Did you put the cereal box in the refrigerator again? Did you forget where you put your keys or why you entered a room? If any of the above sound like you then there is a strong possibility that you are suffering from the ever common “mom brain”. As many as 80% of new mothers report experiencing some degree of cognitive impairment during pregnancy and after birth. Before you allow yourself to be the butt of all the bad jokes, remember that you have science to back you up!
New scientific research suggests that pregnancy hormones change brain function. A University of British Columbia study tested the effects of estrone, a type of estrogen that is often used in hormone therapy treatments, on the brains of lab rats. The study tested the cognitive effects on rats that had never given birth and on rats that had reproduced. It was found that the hormone impaired cognitive thinking in the rats that had reproduced and in contrast improved cognitive function in the rats that had never had any offspring.
So we now know that mom brain is definitely a real thing, but why does it happen? Experts argue that sleep deprivation is the biggest factor. Information that you learn throughout the day is stored in your brain while you sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep your brain is not able to remember information as easily. Matt Walker, Ph.D., a Harvard assistant professor of psychiatry, stated “”If you learn something in the evening, sleep on it for eight hours, and then are tested on it, your memory of it is likely to be 20 to 30 percent better than if you’d learned it in the morning and were tested eight hours later.”
Another factor is stress. The first few weeks with your newborn can be stressful and you may find yourself not having the time to de-stress like before. Yoga class and mid-afternoon runs are now a long forgotten memory. When you have a lot on your mind it is incredibly easy to get distracted. Your diet can also have an effect on your memory. Did you know that as many as 25% of all pregnant women are iron-deficient? Our advice is to try and become an expert power-napper, devote at least 30 minutes a day for self-relaxation, and try to incorporate more vitamins into your diet.
Before you run the risk of getting distracted by mom brain, head on over to the Aeroflow Breastpump website and complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and start the process of obtaining your insurance covered breast pump today! Already have a breast pump? Check out our retail store for exciting accessories like hand free pumping options, designer breast pump bags, and more!