For those of us who have been — or know someone who has been — with child, Pregnancy Brain is an all-too-familiar affliction. In fact, some of us STILL have that darned box of Frosted Flakes sitting in the fridge. (They’re not-so-grrrrreat!) However, outside of pregnant women showing up at work in bathrobes, there has been no real proof that our insane behavior was pregnancy-related.
Ah, sweet, sweet vindication. The medical community FINALLY has our backs, as researchers have found that pregnant women in their second and third trimesters performed significantly worse than the non-pregnant women on spatial memory tests. In fact, the memory effect still held at three months after birth.
The pregnant women also had a lower mood and more anxiety during their pregnancy than the non-pregnant women did, though those scores were about the same for both groups three months after birth.
The findings, presented last week at the Society for Endocrinology BES Cconference (which sounds like a rockin’ good time) in Manchester, England, suggest that the high levels of sex hormones circulating in the bodies of pregnant women could have a negative impact on the neurons in the parts of the brain responsible for spatial memory, particularly the hippocampus.
In short: Pregnancy Brain isn’t just in our heads. So to speak.