Did you know that baby brain is a real thing? Don’t feel stupid because you’re not as sharp as you were before, don’t think that it’s your fault because you’re so tired, because it’s not. It has been scientifically proven that pregnancy reduces grey matter in specific parts of a woman’s brain, in order to help you bond with your baby and prepare for the demands of motherhood.
According to research, scans of 25 first-time mums showed that these structural brain changes lasted for at least two years after giving birth, so while there’s not much you can do to prevent this, if you do want to keep your mind active and try and help yourself then these are the best things you can do to keep you sharp.
Use apps to train your brain like Fit Brains or Lumosity, which aim to improve your mental performance. They train you like you would train your body in that the games get harder as you improve, and the app keeps track of your progress and makes recommendations on how to challenge yourself and alter your training routine. If you find these a little taxing to start, then just try crossword puzzles or playing things like scrabble to get you using your brain and enjoying yourself too. If you find that a little tough at first, then luckily there is a cheeky little tool called unscramble which can help you.
Read, Read and Read Some More
Reading is one of the best and most relaxing ways to keep your brain active. Research shows that the more we read, the more our vocabulary, cognitive abilities, and our base of general knowledge increase. Make a shortlist of books you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the chance. There will be plenty of time while you nurse or feed a newborn! If you don’t love to read or find yourself too tired, then listen to audiobooks.
Stay In The Know
Many people get wrapped up in a little bubble of this new world of you and your baby, which is easy to do and also lovely too. But if you want to keep your mind active, then try staying connected with the rest of the outside world, make sure you read the news, listen to the radio or just have it on the TV in the background.
Hang Out With Adults
Make sure that you are talking with adults too instead of spending all your time with your baby – which again is very easy to do. While there will be plenty of new mums to hang around with too, often the conversation will be about the babies, this is great but also try to mix it up a bit and see other people so you can just be yourself. Date nights with your partner are essential too.
Economize Your Brain Use
Don’t waste brain energy on things you don’t need to; for example, remembering where you’ve put your keys needn’t be an issue. Do things like keeping your keys in the same place every day so that you don’t have to waste your time thinking about them and can save your brain energy for more important things.