You made it through your pregnancy with all of those hormones flowing through your system, and you probably thought that your body would return to normal after childbirth. So, if your pregnancy is over, why are you still having trouble concentrating through a fog of emotions and distracting thoughts?
The answer is simple – baby brain doesn’t end with the birth of your baby. In fact, it will likely continue for a time while you and your little one sort out the logistics of parenthood and newborn days.
Symptoms of Baby Brain
The definition of baby brain can vary, but in essence, it involves forgetfulness, trouble concentrating and an overall feeling of fuzziness or sluggishness. Some days might be better or worse on the baby brain scale, depending on outside factors.
After the birth of a baby, a new mother’s hormone levels change abruptly. The progesterone and estrogen highs of pregnancy change with delivery. What’s more, a mother’s body also produces oxytocin in connection with labor, delivery and breastfeeding. These hormone shifts can create unpleasant mood swings, baby blues and baby brain.
The brain has difficulty functioning when you don’t get enough sleep. When sleep deprivation happens chronically over a period of time – as any parent with a wakeful baby knows well – you will notice specific cognitive difficulties. In short, you’ll start to struggle with multi-tasking, information organization, planning and memory.
Baby brain can also set in when you get fragmented sleep – sleep interrupted by a baby’s eating schedule or other night waking. Fragmented sleep prevents you from settling into deep and restorative sleep.
The birth of a new baby involves significant emotional overload. It’s also common for new parents to experience an information overload as they try to learn the parenting ropes. New parenthood typically changes priorities for new parents, which can cause challenges. Learning new skills such as breastfeeding can cause a new mother to feel taxed and overwhelmed, which can contribute to baby brain symptoms.
The good news is that baby brain will eventually ease. Although it’s not unheard of for baby brain to last up to a year after the birth of a baby, you can relax knowing that you will eventually be on top of your game once again.
– The main image above was Designed by Freepik.