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Study Reports Maternity Memory Loss

A while back I wrote about having mush brain when I was pregnant. Now there is scientific evidence to show I wasn't alone.

A new Australian study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, found that pregnant women experience memory loss during pregnancy and it often lingers after the birth.

To learn about the researchers' findings,


One of the Australian researchers behind the study, Dr. Julie Henry said:

What we found is that memory tasks which are more challenging or more novel, or those that would require multitasking -- these types of tasks are likely to be disrupted. For example, a pregnant woman is more likely to forget a new telephone number, but she is able to recall a number she has dialed many times before.

While the researchers don't know what causes the lapse in memory, there are a few theories. One is that pregnant or new mamas are typically dealing with a significant hormonal change. Some believe it's the lack of sleep that expectant women and new mums experience. Others question whether the new lifestyle has caused the brain's focus to shift.

The study evaluated 14 reports that measured the memory performance of more than 1,000 women – mothers, pregnant women and non–pregnant women from various countries and cultures.


Join The Conversation
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I had it bad this time around. I would actually say wrong words like- "are you ready to go to school? do you have your cheese and sweatshirt?" I would figure out that I said something very wrong by the confused look on my 9 year olds face ;-) I think we forget stuff so we have more kids, if we remembered all the stuff of being pregnant and having a newborn we might not have more than one ;-) - loving my 1 month old, I swear :-)
abqmama abqmama 9 years
I totally had a problem with this when I was pregnant with my first. I left the house several times and got all the way to work (once I made it through the whole day) before I realized I had forgotten to put on deoderant. I had to buy a stick to keep in the glove box because I kept forgetting to put it on in the morning.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
Oh boy. I had this problem a bit in my pregnancy nothing major, just forgetting words and small things like that. My best-friend forgot to put on shoes when she left the house once when she was pregnant. Her and her husband dubbed it the "Attack of the Fetus Syndrome". lol
luckyme luckyme 9 years
Most definitely the case for me. Towards the end with the exhaustion, nausea and everything else, I felt like I was consistently hung over. It did became a nice excuse at work, "oops, I forgot" :)
rgrl rgrl 9 years
True in my case. I sometimes stop mid sentence and forget what I was saying. But I am also distracted by caring for my 18 month old.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
I definitely had a few minor issues while pregnant. Just forgetting the name of a basic noun occasionally and forgetting what I went into the kitchen to get. That sort of thing. I think I was just a bit more scatterbrained than normal. ;)
Dana18 Dana18 9 years
I personally need not experience memory loss. But a co-worker of mine have had problems remembering new things. So there must be some truth to this.
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