My friends and I joke about it all the time: Since about mid-way through our first pregnancies, our brains seem to have stopped working and have coasted on half juices ever since. We forget appointments, deadlines, and our underwear. We can't remember what we've gone upstairs to retrieve. We stop mid-sentence and say, "Wait, what I was talking about?" Yesterday my best friend left a frozen pizza on top of her minivan and drove away from the supermarket completely unaware. It's fine. So while we can all attest it's real, what causes mom brain?
According to Santa Monica OB-GYN Dr. Yvonne Bohn, studies show there actually are no structural changes to the brain during pregnancy. "However, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy are dramatic," she affirms. "Estrogen and progesterone levels rise rapidly, causing multiple physiological symptoms ranging from nausea, anorexia, fatigue, and insomnia. Sleep deprivation and fatigue can lead to forgetfulness and cognition issues, possibly leading to the infamous 'pregnancy brain.'"
So what if you're still experiencing mom brain long after pregnancy? Bohn says anything causing interrupted sleep can impact cognition and memory. Interrupted sleep? Oh, you mean motherhood?
But even after your kids all consistently sleep through the night, when you figure up all the things modern moms are doing, its no wonder we've kind of lost our marbles. Its time to respect the mom brain, people. Let's take a look at the other actual causes.