Thursday, February 4, 2010


New research published this week by Professor Christensen at the Centre for Mental Health Research in Canberra has concluded that neither pregnancy nor motherhood had a “detrimental effect on cognitive capacity”. In layman's terms: Baby Brain does NOT exist! Instead the study states that any 'mumnesia' effects felt by pregnant women are caused because we expect to get it.

What about me? I thought I'd get the Glow and that turned out to definitely not be a self fulfilling prophesy. I also thought that Baby Brain was just an excuse that pregnant women used to excuse themselves when they did something silly. In general, preggos have a lot on their plate what with impending doom, oops I mean birth, so it seems natural that a few things would slip their mind. Surely this could be kept under check with a good diary though? Well that's what I thought, and my diary has all my appointments listed and, I'm slightly ashamed to admit, colour coded. Turns out that pink highlighter wasn't worth the $1.50 I spent on it...

My brain has turned to mush. If you could peer inside my head I'm sure it would look like a slightly grey-er version of mushy peas. Though I'm not entirely sure they'd taste great next to fish and chips or on top of a pie.

I've always taken a bit of pride in being known as a smart one. Even around my closest circle of friends where I'm the only one that didn't finish a university degree (my friends are engineers, cartographers, geophysicists and pharmacists etc.– any profession that you need a degree to be able to spell the name of is impressive to me), I can still 'talk the talk and walk the walk' with them, never feeling out of place. But since Tricky came along I have found myself not being able to spell or even do simple maths. For example; working 10am – 4pm recently I complained that I wouldn't get a lunch break because I was only working five hours, not the necessary five and half that warrants a meal break, and how was I to survive? It was then pointed out that it was six hours and I was therefore at little risk of fainting through lack of food. Lack of intelligence, maybe.

So if I'm acting this way and didn't expect to be, do my actions prove Professor Christensen wrong?

I started doing my own research (well I didn't go out and interview people, I just Googled it) because if there is one thing you can count on with science, its that the opposite conclusion has been reached by someone else.

A 2002 study from Hammersmith Hospital in London used brain scanning of women before and during pregnancy to discover an average brain size decrease of 4%. Our brain cells are shrivelling up!

A study of the brains of rats in 2008 by the University of Richmond, Virginia, discovered some things that mothers have known for centuries. Mother rats became braver (don't mess with my kid), five times faster at finding food (can anyone say Chocolate Magnum?), and better spatial awareness (the eyes in the back of the head phenomenon) than the non-mummy rats.

So what do you believe? Did you suffer from 'mumnesia'? Do you not have to turn around before saying “Put that down”? And more importantly will my ability to sniff out an unopened pack of Mint Slices at 50 paces deteriorate after Tricky is born?

1 comment:

  1. Surely with Tricky you're effectively running a dual-core system. So if anything you should be better at this smart stuff :P


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