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When does 'baby brain' start kicking in?

(28 Posts)
Snowgirl1 Thu 25-Aug-11 17:59:39

When does 'baby brain' start kicking in? I've got a bad enough memory as it is and wonder whether I'll remember who I am when this kicks in!

Panzee Thu 25-Aug-11 18:00:45

Depends how much you want to get away with at work. "Baby Brain" is a great excuse when you just don't want to do it. wink grin

G1nger Thu 25-Aug-11 18:06:29

I started making a few stupid mistakes some time in the first 15 weeks - towards the end of that. I find my electronic diary which sends reminders to my phone invaluable.

Saffra Thu 25-Aug-11 18:12:04

I don't think that everyone gets 'baby brain'... In fact, I think I read somewhere that it's a bit of a myth, but I suppose if you have sleep deprived and preoccupied with all things baby, then your thought processes may not be as sharp as they usually are!

For what it's worth, my brain has managed to carry on as normal - and I'm 36 weeks.

HardCheese Thu 25-Aug-11 18:49:42

Agreeing with Saffra - the earlier studies that suggested pregnant women had cognitive difficulties were exploded by much bigger and more credible recent studies that said there was no such thing as 'pregnancy brain' or that maddenng US expression 'Momnesia' (Grr). I'm sure it's true though that sleep deprivation and being focused on an impending birth or small baby may mean you focus less sharply on other stuff, but I that's just tiredness and 'having a lot on your mind', surely, rather than some pregnancy syndrome?

I do find it a bit dismaying that the official NHS bumf hasn't updated to include this new information - it's hardly surprising that many women genuinely believe themselves to be suffering from 'baby brain' when they're told by an official booklet that it's a common thing! Buck up, NHS.

Panzee Thu 25-Aug-11 19:10:18

No, don't tell everyone! See my post above. grin

G1nger Thu 25-Aug-11 19:16:40

I've definitely made some stupid mistakes, though, and I certainly do find it harder to remember things.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 25-Aug-11 19:18:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorzselMummage Thu 25-Aug-11 19:22:47

Utter rubbish that there is 'no such thing' I become a complete imbecile when i'm pregnant. I can't make decisions, cant' remember anything, am not especially safe and i have absolutly zero motivation. I've had 6 pregnancies and each time as soon as the hormones kick in my brain cells start dying off at an alarming rate.

It might not happen to everyone but it does happen to some.

PamBeesly Thu 25-Aug-11 19:23:52

I don't know if its true (well I am only 14 weeks) but I have found I'm much more alert and aware of things, I'm better at solving things and everything seems clearer somehow. So perhaps its a myth?

HardCheese Thu 25-Aug-11 19:44:47

This is from the link I posted above:

*Published in the February [2010] issue of The British Journal of Psychiatry, the Australian study finds fault with previous studies that support the idea of "pregnancy brain," suggesting they may be flawed because they did not test subjects before they were pregnant, so they do not have a true baseline or starting point. Other studies were found to have sample sizes that were too small to be significant, or the lack of a follow-up period.

The Australian study followed 1,241 women between 1999 and 2007, and concluded there were no substantial differences in cognitive test results between women who were pregnant or were new moms, and those who were not.

"Women may have memory lapses, and change their focus to children and upcoming birth. This does not mean they have lost their capacities," Helen Christensen, Ph.D, the study's lead author and a researcher at the Australian National University of Canberra, tells WebMD.

The Australian findings echo those of a 2008 study done at the University of Sunderland in the U.K. Researcher Ros Crawley, Ph.D, tells WebMD that very little difference was found between the performance of pregnant and nonpregnant women on tests of memory and attention, and on tasks that more closely mimicked real-world situations.

Crawley clarifies that she was not saying differences are never found between the cognitive skills of pregnant and nonpregnant women, but suggests it may be that pregnant women have adopted a social stereotype that suggests they will become more forgetful and absentminded. Crawley concludes that it may be time for society to question the stereotype of "pregnancy brain." *

G1nger Thu 25-Aug-11 20:34:43

I spent years thinking that PMT is a myth. And, for that matter, period pains... Each because I'd never experienced it. I thought they were things that girls and women play up to.. as a stereotype of how things are supposed to be.

Of course, some people are going to be all 'ooh I've got pregnancy brain' when they might not have, but I know my former baseline for myself and I'm definitely more forgetful while pregnant. I love my electronic diary reminders... smile

PeggyCarter Thu 25-Aug-11 20:43:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeggyCarter Thu 25-Aug-11 20:44:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lolajane2009 Thu 25-Aug-11 20:46:03

I taker research that only followed 1241 woman over 8 years with a pinch of salt tbh. Same as research with monkeys.

kiki22 Thu 25-Aug-11 21:00:00

I'm 18 weeks and for the past 2 weeks have been a nightmare!

Usually i'm a super originised control freak these days i ask questions then forget the answer straight away, i forget to call customers back at work forget to close doors put lids on things, pass on msgs!! It's terrible i'm driving myself crazy! i think it's just suddenly havin so many baby things to think about all the normal things go out the window

Guitargirl Thu 25-Aug-11 21:07:47

I absolutely did not have this. All the women I know who had this in real life just became more ditzy than they usually were. <Disclaimer: I am not having a go at anyone on this thread but I really don't like the way pregnancy can be an excuse for some women to behave how they damn well please>

TransatlanticCityGirl Thu 25-Aug-11 21:23:13

Not only did i not get pregnancy brain, but I actually never felt more sharp and focussed in my life. I had a fantastic mid year review at work just before I started maternity leave. I'm considering getting myself knocked up again next time I want a promotion to help me seal the deal. smile

PamBeesly Thu 25-Aug-11 21:23:56

TheJoyfulPuddleJumper grin thats so funny! peeling a potato with a tin opener and putting your mobile in the fridge!

Beesok Thu 25-Aug-11 21:48:18

I don't know if this classifies as "baby brain" but I cannot focus anymore - my attention span is that of a toddler!! I flick through magazines, browse 5 websites at once and can't stay focused enough for a movie!! My husband def. noticed it smile

HardCheese Fri 26-Aug-11 06:59:24

Lolajane, I believe one of the original studies that argued that pregnancy brain did exist was based on NINE Americans!

I'm only at ten weeks in my first pregnancy, so can't speak personally from any further along than this, but so far I agree with TransatlanticCityGirl that I'm more focused on my current project, if anything, partly just because I know it has to be completed before I got on maternity leave.

I have had moments of extreme absentmindedness in my non-pregnant life, I shoud say. One notable one involved putting a jug of milk on the ground outside the back door and only realising what I was doing when the cat objected to being put in the fridge. [blush}]

greengirl87 Fri 26-Aug-11 07:01:35

my baby brain caused me to forget where i lived. Kinda scary! i was mucho pregnant at the time

HollyGoHeavily Fri 26-Aug-11 07:20:00

There is no such thing - it's just another way that we try and infantilse pregnant women.

Pastabee Fri 26-Aug-11 08:04:18

I don't think this exists. I've not experienced it at all at 29 weeks BUT that doesn't mean I trust myself these days as the myth is so widely believed and talked about.

A client accused me of not explaining something to him yesterday and said 'don't worry, I guess it's baby brain' and I actually believed him until I checked his file and realised he was a cheeky, lying imbecile who clearly hadn't read the document I drafted last week!!

Pre baby I'd have immediately known he was wrong and smugged off to get my files.

Ellypoo Fri 26-Aug-11 09:28:04

I always thought it was a complete myth too, but as I am normally a super-organised control freak who rarely forgets anything, I have definitely noticed that my mind isn't as focussed as it was before, and I am forgetting things all the time - I don't think you can completely say that it 100% doesn't exist unless you feel like you have experienced differences since being pregnant. I certainly don't use it as an excuse at work - in fact, I am having to put so much extra effort into maintaining my previous standard of multi-tasking etc at work that it leaves my brain unable to cope with anything other than work, and it leaves me completely shattered and fit for nothing in the evenings at at weekends sad It annoys me when people say a blanket 'it doesn't exist' because I KNOW that my memory has been affected since being pregnant.

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