While many pregnant women suffer from ‘preggy brain fog’, others don’t believe it exists. MM’s Editor, Debbie Orme, begs to differ….
During my pregnancy, I often heard other mums to be refer to something laughingly referred to as ‘baby brain’, ‘preggo brain’ or ‘scrambled brain’. These terms apparently referred to some type of memory loss during pregnancy but at the time I, an intelligent and level-headed woman, thought nothing of it until the day I found myself, six months pregnant, standing in the kitchen, mug in hand, staring at the kettle trying to remember how to make a cup of coffee!
I had a mug. I had the coffee jar. I had switched the kettle on, but, try as I might, I just couldn’t work out the next step.
The next day, I couldn’t find my car keys. I searched high and low and tried to retrace my steps. I’d come in from the car. I’d had a cup of coffee. I’d put the dishes into the sink and tidied away the coffee, sugar, mi……. I moved gingerly towards the fridge. I couldn’t have! Could I? I mean, who….?
I opened the fridge door.
Yip. There, among the butter, the milk and the yogurts sat – as bold as brass – my car keys.
And that was it. My brain was officially scrambled. My pregnancy had seemingly removed my brain cells one by one.
Since then, I’ve lost count of the number of women, who’ve told me they’ve sat and stared at their mobile phone or laptop, unable to remember how to switch it on. One friend spent an agonising half hour meandering round a supermarket car park, unable to remember……no, not where she’d parked her car, but what sort of a car she’d been driving! To reinforce my point, I think I should state here that my friend has a PhD and travels around the world delivering lectures….
Yet here she was, in the car park, doing what Marian Keyes refers to as the ‘dance of the stolen car’, but my friend knew her car hadn’t been stolen. No, this wasn’t theft. This was something much worse. This was baby brain.
There was no point in ringing 999. What was she going to say? ‘Description of car madam?’ ‘Eh…..’
The good news is that pregnancy forgetfulness is very common – and completely normal. The key word to remember is ‘temporary’. No sooner will you have given birth than you’ll find your total recall has happily returned. (Bad news? You’re on the slippery slope to ‘senior moments’ but that’s a whole different feature!)
If you’re looking for a reason for the preggy fog brain then look no further than an old, familiar, ‘covers all excuses’ friend. Yip. It’s those fun-loving, mood-swinging, put-that-knife-down-now-please hormones!
From puberty to menopause, women and their hormones are sorry bedfellows.
Cry at Love Story? Emotional. Cry at Toy Story 3? Hormonal.
Nag your partner with good reason? Hormonal. Nag your partner for no reason? Hormonal.
Have no doubt about it. Pregnancy hormones love to have fun! Having pulled the contents of your stomach up through your oesophagus and into the great white telephone for the first few months of your pregnancy, your hormones are getting a little bored and are looking for something to do! So what do they do??? Party on down with your memory!
You can almost hear them, can’t you? ‘What will we do now lads?’ (They have to be boys, don’t they? Female hormones wouldn’t even THINK of trying this on). ‘Hey, she’s on her way up to the bath. Let’s make her carry the cat with her.’ (Great chortles ring out among hormones).
‘Oh, oh, she’s going upstairs to clean the lavatory. She thinks she’s lifting the bleach, but wait, wait, yes! Result! She’s taking the milk up!’ (Hormones are beside themselves with laughter).
If you’re currently having to deal with the Jeremy Beadle of the hormone world, my advice would be to simply laugh it off. Your preggy brain fog will pass but, in the meantime, encouraging everyone to have a sense of humour is the key….