It may come as no surprise that Baby Brain is a real thing. When you put together the lack of sleep, the distraction, the new priority in your life and what your body is or has just experienced, then it is no wonder that you might feel all over the place during pregnancy or just after.
If you’re not sleeping well during pregnancy, waking with a newborn every hour or two, or dealing with a teething baby and applying essential oil for teething throughout the night then your sleep cycle is disturbed. Cortisol, the hormone that gives you the energy you also need increases but then this raises stress levels. Studies have shown a negative correlation between high cortisol levels in new mothers and their working memory function.
Add the lack of sleep to the hormones whirling around your body and as a new or expectant mum; you are bound to feel completely exhausted. However, very different from dementia aged care, there are some essential things you can do for yourself in the chaotic first year of your baby’s life to nurture your brain and stimulate your intellect:
Reading is one of the most relaxing ways to keep your mind active. Research shows that the more you read, the more your vocabulary, cognitive abilities, and your base of general knowledge increases. If you’re not a big reader, then make the most of what technology has given us and listen to audiobooks. Librivox is a great free public domain of audiobooks and Audible, or your local library’s recorded books section are brilliant sources of material to keep you entertained, educated and feeling healthy.
Don’t get cut off from the outside world. Do your best to stay connected by reading the news online, listening to it on the radio in the car, or asking your partner or friends to update you on current events. Stay informed, and you’ll have something to talk about other than babies at your next social gathering.
Learn Something New
Although it may seem very daunting, if you can set yourself a goal to learn something new, it is perfect for your brain and for your self-confidence too.
Hang Out With Adults
One of the best ways to keep your brain engaged is to talk with other adults regularly. Try and schedule evenings with friends, playdates with other mums, and date nights with your partner to avoid going stir-crazy with your non-conversational baby.
Lean On People
Don’t forget to lean on people for support; your friends and family are there to help you; they want to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask. Anyone who’s had a baby will know how you’re feeling and be able to help out in some way, so speak up, ask, and you will banish that baby brain!