If pregnancy seems to be making you more than a little forgetful lately, now there's a good reason why.
Researchers now say there's a reason we may become forgetful during pregnancy—"baby brain" could be training your brain to be a more attentive mom once Baby arrives.
Absent-mindedness as the key to effective mothering? According to research, the cascade of hormonal changes that women's brains undergo during pregnancy may make moms "more sensitive" and better able to concentrate on a newborn's needs after the birth, even making it easier for moms to wake from sleep in the middle of the night. The side effect of this laser-like focus on all things baby, researchers say, is that women tend to be less focused on other things, such as where the car keys might be, the UK's Daily Mail reports.
As an example of the effect of pregnancy on the brain, researchers point out that feeling the first slight flutters of movement during the second trimester can create changes in a woman's brain chemistry and even raises her heart rate, though she might not even realize it.
What about those other studies that say short-term memory loss during pregnancy is nothing more than a myth?
Dr. Laura Glynn, a psychologist from Chapman University in California who looked at research on "baby brain," insists that we have not known enough about what really happens in the minds of pregnant women because there has been very little biochemical research. "Pregnancy is a critical period for central nervous system development in mothers, yet we know virtually nothing about it," says Dr. Glynn.
The bottom line? Forgetfulness during pregnancy may be a little easier to forget about when you know the end result is a more "sensitive, effective mother," Dr. Glynn says.
Now where are those keys again?