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Forgetfulness in Pregnancy

A woman’s concentration decreases, and absent-mindedness and forgetfulness increase when she is in position. These are symptoms that are observed in 4 out of 5 women.

A general decline in the cognitive functions of pregnant women was proven as a result of a study by Australian scientists at Deakin University. They compared the results of the brain activity of pregnant women and women not in position. Observations have shown that during the period of gestation in women, memory, concentration, and perseverance are significantly reduced.

When Does Forgetfulness Start in Pregnancy?

Women’s memory suffers to varying degrees throughout pregnancy, according to a study. The first vivid symptoms appear in the initial stages of the second trimester. Symptoms become more pronounced in the third trimester.

The reason for the onset of memory problems is considered to be hormonal surges during this period. Forgetfulness is most evident when a woman is very tired.


The symptom of forgetfulness was noted at the 16th week of pregnancy. It manifests itself most clearly from the 33rd week. Almost the entire third trimester is characterized by reduced attentiveness, scattered thinking, poor concentration, and forgetfulness of a woman. This occurs as a result of structural changes in the brain and increased emotional response.

Forgetfulness weeks in pregnancy

When will it end?

Scientists have proven that cognitive decline and memory impairment can persist after the birth of a child. Young mothers note that they cannot concentrate their memory for about 2-3 months after giving birth. Some relief of symptoms is observed after the 16th week. The symptom worsens in the third trimester. The situation improves slightly after the 38th week.

How Forgetfulness Feels during Pregnancy?

Women notice that they become less attentive and absent-minded already at the beginning of pregnancy. They do not absorb information well, they understand the details for a long time, and they can easily forget about a meeting or an important date. Decreased multitasking, concentration, and memory. Pregnant women easily lose the thread of the conversation and forget what exactly they wanted to say.


More serious amnestic signs may appear in an acute form: the woman does not remember what she said, does not remember names, or numbers. A pregnant woman can stand and think for a long time why exactly she came here when she entered the room.


A mild degree of forgetfulness is expressed in the inability to immediately remember specific things. The woman feels that she has forgotten something but cannot remember what it is. A pregnant woman is constantly trying to concentrate on something, feeling that it comes out much more difficult for her than before.

Forgetfulness during pregnancy is normal, as long as it doesn’t lead to long-term memory loss.

Prevention methods

Forgetfulness preventive measures are aimed at training memory and strengthening neural connections. Prevention methods include the basic principles of normalized sleep, rest, proper nutrition, and the rejection of bad habits. All this together contributes to the improvement of memory and cognitive functions. The main ways to prevent forgetfulness:

Always get enough sleep

Chronic sleep deprivation is bad for concentration and memory. A woman should sleep 8 continuous hours at night. It is better if the time of falling asleep is no later than 11 pm. Another 2 hours of daytime sleep is added during the gestation period to night sleep. The daily rate of sleep increases to 10 hours.

Memory training

Various techniques can be used for this method: learning languages, memorizing poems or songs and performing logical and arithmetic tasks. You need to read more and try to tell someone about what you read. This forms neural connections and trains the brain to remember information and retrieve it quickly. This method works well before pregnancy.

Replenish the level of iodine

Get tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If there is an iodine deficiency, it must be eliminated. This element is responsible for performance, concentration, and memory. Iodine deficiency is most affected by people who refuse seafood. Replenish your diet with fatty fish, shrimp, seaweed, crabs, and other products. They will help stabilize iodine levels and improve memory in the long term.

Why Forgetfulness Occurs in Pregnancy?

Female hormones are responsible for reduced attention and memory. They directly affect the functioning of the brain and lead to reduced concentration, and forgetfulness. The level of estrogen during pregnancy is much higher than in women who are not pregnant. Progesterone causes excessive excitability, sensitivity, and emotional instability. This reduces alertness and concentration.

The results of the examination of pregnant women confirm the fact of a decrease in the amount of gray matter in the brain of women during the period of gestation. This is especially true for the third trimester of pregnancy.

Among the main reasons for forgetfulness, scientists identify: the removal from external negativity and the direction of the brain’s work exclusively on the safety of pregnancy and caring for the child; physical and emotional fatigue; decreased volume of gray matter in the medial frontal and posterior parietal cortex.


You can protect yourself from forgetfulness by using simple gadgets. The main principle is memory insurance. Do not rely on the fact that you will remember something on your own. Always duplicate your memory on a physical source. This will not save you from the manifestation of the problem but will help you coexist with it. Consider the options for protection against forgetfulness:

Get a diary

Write down all your important affairs, meetings, and events. Indicate the time that you need to take with you and with whom to meet. The main thing is to always keep these records next to you. Read your diary before bed and preferably in the morning. This will help you navigate the daily chart with confidence.

Set a reminder on your phone

Set reminders for important dates, doctor’s appointments, visits to the ultrasound room, and more in notes on the calendar. Highlight exactly what you constantly forget with a signal. This will help you stay punctual and eliminate a lot of problems with forgetfulness.

All items have their place

Always keep your essentials in the same place. You can arrange them in cabinets and shelves and then make a list of where everything is. Keys or phones are lost most often. You can hang special search trackers on them. They have a signal with which you can find the loss.


Do not confuse pregnancy forgetfulness with signs of amnesia or prosopagnosia. Urgently consult a doctor if you notice that you do not recognize a person, do not remember the way home, or lose orientation in space. This is not a symptom of pregnancy but the consequences of serious disorders of the brain.

Forgetfulness should not go beyond normality. You cannot forget the names of loved ones, your address, age, etc.

What Not to Do

Not all self-help methods for forgetfulness are good. Sometimes women make mistakes in the manifestation of a symptom: they trust unfamiliar people, do not check the facts, and rely on the memory of loved ones.

Simple forgetfulness without complications does not require treatment. Try to ignore advice from alternative medicine or unverified sources. What exactly should not be done with forgetfulness:

Get upset and rot yourself

Do not underestimate your dignity. Treat the situation with humor. Let forgetfulness be your highlight. Self-flagellation can become a habit.

Strain your brain

Do not engage in mental stress during pregnancy. This will cause fatigue. The work of the brain is now aimed at bearing and not at performing complex tasks.

Do not use memory stimulants

Caffeine, melatonin, iodine, and L-thyroxine – it is better not to take them during the gestation period. Memory stimulants can adversely affect the development of the baby in the womb.

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