Nearly two months ago I blogged about a study conducted in Australia that claimed “baby brain,” or the memory loss many pregnant women claim to experience, is all in our heads. I believe my response was, “They are nuts!” If you read my story about getting lost in my own town, you’d understand why. Well now there is another study that comes from the University of Bradford that links pregnancy hormones to spacial memory loss, (think, “where did I leave my keys?” or “how do I get home from here?”) This is almost as confusing as the contradictory research about eggs being healthy or not. Except in this case, I don’t need official research to prove the obvious. I remember my memory loss! (Ha.)
The study compared a group of pregnant woman against a group of non-pregnant woman over the period of about a year, during pregnancy and three months after. All the women were given spacial memory tests and had their mood, anxiety levels and attention spans tested. Their hormone levels were also measured. The pregnant women scored ten percent lower than the non-pregnant women across the board. Besides spacial memory loss, pregnant women were found to experience more depression and anxiety. That’s no surprise. When you walk into a room five times in a row and still can’t remember why, you’re bound to feel depressed or anxious.
The researchers did mention that while the spacial memory loss experienced during pregnancy was a real symptom, more research is needed to determine whether hormones are the only cause. Loss of sleep and stress could also account for slightly reduced memory function. If that were the case, I would have been a lost cause in college. I still maintain that pregnancy causes memory loss and there are multitudes of women out there who will testify along with me.