Many women experience a kind of mental fog during pregnancy.
Are they imagining it?


A recent Australian study says: NO!


‘Nappy brain’ or ‘Baby brain’ is real. It’s a genuine, measurable phenomenon.
And four our of five women report forgetfulness, lack of concentration and not being as sharp as usual.


Key points:

  • Neuroscientists are not yet sure what causes it
  • Mothers-to-be are most likely to be affected in their last trimester
  • Memory lapses and problems planning are mild and mostly unnoticeable to others

Researchers at Deakin University, reports Associate Professor Linda Byrne, undertook a meta-analysis of 20 studies involving more than 1,200 women. They found overall cognitive functioning was poorer in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women.

Common issues were attention to detail, planning and problem solving and were mostly minor such as forgetting to book an appointment, leaving car keys in a restaurant or forgetting where the car was parked in a supermarket.

In another study, it was discovered that structural changes in the brain were caused by pregnancy could last for at least two years.

‘Like the brain equivalent of defragging your computer, it appears grey matter shrinks during pregnancy as the neural networks become more specialised in areas involved in processing and responding to social signals.This neural disk clean-up would then, as an example, allow new mothers to better identify and respond to their infant’s needs or react to external threats. The hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with memory, also loses volume.’ ABC News, 2017

After two years, however, the good news is that the hippocampus had recovered its full volume.

How to Help ‘Baby Brain’?

If you find yourself forgetting an appointment, or leaving your phone or keys at home, try these strategies:
  • Say ‘NO’ when you need to – you can’t do everything!
  • Put items you always need in the same place – somewhere visible, like a bowl on the kitchen table or worktop.
  • When you make an appointment, add it to your calendar straight away.
  • Make task lists and tick them off when they’re done.
  • Try to simplify your life. You don’t have to decorate right now, or clear out every cupboard before your baby arrives. This sort of self-imposed stress can lead to forgetting things.

Above all, be kind to yourself.

Here are some excellent tips from

And ask for help from family and friends if you’re feeling stretched.

Have you a story to share? Please leave a comment to help others.