Romper

Is "Mommy Brain" Real? Yes, But It's Not Something To Fear

ladysuzi/Fotolia

If you've noticed your mind isn't what it used to be since having a baby, it doesn't mean you're going crazy. Sure, you've found yourself frantically searching through your purse to find your sunglasses, only to discover they've been sitting on your head the whole time — but things like this are common for moms after giving birth. It's possible you heard the term "baby brain" to describe this feeling when you were pregnant, which may make you wonder: is "mommy brain" real? Because you can't imagine any other reason to prompt all this recent confusion.

In a perfect world, any traces of baby brain would disappear once your little munchkin is born. But you're living in postpartum world, which means your whole body (brain included) is getting back to normal, which takes some time. In fact, it may take up to a year for the mommy brain fog to clear, according to Fit Pregnancy magazine. This is due largely to the role lack of sleep plays in forgetfulness, and how little sleep moms tend to get in the first year of their baby's life, as Parenting magazine pointed out. In other words, the more tired you are, the more forgetful you tend to be.

giphy

However, sleep can't take all the blame for mommy brain. As with many things in pregnancy, there is an underlying anatomical answer (hormones raises it hand). As the website for CBS News reported, "research has found evidence that hormonal changes in pregnancy and childbirth could affect brain function later in life." The prime suspects are estrogen and estradiol, which effect the way your brain responds to memory and spatial relations skills.

Add to the biology of mommy brain the reality that being a parent means added responsibility, and you have the perfect storm of forgetfulness. As Elle magazine pointed out, having a child means having more to think about but with more distractions. This impacts the your memory recall since your brain can essentially be in overdrive at times. The more that's on your plate, the easier it is for that plate to spill over.

giphy

In case you doubted the reality of the mommy brain phenomenon, rest assured that what you are experiencing is an actual thing. Thankfully, with a little time and a decent night's sleep, you should start to feel more like yourself. Until then, take solace in the fact that you are not alone, and saying "Sorry I forgot, must be the mommy brain," is a totally acceptable excuse.