Pregnancy Brain

by Dr. Punita Rice Life

Did you have pregnancy brain?

Did you have pregnancy brain (if you’ve been pregnant)? For those of you who haven’t experienced it, “pregnancy brain” is a slight decrease in memory, and more notably, a slight decrease in your ability to focus.

Pregnancy brain is caused by a lack of quality sleep, decreased energy (you are, after all, growing a human being), and a number of physiological and neurological changes. It’s basically “just your pregnancy hormones having some fun — this time at the expense of your memory” (via What to Expect).

I definitely noticed (and occasionally continue to notice) the effects of “pregnancy brain” when trying to do coursework; readings would have taken me half an hour a year ago would now take me an hour or more, papers seemed to take twice as long to write, and sometimes I would lose my train of thought while writing a sentence. I also had a hard time remembering certain words sometimes, which was a new and terrifying feeling for me.

A few things that helped me cope with pregnancy brain…

  • Getting as much sleep as I could
  • Eating enough food (it seemed worse if I was hungry)
  • Drinking enough water (!!!)
  • Working more in the morning (it seemed to get worse in the afternoon)
  • Not staying up too late (see getting as much sleep as I could), especially since I felt most alert in the morning
  • Giving myself time to relax, which meant being more disciplined about getting work done

But I didn’t come up with a perfect system. So, if you’ve been pregnant and had pregnancy brain, what helped you?

P.S. – Here’s a post on three ways pregnancy and the online doctorate are a perfect match, and here are some #pregnantteacherproblems 🙂

About the Author

Dr. Punita Rice

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Dr. Punita Rice is a wife and mama, an education researcher, a writer, the founder and director of ISAASE, and an advisor with Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Doctor of Education program. Her work centers around multicultural education and equity, and South Asian American experiences in school. You can read more about Punita and her work here. Punita also writes about life, culture, education, and motherhood here on her blog. She works from home in Maryland, and drinks a great deal of coffee.