According to a Scientific American study, “New mothers showed evidence of neural remodeling up to two years after giving birth.”
You may know it as 'Baby Brain' and there is proof out there that it's a real thing. Often it’s said that we’re more forgetful and scattered and can’t remember where we put our keys. My husband still jokes that my brain has never returned to its normal I-can-remember-everything-you’ve-ever-said-or-done state and that it never will. Frankly it doesn’t really bother me….anymore. At first I thought something was wrong with me! How could I forget to check the mail, the name of my boss or pay the overdue electric bill? I wish I’d known after my son was born that baby brain was actually PROVEN and that it’s NORMAL, and it’s okay! Because you know what we gain?? We have better sensory cues, risk assessment, increased empathy and multi-tasking skills. So in summary we can smell better to prevent danger all the while understanding others and doing ten things at once? How is that helpful?
Well, many birth professionals are trying to change the negative stigma of baby brain to a positive one. Our brains change for a reason. We become protectors of our new little babes and our bodies adjust in order to be parents. Our brains are becoming more specialized in ways that will help us adapt to motherhood and respond to the needs of our babies.
Maybe our sensory cues change so we don’t notice that we haven’t showered for days! Ha!
As a birth professional myself I try to share that she has the answers within. It’s called I N T U I T I O N. And yes, sometimes it’s hard to figure out all the new emotions and feelings and thoughts as we navigate through such a crazy time in our lives but I believe in our gut we know what we feel is right and we need to follow through with it. We also need to find the right support group that will hold space for us, without judgment and allow for reclaimed feminine tradition.
Julia from Newborn Mothers says, and I summarize
“Knowledge isn’t outside of the mother like society teaches us.”
We have so many things firing in our direction that we’re not enough; our Instagram feeds aren’t the right colour pallet, book titles scream how to improve or be better and our Netflix addictions warp our minds of what reality really is. I mean, how much time does a new mom have to ‘Marie Kondo’ her home or ‘Queer Eye’ her wardrobe?
Anyways, you’re probably wondering what point is? In a time when life is chaotic and unknown I just want you to know that baby brain is real and normal and a positive thing. Protect that little one of yours, snuggle in at home and don’t worry about checking the mailbox or what the first chapter of that book was about. (You have time to read? Kudos to you!) Find your village, one that supports you alongside the journey you are on because it will look a lot different than your neighbors and probably different than your favourite Love It or List It host that you follow on IG….and if you’re anything like me and you’ve spent a good chunk of your life comparing your life to someone else’s perfect pink feed only to make you feel like shit and drag you down, I can only encourage you to dig-deep and find yourself over and over again until you know at your core that you’re doing the best that you can, even with your baby brain, you’re one hell of a mom.