An Australian study has found “Baby brain” is in fact a real issue.
Researchers at Deakin University undertook a meta-analysis of 20 studies involving more than 1,200 women.
They found overall cognitive functioning was poorer in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women, reports ABC news.
“General cognitive functioning, memory, and executive functioning were significantly reduced during the third trimester of pregnancy, but not during the first two trimesters,” the authors wrote.
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The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, found changes to cognitive functioning and memory occurred early in pregnancy, but did not become apparent until the third trimester.
“The declines start to happen between the first and the second trimester, and then look like they stabilise … but are most obvious in the third trimester,” senior author Associate Professor Linda Byrne said.
“‘Baby brain’ is most likely to be noticed by mothers-to-be and those closest to them, with women remaining within normal ranges of memory and cognitive function.”
About four out of five women report experiencing cognitive changes during pregnancy.
Symptoms include forgetfulness, poor concentration and feeling they are “not as sharp” as normal.
“It’s certainly a valid thing that women experience and report, and we know objectively now that there are these changes that occur,” Associate Professor Byrne said.
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