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Forgetfulness: The 'Pregnancy Brain'

Are you finding yourself standing around lately wondering what you're supposed to be doing? Do you forget important appointments? Does your mind feel too full to take in any more data? Yep—you're pregnant. This mental fog is a natural result of the body's intense focus on baby-making. Powerful hormonal changes are going on that affect your ability to concentrate and remember. Don't fight it—you'll only get more flustered. Work with it.

If you can't count on your memory anymore, try these memory aids:

  • Become a list maker. Write down exactly what you're supposed to do each day. Write down what you want to buy at the store. Write down everything, and you won't forget anything.
  • Ask for help. Tell your partner and your co-workers to remind you of important dates and appointments. Two minds are always better than one—during pregnancy they can be a necessity.
  • Lighten your load. Pregnant or not, doing too much at one time can muddle the thinking process. Being pregnant makes an overload all the more difficult to manage. Make an effort to drop projects that aren't absolutely necessary. Learn to delegate to others. Practice saying "no."
  • Get more sleep. If you're burning the midnight oil, you have no hope of being clearheaded the next day. Your mind needs the restorative power of sleep to be sharp, clear, and efficient.

These things will help reduce that scatterbrained feeling—but they won't get rid of it. You can expect to be just a little less efficient for the remainder of your pregnancy. Then, the sleeplessness caused by caring for a newborn will give you a brand-new set of excuses for having a brain that feels like it's turned into mashed bananas.

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excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth © 2004 by Michele Isaac Gliksman, M.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's website or call 1-800-253-6476.


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