Guest blogger and Social Worker, Jillian Christensen joins us below to shed some light on the topic of “baby brain”.
As a mother of two littles, I have been reflecting lately on all the surprises of pregnancy. As a society we tend to anticipate and focus on the physical changes ahead… fair enough really, growing a life is an amazing and big change for our bodies. However, the emotional and mental ride of pregnancy, and early parenthood often takes’ a back seat in our preparations.
One of the common complaints in pregnancy is baby brain! It often affects our memory and ability to focus. Whether it’s losing your keys, forgetting someone at work’s name, or missing an appointment, it happens to many of us.
We may think of baby brain as mostly an issue in pregnancy, however it continues on into the fourth trimester, the initial months after baby is born. Certainly did to me! I remember the nurses coming to my house after my son was born. In my sleep deprived haze, I had stopped recording everything. I was completely stunned when they asked when my son ate last? That seemed like something I should know. I also couldn’t readily tell them how many pees or poops he had had that day. Meeting my sons needs was the focus of my entire day but I had no memory.
So here’s the good news… it has a biological purpose! The hormones in your brain, specifically oxytocin, are in an optimal condition for: for learning new skills, bonding and connecting with baby, and adapting to a new routine. Baby brain invites us to live in the moment, and be present with baby, while taking on peripheral blinders for the less important things. Who knew Mother Nature had our back here?
Here are some signs of increased Oxytocin:
-More sensitive and open hearted
-More tolerant of monotony and boredom
-Express emotions freely
-May involve confusion, moodiness and forgetfulness
-Increased capacity to live in the moment
So ladies, the jist is that baby brain is positive. It can help us manage overwhelm. Let’s educate our loved ones and support people not to judge but understand baby brain as an asset. Let’s embrace it!
Have questions for Jill? Message her on Facebook through the Calm After the Stork for Parents page.
Jill Christensen is a Registered Social Worker in Saskatoon. She offers counselling services with a specialization in pregnancy, perinatal loss, postpartum depression and anxiety and couple adjustment. Jill is also the co-founder of the Calm After the Stork workshop, Saskatoon’s only mental health based prenatal workshop. You can reach Jill at 664-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,