I’m deep into my third trimester and can fully admit I am not functioning with my usual mental clarity. Trying to begin this article is the perfect example. I knew I wanted to write about being mentally foggy during pregnancy but what is that called again…….
“Pregnancy brain!! Hmmm no that’s not quite it”
“Mum brain…? No not it either”
*Googles “what is the saying for pregnancy forgetfulness”*
Ironic hey? I swear, that seriously happened!
Not to blow my own trumpet but, the thing is, I like to think that I’m a pretty smart woman!
During pregnancy though, I turn into a seriously forgetful and, occasionally, mentally challenged individual. Imagine my joy then, when I stumbled across this article saying science has proved baby brain is a genuine phenomenon.
It makes sense when you think about it too When I’m heavily pregnant I certainly don’t sleep as well so fatigue is a factor. As well as that most pregnant women have higher levels of anxiety or stress as “the big day” draws ever closer. You have a whole extra responsibility to organise too, so there really is no surprise we can become a little forgetful!
Thank heavens it’s not just me! So, then I began to wonder if there was anything I could do to try and overcome the dreaded pregnancy forgetfulness and baby brain. After a ton of research, I’ve put together a practical list of the ten best ways to try and combat baby brain and hopefully boost brain power at the same time!
1. Light Exercise
Exercise has long been linked to good cognitive function and during pregnancy is no different. This doesn’t mean you have to go run a marathon to boost brain power though. Simply doing some regular walking or stretching can be a huge benefit.
I loved doing some simple, pregnancy safe yoga practices throughout both my pregnancies! Not only did I get a chance to stretch out my aching muscles but the calm quiet time helped to ease my stress levels as well.
2. Eat Plenty of Omega 3
Omega 3s help support healthy brain function and development, so making sure to get your fix could help relieve that brain fog.
Even better, increasing omega 3 intake during pregnancy has been linked to a lower risk of allergies in young children and research has shown that it has a beneficial effect on visual and brain development in babies.
Oily fish is a great source of omega 3 but pregnant women should avoid some fish so be sure to check with your doctor first.
Hydration is so vital to so many aspects of our physical and mental health and this is no different. Making sure you stay super hydrated will help lift the fog as well as improving sleep and so you can wake up ready to go.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Easier said than done when you are either pregnant or a parent. Kids take up a lot of our time right from being in the womb, all the way through to leaving home and even beyond!
Yes, it is hard but try to make a serious effort even just a couple times in the week to get to bed nice and early. Extra sleep is going to improve memory and help combat that pregnancy forgetfulness.
If you’re suffering from pregnancy insomnia, follow these daily preparations for healthier sleep.
5. Routine and Structure
Forming specific habits and a regular routine can help combat mum brain and forgetfulness during pregnancy. If you are doing something, in the same way, everyday the chances of you forgetting are drastically lowered.
This is a super simple tactic but it can work wonders for everyday tasks. For example, always losing the car keys? Place a bowl near the front door and make putting the keys in that bowl the first thing you do when walking in the door.
6. Brain Game Apps
There are, quite literally, thousands of “brain training” apps out there nowadays. They all claim to improve cognitive function and memory so it might seem daunting trying to choose one that may actually work.
Check out this great article for reviews of some of the best choices and you’ll be sure to find one that actually works for you.
7. Say Important Things Out Loud
Don’t just think about important things – say them aloud!! This made such a huge difference for me and it may seem like a really trivial thing but it honestly does work wonders!
Wether it’s to a friend, your partner, a pet, your newborn baby or even just to yourself! The who doesn’t really matter but the act of saying something out loud just seems to make it more real.
8. Write Everything Down!!
I’ve always been a lover of to do lists and reminder notes! Not only does it help you remember things, but the huge geek in me takes immense pleasure in ticking something off as “done”. There no better feeling!
9. Use the Voice Record Function on Your Phone
If you’re not a fan of writing lists, but you always have your phone handy, use the voice record function to essentially record a digital list!
If you are regularly driving long distances it’s a great idea to have a hands free system, so you can just ask your phone to record when something pops into your head.
10. Just Roll With it
Being pregnant or parenting young kids adds A LOT of extra work to our plates. Sometimes you will just have to accept that you forgot to get milk or reply to that e-mail or whatever it may be.
Ultimately, it may not be that you’ve become more forgetful but rather that your priorities have seriously changed. Letting yourself get too stressed about these things is not good for you, your baby, kids or life in general.
So, forgive yourself! We’re all human and sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break.