walk or some yoga postures might help center your thoughts.
Also, if you haven’t been, this is a great time to start writing down reminders for yourself. Whether you opt for an old-fashioned paper planner or go the high-tech route on your smartphone, keeping notes on your appointments and to-do lists – even if it’s something as trivial as taking your prenatal vitamins every morning – will help you feel more in control and less out of sorts. And starting this habit now will help immensely when baby arrives and you’ve got a whole new set of responsibilities.
Mind your health,
Dr. Keith Black
Video: Pregnancy Brain: Fact of Fiction?
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