I'd never heard of so-called "Baby Brain", a loss of mental focus and concentration in expectant mothers, but a correspondent in the Telegraph alleges his wife suffered from it during pregnancy. Here's an excerpt from his article.
Amidst all the excitement of expecting a new baby, baby brain – which kicks in with cruel timing at just about the exact moment morning sickness subsides (16 weeks approx) – can be a real challenge for couples to cope with. It’s an exhausting spanner lobbed into the daily routine. Baby brain, not something you read much about in the books, has even been compared to temporary Alzheimer’s.
It was so bad after our second child (baby brain can continue for a year or more post-natal) that my wife, in distress, did actually call the Alzheimer’s association to ask if it was possible that she was suffering from early onset of the disease.
The suspected cause of baby brain – which has been shown to get worse with each pregnancy - is that the mother’s body is so hard at work building the baby’s brain that it neglects to conserve enough nutrients to nourish the mother’s grey matter.
. . .
There are many studies on the consumption of fish oil, fish, raw fish – some of them are rounded up here - and they have come up with wildly varying results on the effects of DHA consumption on the braininess (or otherwise, the fish oil backlash is well underway) of your child.
But there is no study anywhere that has researched the effect of DHA on baby brain.
And although my trial has just one subject, the results are staggering. My wife’s ditziness has decreased massively since she started taking the DHA.
There’s still the odd total blank-out (the other day she was giving a talk about the artist Eileen Gray, and listened attentively to one of the crowd asking a question during the Q+A, before turning to one of her co-panelists and saying, “What did they just ask me?”) but they are fewer and further between. If forced to put a number on it, I’d say her brainpower is 50% better. She reckons she is functioning at 80% of normal brain power.
There's more at the link.
Intrigued, I looked for more information. WebMD and the Mayo Clinic were ambivalent in their articles on the subject, but it seems it's a recognized phenomenon, even though there doesn't seem to be any concensus about what causes it or how to treat it.
What about you, readers? Can any of you tell us more about this from your own experience, or your spouse's?
(I don't think this has anything to do with pregnancy cravings, which are very well-known and a completely different thing. My father reported that when she was carrying me, my mother demanded spinach with peanut butter . . . a combination I've made sure to avoid ever since!)