If you feel constantly forgetful during your pregnancy, it could be because your brain changes to help you bond with your baby
Whether it’s walking out the door without your handbag (again) or forgetting where you left your car keys, most women can identify with ‘baby brain’ during pregnancy – the feeling that your stuck in a permanent hormone-induced fog.
But now scientists at Royal Holloway at the University of London have discovered that this could be because pregnant women use the right side of their brain more than new mothers.
This is thought to increase emotional sensitivity in the run-up to the birth so that you bond with your baby more easily. The left side of your brain is the one that deals with tasks involving memory and logic.
For the study, scientists examined the brain activity of 39 pregnant women and new mothers while they looked at images of faces. One half of each face had a neutral expression while the other half showed an emotive expression. The study aimed to investigate which side of the participants’ brain was used to process positive and negative emotions.
‘Our findings give us a significant insight into the “baby brain” phenomenon that makes a woman more sensitive during the child bearing process,’ says Dr Victoria Bourne, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway.
‘The results suggest that during pregnancy, there are changes in how the brain processes facial emotions and this ensures that mothers are neurologically prepared to bond with their babies at birth.’
So next time you’re having a complete mind blank on how to get home or when your own birthday is (yep, been there), at least you’ll know it’s because you’re preparing to bond with your baby, and – even better – there are ways to get it under control.
Let us know your funniest baby brain stories below.