Thursday, May 23, 2013

Confessions of a Mumzilla -Mumnesia

I used to be one of those people that could remember everything. Since becoming a mom I have become incredibly forgetful .  I recently enrolled in an Advanced Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine and the first exams and assignment was due in on the 15 March 2013 . The day Dhiyana turned 3 months old. In retrospect I don't know how I did it - mostly at typing and studying at an angle while breastfeeding , Trying to complete my assignment while battling a Pinterest addiction ( I still can't shake it). Thank goodness for a super supportive and helpful Hubby (that's how I are did it) .

The day before I had to hand in the assignment (it was finished the week before ) she just didn't want to sleep - think she knew .It was like she knew I would be out the next day . She only fell alseep at 00:30 (after trying many things) and I woke up at 3:00AM, pumped some milk , spilled half of it on our previously-very-snazzy-presently-sporting-toys-and-silly-baby hats couch and at 5:00AM I made my way to Pretoria. 

In my world Pretoria is exceptionally far and I hate driving there. It fills me with dread and anxiety.  I think I have some weird kind of agoraphobia associated with the N1 highway. It's like the anxiety had my heart in a vice. People on the highway were probably wondering why I was driving at a snail's pace on the highway in a sporty BMW. Don't laugh!

 I made it through two days of this sleep-deprived torture and the exam seemed to go remarkable well (let's not be humble here I  knew everything and breezed through the paper) . Those MCQs were no match for me. Fast forward one month during a casual conversation with another doctor who also wrote the exam. She mentioned how shocked she was about the 20 mark essay question on the treatment protocol for acne. The what? In my universe that question didn't exist . I didn't see it - where the hell was it? I felt so stupid and wondered what was happening to my brain. My husband has taken to calling me MCQ's (and pointing and laughing). 

I am super proud as I got 99% ( wonder what I did wrong) and I passed the exam ( and I would have gotten a distinction if I hadn't left out that question). 

In terms of this "Mumnesia" thing it actually is a documented phenomenon ( so it isn't just me).

The "mumnesia" phenomenon was studied by researchers at Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who concluded that post-natal forgetfulness can be put down to four main factors: Priorities, pain, hormones, and fatigue.

Breast-feeding also increases the time women suffer from this forgetfulness because it circulates hormones which help mothers relax and promote a "mellow, mildly unfocused feeling". Apparently this sort of thing lasts for 12 months - but there is a bright side.

Researchers at Yale University and the University of Michigan took brain scans of 19 women's brains two to four weeks after giving birth and again three to four months later. Each mother was also interviewed on both occasions about her experiences as a parent.
The results of the study show part of each mother's brain grew considerably between the first and the second brain scans. The structural changes occurred mainly in the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobes and the midbrain. 

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