A new theory regarding the baby brain has recently been published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Widely contested, the new paper acknowledges baby brain as a real phenomenon and shows that it usually affects woman starting with the third trimester.
What is the Baby Brain?
Often called mental fogginess, baby brain affects the memory center during pregnancy. The phenomenon is usually characterized by, forgetfulness, suboptimal decision-making, planning, and decreased and inhibited social interaction.
The new theory acknowledges that this folklore-spun condition is a real mental phenomenon and, statistically speaking, it affects four out of five women during pregnancy. For the purpose of the study, the researchers invited 701 pregnant women. Subsequently, they’ve solicited the help of 521 non-pregnant individuals to serve as a control group.
Identifying Baby Brain
To assess the degree of these mental changes, the team used memory-based tests such as the digit, in which participants are asked to memorized number sequences and to reproduce them. Other tests targeted social interactions, decision-making, and planning skills.
The results showcased a slight decline in brain areas associated with the above-mentioned skills, but not to the degree that impeded the participants to function. More specifically, the subjects reported a slight delay and increased effort in carrying out those tasks.
Based on test results and past accounts of this condition, it occurs during the third trimester but begins to stabilize to the end of the pregnancy.
What Causes Baby Brain?
Albeit the phenomenon is officially recognized, the scientists are still unsure regarding the cause of this condition. Most of them agree that the pregnancy-related hormonal shifts might inhibit certain brain areas.
Another plausible explanation would be that during pregnancy, the brain might ‘reconfigure’ itself, thus preparing the individual with the hardships associated with motherhood.