Dr. MacSweeney offers advice on battling with Baby Brain
Brain fog, otherwise affectionately known as “baby brain” or “mumnesia” can be experienced during and post pregnancy with symptoms of forgetfulness, confusion and difficulty with focussing or retaining information being commonplace.
Dr Emer MacSweeney, Founder and Consultant Neuroradiologist at Re:Cognition Health shares her expertise on the baby brain phenomena in an article in the Sun titled “How to Heal Your Body After Having a Baby”. The feature explores the healing process after having a baby including issues such as dental problems, knee pain, thinning hair, dry hands and incontinence.
Plenty of sleep is essential
Sleep deprivation for anybody can be debilitating and studies have shown that lack of sleep can make you unhappy, increase appetite, affect fitness and fertility as well as affecting physical health, increasing the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.
Eight hours of sleep is recommended every night in order to promote healthy brain function, physical health, executive function and emotional wellbeing. However, with the demands of a new baby, this can be very difficult to achieve and as a result, the effects of sleep deprivation become apparent. Dr MacSweeney, a mother of four children, recommends new mums try to sleep when the baby is sleeping and get lots of rest throughout the day. She also advises to be organised with planning the day, focusing on one activity at a time and factoring in sleep and rest, without overloading the day with too many activities.
Healthy lifestyle and diet
Changes and fluctuation in hormones such as progesterone and estrogen whilst pregnant and after birth can have a very powerful influence on brain activity.
Healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise are imperative for new mums. Exercise is proven to boost memory as well as lifting the mood, improving fitness, increasing muscle strength and supporting physical health. Exercise can help reduce fatigue as it raises energy levels and also helps reduce stress; all very beneficial for new mum!
A healthy diet is very important for the brain and the body and it is essential after having a baby; giving you the energy and nutrients you need to care for you baby. A good diet helps strengthen the connections in the brain, assists with reducing stress and improves mood. Dr MacSweeney advises packing your plate full of leafy greens and fresh vegetables, fruits, proteins and essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 found in oily fish, nuts and seeds) and minimising sugar and processed foods.