Last summer, I sent a half dozen emails to my editor at work, all of which bounced back before I finally reached out to a personal address to ask what the heck was going on. Yeah, so... it turned out I'd sent all those emails to an address she'd had when we'd worked together at a previous job, years earlier! Oops. Like many other things, I blamed the mess-up on so-called "pregnancy brain."
But there's bad news out now for people like me who scapegoat "pregnancy brain" for all the times we seem to goof up tasks that would have otherwise been obvious and easy: Science says it's not actually a thing!
Neuroscientists at Brigham Young recently came out with the findings of a study that showed no meaningful difference in the brains of pregnant and postpartum women versus women who were not pregnant.
To get their findings, researchers spent three hours analyzing 42 women, half pregnant and half not. They evaluated the participants for memory, problem-solving skills, and comprehension. In all of those areas, the women from both groups all performed at the same level.
Interestingly, although the pregnant women were actually doing fine, they felt they were falling behind cognitively. Dr. Michael Larson, lead author of the study, said that's because of pressures from society.
"There's a big stereotype out there that when you get pregnant... you're not going to perform as well, and especially that your memory will go down," Larson wrote. "That stereotype definitely plays a big role, in our interpretation, in why they feel they're not doing as well."
What do you think: Does (or did) pregnancy brain feel real to you?
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