Does pregnancy make you more forgetful?

Over the 40 weeks of a woman's pregnancy there are many changes going on as the baby grows. But is the power of the brain one of them?

We got this question from a viewer:

Dear Dr. Manny,

I've read that women get more forgetful when they're pregnant, some people call it "pregnancy brain" but is it a real thing?

Thanks,

Kelly

Many experts attribute pregnancy brain or "mom-nesia" to the surge of hormone levels and new priorities that may have your brain on overload.

In fact, there's 15 to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen circulating in the brain during pregnancy. A study from the Journal Nature Neuroscience found a pregnant woman's brain actually shrinks. Research suggests they lose gray matter in areas of the brain that deal with feelings and non-verbal signals.

Your brain is basically streamlining new neural networks to make room for improved interpretation of your baby’s needs and emotions.

Study authors say the brain shrinkage doesn't cause forgetfulness it's just that your brain is reorganizing priorities and disregarding irrelevant synapses that may not have to do with your baby.

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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.