Soon after I found out I was pregnant with my little guy, my IQ promptly dropped 20 points. At least, that’s my approximation and I’m sticking with it (because, ahem, I didn’t have the courage to actually measure this). I think I could hear my estranged IQ points crashing on the floor.
My memory also gave me a saddened look, packed a small suitcase, kissed me on both cheeks and flew to Hawaii. It used to send me a postcard from time to time and seemed to be doing well over there.
I also started using often in conversation the expressions “this thing” and “that thing”, while pointing a lot, in order to refer to complex abstract concepts like “plate”, “sweater” or “sheets”. My son is about to inherit a wealth of knowledge.
And that’s how I first became familiar with the term “mommy brain”. Sounds cute, doesn’t it?
But the cuteness of the term is deceiving, just like the internet “cookies”. Ah, all this talk about cookies while casually surfing the web can make a nursing mother hungry.
I had to look into this mommy brain issue because I really enjoyed using my brain before having a baby and thought it would be great to get it back.
So let’s get started!
Yes, a mother’s brain does change during pregnancy and after childbirth
From an interview with a UBC expert, I learned that the mother’s brain can shrink up to 8% during pregnancy, but it bounces back about six months after birth. This can explain the impaired memory that mothers experience on the short-term. On the long-term, though, motherhood can actually improve brain activities.