While there are many theories as to why the condition fondly referred to as “pregnancy brain” exists, most pregnant women affirm it’s presence from almost the first hour following a positive pregnancy test. For many pregnant women, pregnancy brain sneaks up on them and the results can be frustrating, while often humorous.
The condition referred to as pregnancy brain is one of forgetfulness. You feel scatterbrained and have trouble pinning down a precise thought. Women suffering from pregnancy brain drive off with their cup of decaf on the roof of the car – that is if they can remember where they put their car keys. They forget names. They forget appointments. They may even forget they’re pregnant!
There is talk that hormones cause this condition. Other mothers feel that the overwhelming news and imminent arrival simply overload the brain to the point where it can’t process something as simple as telling the difference between salt and sugar when making cookies. But pregnancy brain can be minimized a bit, and you should make a conscious effort to find ways around your new state of occasional confusion.
As the mothers of new babies can tell you, the condition never really goes away - it just gets a new name: Motherhood.
Minimize Pregnancy Brain
While your brain may never be as sharp as it was before you heard the wonderful news about your pregnancy, you can help train it in new ways. By learning a few new methods and rearranging small areas of your life, you can avoid many of the small daily irritations the condition can cause.
The first step to beat the forgetfulness of pregnancy brain is to write everything down. Don’t count on being able to remember something in the morning or after work. Write it down in a handy notebook every time you have a fleeting thought. Accumulate your grocery list throughout the week. If you try and put it together from memory, especially in the store, you’re guaranteed to forget something (or many somethings.)
Keep a planner in your phone or purse to keep track of appointments and reminders. Use the alarms to remind yourself of things – even something as simple as returning a phone call or sending a fax. Every time a date crosses your desk, put it on the calendar – even if it’s not for another year. You’ll be grateful you did. (It goes without saying you should be using only one calendar and one list or you’ll never be able to keep everything straight.)
The more structured your day, the easier it is to remember and keep things on track. Not only should you be trying to leave the house at the same time, you should be able to grab your keys, phone and purse from the same place every morning. That means, of course, that you should be putting everything in a specific place every evening. If you put your coat and purse on the hall bench every day, you can avoid the frantic morning search. If your cell phone is always replaced in the outside pocket of your bag, you can grab your bag and go without worrying if you have everything.
For the random items throughout the day, force yourself to remember. For example, if you’re in the shower and realize you need a new razor, hold the old one in your hand when you get out. Place it in your sink or on top of your hairbrush while you get dried off. Throw it in your shoes while you get dressed – just be sure to put the guard back on should you forget and step on it.
Carry it with you to the kitchen and immediately write “razors” on the shopping list before you do a single other thing. You might also call and leave yourself messages, email yourself with reminders and stick post-it notes to available surfaces such as the front door when you need to remember something out of your routine – just be sure to stick that note up the minute you think about it or you’ll forget again.
Don't forget to create your pregnancy website to record & share your pregnancy!
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