The Perils of Losing Memory during Pregnancy

Memory loss during pregnancy is short term and the woman recovers her memory within one month after the delivery. Causes of memory loss during pregnancy are still debatable.

Aparna Mir
PregnancyWritten by: Aparna MirPublished at: Feb 02, 2012
The Perils of Losing Memory during Pregnancy

Pregnant women most often complain of short term memory problem and the inability to concentrate, and they seem to be worried and distracted. This combined with fatigue can make things very uncomfortable for you, but it is not exactly something to be very worried about.


memory loss during pregnancyMemory loss during pregnancy is a very common occurrence and it is devoid of any negative side effects. More than 50% of pregnant women experience some symptoms of memory loss during their pregnancy. A woman becomes more forgetful as the pregnancy progresses. This short term memory loss could be caused by elevated hormone levels affecting the brain.

Time Span of Memory Loss

Memory loss during pregnancy is more apparent during the first and third trimester of pregnancy. The exact reasons for the short term memory loss during pregnancy are still unknown. Reports have shown that pregnant women in their third trimester have significant decline in their mental capabilities. This can be attributed to sleep disturbances and lack of comfort due to baby’s weight, mood and hormonal changes, and sometimes depression.

Causes of Memory Loss

Some woman experience stress and anxiety which causes the release of extra cortisol, a stress hormone known to cause memory loss. Some doctors believe that high oxytocin level during pregnancy is the reason behind loss of memory.

Memory loss during pregnancy does not physically affect the woman. She may have some mental side effects such as feeling depressed, distorted thinking or being overanxious. This type of slight memory loss can persist one year after birth of the child.

Ways to Improve Memory during Pregnancy

There are many ways by which a woman can improve her memory during pregnancy.

  • By the use of herbs: Hawthorn, Gingko Biloba, Rosemary and Gotu Kala are the few herbs which improve memory loss during pregnancy.
  • By mneumonics- It is a mental imaging technique that uses word associations to increase the memory power.
  • By performing simple exercises- Exercise ensures that the brain receives plenty of oxygen, thus improving one’s memory. It also reduces stress.
  • By having adequate sleep- Sleep helps to reduce anxiety, improves concentration and boosts memory.

Effects of Memory Loss during Pregnancy

The good news is that there is no real physical effects of losing your memory during pregnancy, however there are mental side effects. Most women feel depressed, disoriented or anxious during this time as they have difficulty in remembering the most common things. The problem is that when the woman is less stable mentally, the less prepared she is to raise her baby and keep her home in order.

Memory loss during pregnancy is nothing to be concerned about, and it generally resolves itself. If such a problem is constant, severe, or accompanied by other symptoms such as trouble in concentrating or a feeling of depressed, consult your doctor immediately.

Memory loss can be a symptom of depression or some emotional problem that can greatly affect your pregnancy. Pregnancy causes some dramatic changes at physical level, and simultaneously it can make your mind unstable. So the best way to cope up with memory loss is to learn some tips to manage it as discussed above.


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