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What part of a women's body shrinks during pregnancy?

14 replies

Hayls · 14/09/2003 10:33

According to Trivial Pursuit during a game we had with a group of friends last week it's our brains. I laughed this off at the time but since then I have put orange juice on my cereal and- more worrying- tried to soften the butter for my toast by putting it in the microwave. Unfortunately it was still in the foil wrapper and flames started coming out of the microwave! Oops. DH was walking the dog at the time and when he came back I told him I'd burnt the toast (he later found out the truth). Should I be worried? Will my brain grow back after birth? Or am I destined to be this scatty forever?...

OP posts:
twiglett · 14/09/2003 10:48

message withdrawn

hmb · 14/09/2003 13:03

The area of the brain know as the Hippocampus shrinks during pregnancy. (this has been identified using brain scans in preganant and non pg women). It takes over a year post pregnancy to return to it's original size. It is the area of the brain involved with short term memory (I'm not kidding!)

Have a look at

I used to do research on the I'm not sure if I still have one

marthamoo · 14/09/2003 13:24

When I was pregnant I threw my purse away in the bin - and emptied it - it was in the outside dustbin all night. Also put my keys in the fridge and was in tears trying to find them.

And Hayls, yes you are destined to be that scatty for ever..for example, I used to WIN at Trivial Pursuit, now I can't even remember what colour relates to each category.

It's OK though, cos you can just make stuff up to tell your kids - and they'll believe you

aloha · 14/09/2003 15:18

I just don't buy this at all. I launched a magazine when I was pregnant and it was very successful if I say so myself - and i worked really long hours too. There is also research that shows that female animals are better at solving complex problems after they have offspring than before. I didn't feel less intelligent when pregnant or after having ds. Everyone does scatty things sometimes, particularly if they are tired, male. My dh threw his housekeys in the wheelie bin the other day and I don't think he's pregnant...

motherinferior · 14/09/2003 16:14

Ten days before dd1 was born I was talking an editor through some really complicated points of disability legislation.

Five days before dd2 was born I passed my driving test.

Oh, and in between both births I got my career as a journalist off the ground.

Hippocampus may shrink, but IMO size isn't everything.

hmb · 14/09/2003 16:19

YOu have to remember that the hippocampus isn't the only part of the brain that is involved in memory function. It is particularly involved in short term memory storage, so you could argue that the sorts of things that you needed to be able to do to launch a mamsine, for example, are embeded in long term storage areas. The hippocampus does things like remembering a series of numbers that you have just looked up, but it isn't involved in remembering numbers that you have comitted to memory. IYSWHM

aloha · 14/09/2003 17:58

There's also a more recent study showing that while women reported feeling more forgetful when pregnant, in tests they did just as well as non-pregnant women. I also read that the brain was back to normal by six months.

misdee · 14/09/2003 19:08

i always thought my feet were getting smaller when i was pregnant cos they disappeared from sight, then i realised it was my belly getting bigger

zebra · 14/09/2003 19:48

I thought they had also shown that the bits of the brain that shrink during pregnancy grow back afterwards. (Honest!) Whereas blokes brains just steadily shrink all thru their adult life.

sunchowder · 15/09/2003 00:07

I couldn't resist anymoreI thought that during my pregnancy my DD was actually sucking the air from my brain which was causing the damage I was experiencing. Between the relaxin (ms wobbly pelvis) and my short term memory loss, I had a blast. I worked up till the last second in a network trouble resolution center at the time, so I do believe underneath it all that we can do brilliantly at whatever we need to dobut I can totally identify with the short term memory thing and feeling quite clumsey and unsteady on my at about 7 months into the pregnancy. I love the one about the feet shrinking! I couldn't see mine before I got pregnant, so I didn't notice that! Actually my pinky fingernails are the only petite thing I have....

Nickynoodle · 15/09/2003 00:09

im convinced your brain doesnt come back!!!

monkey · 15/09/2003 09:44

dunno about during, but my poor old breasts definitely did after

Hayls · 16/09/2003 08:55

Oh no, Monkey. I was just starting to think that even if I'm losing my marbles at least I'll still have my newly developed chest (being naturally flat chested I'm amazed by the size of them) But now it seems that I might well lose this as well as several brain cells. Mother Nature can be so cruel sometimes- letting me have a taste of it whilst planning on whipping it away from me again! Got 19 weeks to go so will be making the most of them while I can...

OP posts:
monkey · 16/09/2003 10:38

sorry hayls - you might be one of the lucky ones, but after 2 bouts of breastfeeding, and about to embark on a 3rd, i reckon I'll be negative equity before long.
(my feet have gone up 1 size in both of the last 2 pregnancies, I'll look like coco the clown before I'm through I reckon)

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