Researchers tested the cognitive functioning of pregnant women to find out if “pregnancy brain” really exists. Turns out, it doesn’t. The so-called “pregnancy brain” are the little bouts of forgetfulness pregnant women have, like forgetting where they placed the keys, more often than they used to now that they're expecting. A term has also been coined for it: “momnesia”. Neuroscientists from Brigham Young discovered that, in fact, pregnant women have the same brain prowess as they did before they were pregnant. In their research, they found that there were no significant differences between the cognitive functioning of pregnant and post-partum women, and of non-pregnant women. The study analyzed 21 pregnant women and 21 non-pregnant women by testing their memory, problem-solving skills and comprehension. In all of the areas, the women from both groups all performed at the same level.
Surprisingly, even though they were doing fine, the pregnant women claimed they felt like they performed below par. Society is to blame, said Dr. Michael Larson, lead author of the study. “There’s a big stereotype out there that when you get pregnant… you’re not going to perform as well, and especially that your memory will go down,” Larson wrote. “That stereotype definitely plays a big role, in our interpretation, in why they feel they’re not doing as well.” Another reason might be due to the stresses of pregnancy, said Dr. Jane Martin of the Neuropsychological Testing and Evaluation Center at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center. “When you are not getting enough sleep and are multitasking, nobody's memory is good," she said to WebMd. “You are not cognitively sharp when you haven't slept well.” If you’re experiencing momnesia, doctors advise one simple solution that might help. Get more sleep.
Sources: April 7, 2015. "Is “Pregnancy Brain” Really a Thing?!". parents.com Undated. "Pregnancy Brain: Myth or Reality?". webmd.com
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