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What is the Connection Between Pregnancy and Memory Loss?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Pregnancy and memory loss are linked because a temporary loss of short-term memory is common during pregnancy. Most research points to hormones as being the main cause of this phenomenon, although other factors can play a role. Anxiety about impending motherhood, fatigue from lack of restful sleep, and a long list of things to remember can all contribute to or worsen memory loss during pregnancy.

It is not entirely understood how or why pregnancy and memory loss are linked, but the sharp increase in certain hormones and decrease in others is most likely to blame. This would explain why similar symptoms take place during menopause. Pregnant women often struggle with short-term memory loss along with “brain fog” as well as other troublesome symptoms. This can be reduced by ensuring proper diet and exercise and by getting enough sleep.

Pregnant women are also more likely to experience anxiety, and those who have experienced depression before pregnancy may suffer an increase in symptoms during pregnancy. Both of these conditions have also been linked to memory loss and other issues with cognitive function. Medications may be prescribed to help with anxious feelings and depression, both during and after pregnancy in some cases.

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Pregnancy and memory loss related to a hormonal imbalance often lead women to feel anxious, vulnerable, and less able to handle day-to-day tasks. This is especially true if other pregnancy symptoms are causing severe discomfort. Not all women suffer from memory loss, and those who do experience varying degrees of severity. Some function normally during all nine months while some may have trouble functioning at all.

Doctors should carefully monitor pregnancy and memory loss symptoms. If they become severe, medication may be needed. In most cases, a healthy diet and daily exercise works to maintain memory and an overall better mood. Keeping well hydrated is also important since inadequate water intake can lead to dehydration and slowed cognitive function. Should symptoms persist or worsen, however, patients should speak with their health care providers.

Memory function generally returns to normal within a month or two after giving birth. Some women, primarily those who are breastfeeding, may continue to experience hormonal imbalances leading to memory loss. The lack of sleep experienced by most new mothers can also play a role in prolonged memory lapses. If symptoms do not improve or worsen, another condition may be to blame.

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