Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Where Did I Put Those Darn Glasses?

Have you been feeling forgetful lately? Maybe you were looking for your glasses, while they were on your face?  Or you thought you lost your phone so you tried calling it with your phone.  Maybe, you even locked yourself in your car.  This is called pregnancy brain.  Some women experience a complete haze during their pregnancy and don’t really know why.  Our dear friend progesterone is acting up again causing this temporary forgetfulness.  

I can recall working at a restaurant where I normally was the hostess.  I filled in on a few  occasions for the bartender because I had my license and previously worked as a bartender.  I had filled in at least 5 times at this particular restaurant on fairly busy nights, no big deal.  One night towards the end of my working days and into my bed resting days I was asked again to fill in.  I was so flustered and overwhelmed that I forgot how to make some of the drinks that I could have made in my sleep prior.  A man came in and asked for a vodka gimlet, my mind was in such a cloud I could remember how to make of the simplest drinks to make!  I was so overwhelmed and felt so foolish because I couldn’t remember something so simple.  This was just one instance that happened, but so many things occurred that caused my boss to come over and say “You’ve done this before, right?” I explained that it was the pregnancy and I was just so flustered.  No one told me anything like this was going to happen. Luckily the woman who normally bartended became a good friend of mine and recently had a baby.  She explained to me it was totally normal.

Having pregnancy brain can effect your everyday activities.  It did in my own experience and some of my girlfriends as well.  It was so embarrassing that I couldn’t remember things and found myself getting flustered in a job I once was great at.  For so many women, this is the case.  Pregnancy brain can have different effects on women from forgetting where you put your glasses to rendering you unable to perform your duties effectively at work.

There are a few factors that contribute to this pregnancy brain and it is thought that if you change some habits it will help.
Get sleep!
You must make sure you get the proper amount of rest.  I know this can be difficult when you are uncomfortable, sick or constantly having to wake up to run to the bathroom, but do your best to get sleep.  Even not pregnant it is hard to function without a good amount of rest.
Eat a good diet!
In previous posts I have discussed nutrition and how important it is for your baby to get in the right nutrients and vitamins.  It is equally as important for you! Certain foods can also benefit your memory even outside of pregnancy.  Blueberries have been proven through studies to improve any short term memory loss, so stock up on the berries!  Also, tomatoes which contain lycopene, an antioxidant, that is known to help with memory.  Be sure to get in your recommended daily allowance of zinc which is 11 mg during pregnancy.  This will benefit both you and your baby’s brain.  To see more on nutrition and what foods give you certain nutrients and what they are good for check out an earlier post by me, Nutrition Is The Key,
Do your best to get some kind of physical activity in during the day.  I know certain circumstances may prevent you from this but do your best, it will make a big difference.  Exercise will help keep circulation flowing, release endorphins, and decrease fatigue.  With the circulation going, endorphins flowing and not being so tired you will have an overall better mental health.
Drink as much as you can!
Get in as much fluid as you can to avoid dehydration.  The last thing you want is an upset in your electrolytes.  Any disturbance to electrolytes can cause some confusion and decrease memory.  Keep the fluids flowing.  If you find you can’t drink that much make sure what you can drink counts.  Try gatorade or vitamin water, anything with electrolytes.  One tip is if you are drinking gatorade or any sugary drinks that have electrolytes be careful and try to get low sugar drinks.
Take your prenatal vitamins!
Be sure you are taking your prenatals to be confident that your getting vitamins and minerals in for you and your baby.  

The upside to this is your mind will return to its original state a few months after giving birth.  You will find yourself still having this pregnancy brain after birth, but you have now graduated to new mommy brain.  Try and have a sense of humor about the whole thing because otherwise you will get incredibly frustrated.  Know it is completely normal and hang in there!

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