The Curse of Momnesia

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“OK, so what do you think about this, on Saturday we should go to… um… ahh… go to….” No! It was happening again. My brain was shorting out on me. Come on, think Sarah, think. What was I trying to say?? My husband was wondering the very same thing.

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“Why”, he asked me, a hint of annoyance creeping into his voice, “why do you keep stopping in the middle of a sentence?”.

I must admit it had become a bit of a problem of late. In fact I was finding that my just turned three year old kept completing my sentences for me! Yes, this was definitely becoming an issue.

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Baby brain, pregnancy brain, momnesia, call it what you will, it’s a real thing, an annoyingly real thing. I’d smugly made my way through one pregnancy, moved countries twice, and given birth to my second before the accursed forgetfulness struck. So what causes baby brain?

Research has indicated that while the capacity of your brain remains unchanged during and after pregnancy, lack of sleep, surging hormones, and multi-tasking all contribute to the phenomenon. Quite simply, having a baby changes our priorities, and when we only have a certain amount of space to fill in our brain, it can quickly become clogged with everything baby related, pushing away information it no longer deems a priority.

Sleep is definitely a critical factor. Some studies have shown that new mothers lose around 700 hours of sleep in the first year of having a baby. This definitely has negative effects on the brain, and our ability to remember things.

If you, like me, are experiencing momnesia, there are a few things you can do to help yourself:

  • Get more sleep: easier said than done, but if you need to, grab a nap during the day when your children are sleeping, or try to get to bed even one hour earlier
  • Simplify: cut any excess activities out of your day until your forgetfulness starts to decrease
  • Write things down: start making lists, or jotting down things that you’ve become prone to forgetting

Overall, mommy-related forgetfulness is not something to be concerned about. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy whatever you’re doing, if you’ve forgotten something important, it will eventually come back to you. Now… where did I put my keys?