Short Term Memory Loss After a Baby – What Can You Do?

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Many women suffer from short term memory loss after they have a baby. It might just be small things at first like locking your keys in the car or forgetting what you were going to say, but it can grow to be far worse.

Short term memory loss after a baby

Before I had my oldest son, I’d heard of new moms having memory problems after having a baby but never thought it was something I’d have to worry about. My mind was very sharp and I rarely, if ever, forgot things.

After my son was born, I worried about it a little, but my mind was sharp as ever (though I was more prone to crying randomly) and I quickly forgot my worries. Just like before, I remembered everything down to what my son was wearing every single day when I sent him off to daycare..

I figured I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have problems with short term memory loss after a baby. Boy was I wrong!

When Conner was two, I fell pregnant with my second son and, by the time I was halfway through my pregnancy, I felt like I’d become a completely different person. I forgot everything! At times, I had a difficult time carrying on a conversation with my friends and coworkers because one second I’d have something ready to say and the next I couldn’t even remember what we were talking about.

I felt like I went through each week in a daze. Everything I did took at least three times longer than it should have. On my worst days, I couldn’t focus on the task at hand if my life depended on it and did all I could to hide just how bad I was getting from my family and coworkers.what is mommy brain

I was ashamed and embarrassed about it and thought that if anybody realized just how bad it’d gotten, they’d think I was crazy. I was beginning to think I was crazy!

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and I sought out help. I talked with a specialist and she told me it wasn’t something I should be ashamed about and that it was a common complaint women had both during and after pregnancy.

To my relief, she also told me there was quite a bit I could do for it as well.

What Causes Short Term Memory Loss During and After Pregnancy?

There are a number of things that cause short term memory loss and other cognitive problems in mothers who are either pregnant or just gave birth.

Lack of Sleep: As they approach their third trimester, many women find it hard to sleep through the night because their growing belly makes it very difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

On top of that, many women also suffer from pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction during their last trimester which can make any movement during the night excruciating.

I had SPD myself during my third pregnancy and it made it impossible to get a good night’s sleep for months until I started using this pillow. After one night with it, I woke up crying because for the first time in months I’d not only gotten a good night’s sleep but I wasn’t in pain when I woke up.what causes short term memory loss after a baby

In most cases, the lack of sleep mothers suffer from only gets worse once their baby is born. Even the most well-mannered newborns wake up 2-3 times in the night to eat and this continued lack of sleep can lead to short term memory loss as well as other cognitive problems.

Hormonal Imbalances: Going through pregnancy and having a baby takes quite a toll on your hormones. As your pregnancy starts out, certain hormone levels rise significantly to aid in the development of your growing baby. Once your baby is born, those levels drop dramatically and can take weeks or months to stabilize.

When you experience these abrupt changes in hormone levels it can lead to nausea, headaches, and even cognitive problems like the short term memory loss many moms report experiencing.

Lack of Structure & Routine in the Home

Having a baby changes your life drastically. Everything you do revolves around that baby and caring for him/her. If you don’t have a good routine in place, you may start to feel like you no longer have control over your life and your surroundings may begin to grow cluttered.

As your surroundings accumulate clutter, you’ll often find that your mind feels cluttered as well. There’s so much involved in caring for a newborn and new mom are always trying to multitask in order to get it all done.

In return, they may find it difficult to focus on one thing for more than a few minutes at a time making them more prone to forgetfulness.

What Can You do About Short Term Memory Loss After a Baby?

Oftentimes, the best thing you can do for short term memory loss after a baby is to establish a firm routine for you and your baby that includes an adequate amount of sleep and exercise.

To put together a schedule that will work for you, you first need to establish a routine for your baby.caring for your post baby body

Start by creating a schedule for your baby that has him/her eating every two and half to three hours during the day and don’t deviate from that schedule. Make sure he/she gets a full feeding when it’s time to eat and if your baby starts crying before the next scheduled feeding, don’t just go for a bottle to soothe him/her.

Instead see if he/she needs to burp. Try massaging your baby’s back to help relieve air bubbles that may be in their stomach. In between feedings, give your baby a pacifier to soothe him/her if they cry.

Next, make it a point to keep your baby awake for a short while after each feeding. You want to get your son/daughter sleeping through the night and if they’ve been asleep all day they’re probably not going to sleep much when bedtime rolls around.

After your baby eats, keep him/her awake for 30-60 minutes then lay him down for a nap. If he’s still sleeping when it’s time for his next feeding, make sure to have a bottle warm and ready then wake him up and feed him.

Many new moms feel that this is counter-intuitive. Why would they wake their baby if they’re trying to get them to sleep?

Well, if you wake your baby on a regular schedule throughout the day, say every three hours to eat, then let your baby sleep as long as they want during the night, your baby will quickly learn that the time to be awake is during the day and nighttime is for sleeping.

I’ve done this myself with all three of my boys and by three weeks (usually earlier) every one of my boys were sleeping 7-8 hours a night.

Once you’ve established a routine for your baby, you’ll actually free up a lot more of your day to accomplish other things you need to get done and you won’t feel like everything is so cluttered or there’s not time to do anything other than care for your baby.

how to establish a routine after a babyI went to school full time when my oldest was a newborn and the only reason it worked is because he was on a schedule that had him eating every three hours, staying awake briefly after feedings, then sleeping for two hours while I studied.

This allowed me to block out specific times to finish my homework, study for exams, and finish projects.

You can use the time in between feedings to schedule whatever you need but be sure to include a 30-60 minute block every single day that is dedicated to exercising, meditation, or yoga.

Dozens of studies have proven that exercise does wonders for your brain and makes it sharper. It reduces short term memory loss and many other cognitive problems.

Another reason to stress the importance of exercise is, you’ve just had a baby. You need to help your body heal and come back together and the best way to do that is to slowly ease back into exercises that will strengthen your pelvic and abdominal muscles which can be drastically weakened after carrying a baby for nine months.

I have some great guidelines and exercises that you can start with to ensure you aren’t putting too much strain on your body before it’s ready and strong enough to handle it.

The bottom line is, if you have a strict routine established for yourself, you’re much less likely to forget things.

Care for Your Brain

If you want your brain to care for you and to be sharp, you have to care for your brain.  

You can do this by including regular exercise like I mentioned above and by sticking to a diet that promotes brain health.

brain foods for mommy brainAfter carrying a baby for nine months your brain and body really have been put through the ringer and the best way to get back to normal is through diet and exercise.

Make a point to eat foods that will feed your brain. Some of things you can eat are whole grains, red meats, fish, nuts, spinach, avocados, and berries. Swap out your cooking oils for coconut oil because this too has been proven to promote brain health.

If you feel that your body is bogged down or sluggish, you may even want to consider doing some type of cleanse to rid it of any toxins that may have built up over the years. There are dozens of options out there and you should look at a few to see which will best fit your needs.

If you do decide to do a cleanse make sure you do it after you’ve finished nursing your baby! Otherwise it’ll decrease and potentially stop your milk supply.

Lastly, make sure you are getting plenty of water to drink! If you’re dehydrated, tired, and worn out, your brain will be more sluggish and short term memory problems are more likely to show up.

What do you think of these ways to address short term memory loss after a baby? Have you experienced it after your son or daughter was born? Leave a comment below to let me know!

-Jessica

Jessica Camden

Welcome to Your Post Baby Body! I'm Jessica and have been blessed with 3 beautiful little boys, Conner, Jackson, and Jayden. I've learned throughout each of my pregnancies that building your post baby body can be quite difficult. I've learned what works and what doesn't, where to start, and how to build up. My dream is help other moms get the post baby body they want through diet, exercise, and natural remedies!
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12 comments

  1. Linda says:

    Now, I understand why I was such a lame-brain when I was post-natal. I had four children, all adults now, but I can definitely remember, losing control and a lot if frustration back then. I have two daughters, both adults now with families of their own, my youngest daughter, (26yrs old), is now pregnant with her 2nd baby. Both of my daughters had this BabyBrain syndrome, and I fear that my youngest daughter will again have to deal with the forgetfulness and fatigue. However, NOW, I can share this awesome information to her, to both of them, so that in the future, they can be better prepared.

    • If you aren’t expecting it (which most of us aren’t) it can really throw you for a loop. It isn’t permanent though and there’s a lot you can do about it. I’m happy you found this helpful!
      -Jessica

  2. Drew Meese (TheYoungSkill) says:

    Hey Jessica, this was interesting.

    I’ve always heard of crazy stuff happening with women and pregnancy.

    So when you forget what you’re talking about randomly, is it literally a split second thing?

    Also, for getting nutrients through diet to promote brain health I would suggest juicing! Because then you get the maximum amount of nutrients your fresh food has to offer.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      It is crazy and can be worrisome if you don’t know what’s causing it and how to address it.

      At times you’ll literally have one thing ready to say then five seconds later have no idea what you were going to say and why. It’s frustrating to say the least. Mother’s going through this should just recognize that it’s something that often comes with having a new baby and the things I discussed here are excellent ways to combat it.

      -Jessica

  3. Pitin says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I truly believe in “short-term” memory loss after giving birth, but I think having a C-Section will make it worse. I was told that the injections will have some effect on your memory, too. Mine seemed to have been “permanent” for some memories as I have totally forgotten some of them especially when it comes to numbers. LOL. Have you heard anything like my case? HAHA.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Which injections are you talking about? Do you mean the ones they give you during the surgery?

      Some cases are worse than others and take more work to overcome but, for the most part, the memory loss shouldn’t be permanent if you can get into a regular routine that will allow your mind and body to get the rest and exercises it needs.

      -Jessica

  4. Blame says:

    My wife just had a baby, and my baby is four months old now. She is very cute and a lot of fun to play with. However, her sleep and eating schedule can be a little random sometimes so my wife isn’t really getting the rest that she needs as you said. She is constantly worried that she is having memory problems. To make it worst, she thinks this is going to be permanent damage. I am going to reassure her to setting a routine and exercising will bring her back to her original shape and form that she used to be. Thanks for the information.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      I would assure her that it generally isn’t permanent and the best thing she can do is set up a good routine for your her and her baby that allows her to get the rest and exercise she needs 🙂

      Above all, enjoy your little one! They grow up too fast!

      -Jessica

  5. Gary says:

    I probably don’t belong here, but I found your article about short term memory loss after a baby when I was searching for memory loss in women.

    My mother-in-law is losing her memory.

    I learned a lot from your article, but wonder if some of the memory loss related to childbearing can impact a woman later in life.

    • Jessica Camden says:

      It’s good for you guys to know as well in case someone close to you is going through it and you don’t quite understand it 🙂 It is something that can affect women for much longer than the first months after a baby is born. If it isn’t properly addressed, it can continue to grow worse.

      -Jessica

  6. Jackie says:

    My youngest daughter is 34 and I think I’ve had short term memory loss since I had her. LOL Kidding. But seriously I do remember this. I think as you mentioned sleep is a serious factor. Especially when they stop sleeping as much. The lack of sleep causes lack of focus and memory.

    Nine years ago my younger sister had postpartum pretty bad. She use to get something she called ‘brain freeze’ where she just couldn’t think. She would just have the blank look on her face and I know it caused her concern. Great post!

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Lack of sleep is definitely a big part of it. I think that combined with all the overwhelming new responsibilities motherhood brings out these cognitive problems in some people. It’s very hard to focus on one thing and get it done when you feel like you have a mountain that needs to be taken care of and you don’t know where to start.

      I’ve had that brain freeze your sister experienced and it really is concerning. I thought I was losing it. When I finally understood what was causing it and what I could do for it, things got much better!

      Thank you for reading hun!

      -Jessica