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Does having a baby really turn your brain to mush?

(34 Posts)
hufflebottom Sat 09-Jan-16 13:44:47

It was in the mirror today.

(I hope link works)

What do people think?

YouBastardSockBalls Sat 09-Jan-16 13:45:38

Yes. Yes it does.

And I NEVER believed it before.

bluewisteria Sat 09-Jan-16 13:47:00

Not according to this article-

KittyandTeal Sat 09-Jan-16 13:52:22

I just read a very o retesting article in the New Scientist that suggests that (apart from the third trimester when your brain shrinks) pregnancy and motherhood fundamentally changes your brain and can lead to greater cognition in certain areas.

Very interesting

MingZillas Sat 09-Jan-16 13:53:26

Yes it truly does. I thought my brain was shit when I was pregnant but fucking hell, with the sleep deprivation as well. It's a wonder my family and I are still alive sometimes! People have told me it never returns to normal either.

museumum Sat 09-Jan-16 13:57:12

Sleep deprivation makes it hard to concentrate.
And I'd say spending long periods dealing with the very immediate all the time makes it hard to sit down and focus for longer but you can adjust.
When my ds was 6mo to 2yrs I felt quite a struggle to switch between work and baby care modes as they're just very different ways of using your brain.

StitchesInTime Sat 09-Jan-16 13:58:31

I think a lot of it is sleep deprivation. Even a baby that's a good sleeper is going to lead to a degree of sleep deprivation, especially when they're tiny.

villainousbroodmare Sat 09-Jan-16 14:04:49

I think it's nonsense. Though obviously lack of sleep doesn't make anyone any brighter.

NewLife4Me Sat 09-Jan-16 14:06:07

I think when they are little and they need so much from you the sleep deprivation can turn your brain to mush, but no more than any other reason that deprives you of sleep.
I felt pretty much the same during the last few months of my degree and my PgCE where sleep was just not on the agenda grin

eddiemairswife Sat 09-Jan-16 14:20:34

I never felt like that, and I had four in just under 6 years. I had babies who were good feeders and good sleepers and can't say I suffered from sleep deprivation. I didn't have much time for reading, apart from the paper, so I managed to keep up with the news and current affairs.

MintyBojingles Sat 09-Jan-16 14:21:39

I think it's nonsense, though sleep deprivation can do a lot!

frikadela01 Sat 09-Jan-16 14:27:08

I feel like my brain has turned to mush since I was about 8 weeks although I'm putting it down to sleep deprivation and the fact I really am struggling to think about anything other than babies. I felt the same when I was preparing to start my first nursing post... just my brain struggles when I'm tired and have something major on my mind.

OwlinaTree Sat 09-Jan-16 14:59:11

I seem to struggle with recall of vocabulary. Names are harder to remember. I'll be saying to dh, 'pass me the thing' what thubg? 'the one next to the other thing' and equally difficult to decipher sentences.

hufflebottom Sat 09-Jan-16 16:13:10

I've always been a bit sceptical about it.

But the things I've forgotten this time round is silly.

bellbaker Sat 09-Jan-16 16:21:53

I was studying when I had my dc and managed to get a first class degree in engineering while pg/during the baby years with DS1. With DS2 I was doing a demanding and highly technical Masters. Both required a lot of memorisation for exams, lots of reading and conceptual thinking. No signs of mushy brain here!

IndomitabIe Sat 09-Jan-16 17:09:31

There was a New Scientist article in this the other day.

In late pregnancy it's true that mothers brains shrink (by 7% I think) but this recovers by 6 months post birth and I think it's not associated with any measurable cognitive decline.

In fact, they haven't been able to show any cognitive decline in pregnancy, due to pregnancy.

In fact, the NS article was mainly about cognitive and emotional improvements in the months and years after birth.

But the sleep deprivation, which is largely a societal issue relating to the expectations and support (or lack of) for new mothers, of course has a huge cognitive effect.

I'll find the link later...

IndomitabIe Sat 09-Jan-16 17:11:55

owlinatree - despite my previous post, I've been having the sentence/word finding issue too (29 weeks) but this is fairly normal for me on a Friday. It's just starting to pervade the rest of the week! Also the clumsiness!

But this could be down to not meeting an increased need for sleep (by continuing to work full time).

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Sat 09-Jan-16 17:14:46

With dc1, I was overwhelmed with all the new stuff I had to learn and the sleep deprivation definitely made me scatty.
I still tried to keep up to date with current affairs and listened to radio 4 or BBC London and audiobooks which kept me from feeling totally mushy brained.

IndomitabIe Sat 09-Jan-16 18:05:47

Here it is:

It's in this week's NS so have a sneaky read in the newsagents

chantico Sat 09-Jan-16 18:10:57

Yes, I found there was a difference.

For me it was the mixture of sleep deprivation, PND and the learning curve.

Not everyone has those issues, and all are temporary or treatable, so I wouldn't say it's a definite 'thing'

Rufus200 Sat 09-Jan-16 19:38:02

Completely, I am so cross with myself at the moment. I decided to use my nectar points to buy a tv for the bedroom, I wanted a smart tv so I could watch Netflix. A week after installing it, I realised today it doesn't go on the Internet or have any apps, can't return it now as no box, so cross with my own stupidity! 36 weeks tomorrow.

KeyboardMum Sat 09-Jan-16 22:06:42

OwlinaTree that's me all over at the moment. It's very frustrating.

zannyminxoxox Sat 09-Jan-16 22:28:42

Yes it does I lost 2 purses with my son and my baby brain is really kicking in now im on last trimester with this one . I thought me and my husbamd had been married 7 years today its actually 6 and using radiator paint on the walls

futureme Sat 09-Jan-16 22:31:27

I still have 4 years on.... problems with recal, concentration etc. However in my case its very definitely sleep deprivation. Affects everything. I used to sleep 8 hours. For 3 years I never slept more than about 2 horus in one go and now I still get about 6 most nights.

3littlefrogs Sat 09-Jan-16 22:36:06

9 months of HG, followed by a traumatic delivery, a non-sleeping baby, interfering, unhelpful in-laws and PND didn't do my brain a great deal of good TBH.

There are so many variable factors, I can't really see how a study could possibly be designed to take in all of them and produce any reliable results.

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