Combating Mom Brain Tips
When it comes to being new moms, the number of responsibilities that women have in their lives go up exponentially. As a result of trying to take care of new babies, families, work, and themselves, new moms are pulled in several directions at once. Because of this, they feel like they are not as sharp as they once were and may even experience “brain fog” for a time, known as “mom brain.” Fortunately, these feelings are not permanent and there are ways that mom brain can be combated.
The cognitive changes that women go through after the birth of their babies are more commonly known as “mom brain,” “momnesia,” or “baby brain,” according to What To Expect. Regardless of what name women choose to give the phenomenon being experienced, what they are feeling is not just anecdotal. Per the publication, during and after pregnancy, the brain undergoes changes where a portion of the gray matter grows in some areas, while shrinking in others. This happens so that women are better able to take care of their newborns and bond with them. However, the trade-off is that short-term memory is affected as a result. But with a few lifestyle changes and time, the brain fog will lift, and in its place will be mothers who are multitasking pros.
Here are ways to combat mom brain.
Get More Sleep
While it may be easier said than done, when new mothers make it a priority to get more sleep when they can, they may experience fewer incidents of brain fog as a result.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, sleep is an important part of keeping the body as a whole healthy. When it comes to the brain, sleep not only ensures that the neurons are communicating with one another effectively, but it also helps to remove “toxins” that have built up over the course of the day on the brain, per the publication.
When not enough sleep is had, the body can begin to feel under stress. This translates to higher levels of anxiety and stress and affects how well tasks are remembered in the short term. As such, to remember more of what needs to be done throughout the day, new mothers should take every opportunity they can to get extra sleep. Their bodies and brains will thank them for it.
Delegate Tasks Rather Than Taking Everything On
With the addition of babies to the family, new mothers may feel like their plate is overflowing with responsibilities, both new and old. Not surprisingly, this can lead to feeling overwhelmed and being less productive. To improve these feelings, delegating responsibilities is required.
According to Mothers Helping Hands Atlanta, even though they may feel like they are drowning in the new journey of motherhood, many new mothers will not ask for help. This is because they fear looking like they are failing if they cannot handle it all on their own. But raising new babies is hard and if help is needed, it should be asked for.
By taking friends and family up on their offers to help, it may free up a bit of the day for mothers to feel like they have some breathing room. Ensuring that spouses are involved and take on responsibilities of parenthood by delegating some parental tasks to them makes the work feel like it is being equally distributed.
Mothers need to remember that they have people in their lives that want to help them and that support groups should be used when it feels like all the responsibilities in life are becoming a bit too overwhelming to handle alone.
Write Down What Needs To Be Done
Because the short-term memory is impacted by the birth of babies, mothers should write down what needs to be done so that they do not consistently keep trying to remember what needs to be done.
Writing down what needs to be done can conserve brain energy. And by seeing items getting checked off the list when completed can give new moms a sense of being productive, even on the days when they feel like nothing is getting done.
However, new moms need to be careful not to put too much on their to-do lists, because doing so can backfire.
According to Parade, by piling up items on to-do lists, mothers can become stressed looking at the amount that needs to be completed in written form. In fact, per the publication, mothers rank their anxiety levels at an eight out of 10 when they look at their lists.
As such, break up lists to make them more manageable. Write down only the most important things to be done first and once those are accomplished reevaluate what still needs to be done. Doing so will keep stress at a minimum and help with productivity as well.
Eat Nutritious Foods
New moms are asked to focus on nutrition to keep themselves healthy and to help with breast milk production if breastfeeding. However, eating nutritious foods also helps with combatting mom brain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, by eating certain foods, not only will cognitive function improve, the aging of the brain can slow by 7.5 years as well. As such, when new moms incorporate things such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, olive oil, and the like, they are improving how the brain is able to function. They are not only protecting the gray matter that is present but they are strengthening the gray matter that shrunk as a result of pregnancy, helping to bring the brain fog to an end.
Finding time to exercise during the day as a new mom can be difficult. But for those who do, they are helping their brain tremendously.
According to HelpGuide, when new moms participate in exercise and get the endorphins pumping, not only do they feel better physically but their brain is getting stronger as well. This is because the endorphins help with concentration and mental acuity. Better still, they also help stimulate new brain cell growth which is key to combatting the dreaded mom brain.
I can never turn my brain off and I can’t fall asleep. It is so hard! Although I am extremely tired I need Unisom to sleep.
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