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Mom Brain isn't a Joke: How it Changes Your Recall & Confidence

attention and memory brain fog memory loss Dec 20, 2022
overwhelmed mom sitting on couch while kids run around

Do you know that feeling of forgetfulness after becoming a new mom? Wandering around absent-minded? Starting and stopping tasks without feeling productive at the end of the day? When details to events and conversations are fuzzier than they used to be, and timelines are less defined? Yeah, me too.

That’s mom brain.

And if you're a mom, you’ve likely heard of it or experienced it before.

Maybe you’ve even blamed a forgotten play date, a missed dentist appointment, or lost track of time because of your fuzzy mom brain.

Mom brain can leave you feeling forgetful, frustrated, and completely overwhelmed. It can be a scary thing and make you wonder if you’re the only one feeling this way and if this is your new normal.

If you're wondering if it's real, why it happens and if it ever goes away, keep reading this article. 

Mom brain isn’t a joke, it's a real thing.

You’re not crazy, losing it, or alone. Nearly all women experience these cognitive changes, amongst others, after having children. After all, your entire life and identity can feel like they’re undergoing construction when you take on the new role of motherhood.

Not to mention the sleep deprivation that settles in during the newborn phase while you're trying to recover during the postpartum period. You’re tired and overwhelmed. You’re juggling a lot and so is your brain.

Neurobiological changes are to blame.


Having a new baby changes more than just your daily life. It alters your brain also. Research shows evidence that pregnant women experience shrinkage in the gray matter in their brains, aka pregnancy brain. Changes in the volume of gray matter will impact your day-to-day function. 

It’s no secret that pregnancy is a time of dramatic hormone-driven physical and psychological changes. And while we can visualize the changes to our bodies as they come, we can’t quite do the same with the changes internally that affect how we think and behave.

In this new study, researchers scanned women’s brains before and after they gave birth and findings indicated that this neurobiological phenomenon lasted for approximately 2 years.

Such significant changes weren’t meant to just leave you feeling foggy, though. Researchers suggest that these shifts benefit our offspring by helping new mothers bond with your new baby and connect with their emotional needs. It’s your brain’s way of priming you for motherhood. Though, it may not always feel as beneficial to you.

Memory loss after motherhood

Memory problems were likely not an expected side effect of new motherhood. Here's why they happen... 

The part of your brain responsible for memory and new learning, the hippocampus, is highly susceptible to the gray matter loss or shrinkage that kicks in during pregnancy. This is why dad brain isn't really a thing; it's more of a birthing parent problem. 

These changes in a woman's brain make learning new things or remembering new information may feel more effortful, as if the sleepless nights weren't enough.

But physical changes to your brain are not the only culprit behind the mom brain phenomenon. Our current culture fueled by hustling, overwhelm and comparison are also to blame. It's the result of an institutional failure that lacks support for postpartum mothers and families. 

Click HERE to download the FREE Get Your Memory Back Starter Guide


It’s not just you, it's also the product of the unequal burden.

Now more than ever, the demands on your energy as a mom are at an all-time high. And when you’re pulled in a million different directions at one time, while dealing with a lack of sleep, your brain will lag.

Today’s society is full of hustling, comparison, and impossible-to-meet standards that can leave your mind reeling when it should be resting. As if the long days of physical caregiving, chronic stress and mental work of caring weren't enough already. It can feel like you’re juggling 20 glass plates, and if you slow down or stop, half of them will come crashing down around you.

I hear ya. I can tell you from firsthand experience because that’s how I feel, too. And social media doesn't help.

From managing everyone’s schedules, taking care of your whole household, planning, and cooking healthy meals for the family, navigating friendships, buying and sending birthday cards to all the family members who don’t live nearby, RSVPing to birthday parties that then require forward thinking and planning for gift-buying, grocery store planning, holiday plotting, working down your endless to-do list, prioritizing a relationship with your partner… it can feel never-ending.

But society has normalized this kind of chaos. Even making mom brain seem more endearing than frustrating. Multitasking has become not only normal but is expected to keep up with the demands of everyday life, which are set up for you to fail and blame on your mom brain.

But sometimes when the mom brain continues, it’s not the mom to blame. It’s that we’re working in a system that isn’t designed to support us. To feel like yourself again, you may have to take a hard look at your environment and make changes to support stronger recall, peace of mind, and clarity.

Can you get rid of mom brain?

While you can’t control the maternal changes that occur with pregnancy and motherhood, you do have control over many environmental and lifestyle factors that can contribute to the problem. The way you eat, sleep, manage your stress, exercise, and socialize are a big deal for your brain health and for overcoming mom brain. 

The good news is that there is so much you can do to help your mommy brain fade away faster. Though, no two moms will require the same strategies.

Here are 7 tips to help you breakthrough the brain fog: 

  • First and foremost, be patient with yourself. Whether you're a first-time mother, this is your second baby, or you've already been through this a few times. You’re enduring a lot of change, constantly adapting, and learning new skills. Be kind to yourself. Added stress will only worsen the situation.
  • Prioritize sleep however you can. Take an honest look at your nightly routine and aim for as much sleep as possible. While 7-9 hours is ideal, it can be hard for new parents to achieve. Do the best you can. Quality sleep is essential for cognition and memory.
  • Simplify your obligations and daily routines as much as possible. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, now is not the time to extend yourself further. Focus on what is right in front of you and try to limit obligations that don’t serve you.
  • Get good at saying 'no.' Next time someone volunteers you for a task, dinner, or any other obligation that you have zero interest in, say NO. It's ok to put your needs first. 
  • Ask for help. This doesn’t always have to be from friends or family, because girl, I know it’s so hard to ask for help sometimes! Creating systems that serve you can be extremely helpful. Think of an auto-subscribe Amazon cart for monthly essentials to show up at your doorstep or a cleaning lady 1x a month to help you manage the chaos. Even a simple, but solid meal-planning routine can save you time and energy.
  • Talk to your friends. Be open and honest with them, it helps to know you’re not alone. They can listen to you, support you, and oftentimes, relate to you. 
  • Focus on the bigger picture. These years may just feel like whirlwind. Do your best to be present now and worry about the rest later.


Additionally, focus on memory strategies that help you, exercise, and your food choices. And reach out for help if you need it. I’d love to support you. Click here to schedule a free coaching call to get started.

Click HERE to download the FREE Get Your Memory Back Starter Guide


When the mom brain continues for years...

Mom brain can impact your confidence by making you second-guess everything all the time. And that kind of self-doubt can be draining after a while. But if nothing changes, nothing will change. Especially if you’re years out from the pregnancy and toddler stages and you’re still foggy.

The truth is that the way you eat, sleep, and support your memory can make all the difference in overcoming mom brain once and for all. But finding that balance on your own when you’re already struggling can feel challenging.

Here are some tips to help you when the mom brain feels persistent:

  • Take it one day at a time. Stressing tomorrow won’t help you remember today. Try your best to focus on the present moment.
  • Develop the right memory strategies. I don’t just mean write everything down. Develop a system that works for you. (I can help you with this!)
  • Prioritize your needs. Sleep, food, and exercise are non-negotiable to breaking out of the funk.
  • Ask for help and support. You don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to family and friends. Work with a coach. Communicate with your doctor. Allow others to support you.


And most importantly, embrace your new brain. Be kind and understanding toward yourself. You may never completely return to your pre-baby brain and that’s ok! Just look at everything you’ve accomplished, learned, and overcome up until now. Your brain is constantly growing and learning with you along this journey. So don’t give up! Your evolving doesn’t end here.


Mom brain isn’t a joke and neither is your mental health.

Be sure to consult with your doctor about any medical concerns. Especially if you’re experiencing signs or symptoms of postpartum depression or mental health changes. 

Final Words

Motherhood changes everything, including your brain.

Embrace the changes and know that you’re evolving. Be kind and patient with yourself. Try the tips listed above to help you break through the fog and if you feel stuck, I’m here to help you.

If you’re struggling with your memory after motherhood and you’re ready to stop second-guessing yourself and show up with the confidence and clarity you deserve, use this link to schedule a free call (with me, Francine, the holistic memory health coach!) to get started.

*This article is not intended to serve as medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider about your concerns.

Questions? Contact Francine Here

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Meet the Coach

Hey there! I'm Francine, a speech-language pathologist turned memory health coach with a passion for helping you overcome your memory problems.

In my practice, I help women just like you trade memory problems for confidence and clarity everyday so you can think clearly and remember easily, without constant self-doubt weighing you down. 

If you're struggling with poor recall and foggy thinking, you're in the right place and I want to help you!


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