Oh, It’s Tuesday: Is “Pregnancy Brain” a Pregnancy Myth?

When I first started reading this Jezebel post about a new study, which supposedly disproved “preg head” or “pregnancy brain” or more simply becoming more fuzzy head while pregnant, I said “Bullshit.” Seriously, I said it out loud while reading the story in bed on my iPhone.

todolistI’ve had to start keeping a daily “To Do” list, because I can no longer remember to do the things I need to do on my own. Also, if I don’t put doctors appointments, child-rearing classes, or even meet-ups with my friends in my calendar, then they might as well not exist. And I don’t even want to talk about my vocabulary. Let’s just say I’m happy to be writing an action/adventure novel right now as opposed to something that might require me actual breadth of word usage on my part. All of this is of course accompanied by the constant sensation that I am failing to do the things I need to do when I need to do them and as well as I need to do them.

But according to this story, pregnant women did just as well as non-pregnant women in various logic and memory tests. “Well sure,” I thought. “If we’re made to really focus with no distractions, then yes, we’re probably exactly the same as non-pregnant women. But how about when I go to the grocery story for hamburger, ketchup, cake, ice cream, and an onion and return home with cake, hamburger, and an onion?” True story! When my real world memory is put to the test, I’m definitely not as on the ball as I used to be.

But then I went on to read that women’s might actually get better at memory and logic tests the further they get into motherhood, and I had a little reversal of feeling on the subject. Yes, I have to keep a “To Do” list, but in all fairness, I am doing more than I’ve ever done before. Even I’m amazed sometimes about what all I’m able to squeeze into a day, and I wonder why I didn’t get serious about To Do Lists before this. And the thing is, I do put all that stuff in my calendar. And for the most part I’ve managed to make to hit all of my important appointments and events. Also, is it possible that my vocabulary is suffering not because of pregnancy brain, but because I’m not exactly putting it to use right now with my action/adventure novel? As for the grocery store example, that happened after a long work day, and chances are that I would have gotten everything I needed if I had written it down as opposed to just depending on my now crammed memory.

The truth is being pregnant has helped me get more organized by giving me a definitive set of rearranged priorities and giving me a fairly firm deadline for some of the bigger goals that I might have trouble pulling off with a newborn.

But what do you think? Is Pregnancy Brain a myth? Do weigh in.


flickr.com photo credit: jek in the box