General health

I heard from a few friends they felt that after pregnancy, their memory became worse. One even went on to say she felt like she gave a part of her brain to her kids, and said "I used to be smarter" HAHA. Another said it's cause of epidural, not pregnancy.

Is this normal? How and why does pregnancy affect memory? Is it even true....? Could it just be  lack of sleep after a newborn?

If it is true, how can I reduce the effects? Should I take supplments before pregnancy? And how can I "recover" after pregnancy?

1 Replies
  1. Dr Tan Thiam Chye
  2. Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
  3. 11 Mar 2021
  4. Expert
Pending Moderation
Memory decline aka ‘pregnancy brain/fog’ is common during pregnancy and after delivery. Studies have shown fluctuation of hormones during pregnancy and after delivery do modulate cognitive performances. It also can be explained by sleep deprivation with exhaustion and newly added roles and responsibilities also impact on our memory abilities and capacity. It is understandable that ones will not be as smart/sharp/focus as usual when you are not sleeping or resting well. Vitamin deficiency could also be a possibility. As fluctuation of hormones is inevitable, you can minimize the memory degradation effects by getting sufficient sleep if possible (although it is not easy for initial period post-delivery). Quick afternoon power nap will help too. Taking multivitamin supplements, diet that rich in omega-3 fatty acids/DHA, antioxidant and vitamin B, eg. fatty fish (those low in mercury), avocado, walnut, berries or green leafy vegetables, during and after delivery may help to improve brain power and memory. Can consider set reminders, jot down to do list, playing brain-boosting games, with the family support may help to ‘recover’ your ‘pregnancy brain’.
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