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  • "Baby brain" might not just be clouding the minds of mums-to-be

    Author: AAP

Victorian researchers want to know if "baby brain" experienced by expectant mums affects people going through other major life changes too.

The Deakin University team, which confirmed the phenomenon's existence earlier this year, has created an anonymous online survey to find out whether it can be equated with people going through other major life transitions.

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It's also hoped the drivers of the condition will surface through the 30-minute quiz.

Lead researcher Sasha Davies, a PhD candidate at the university, and her supervisor Dr Melissa Hayden, who created the questionnaire, want Australians aged 18 to 45 to answer questions about events in their life and complete cognitive tasks.

"Having a baby is a major life event and mums-to-be can be affected by all sorts of factors like sleep deprivation and stress," Ms Davies said.


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"What we're now aiming to quantify is how much these cognitive changes are also found in people who aren't pregnant but may be going through other big life changes, such as a relationship breakdown, changes to employment or moving to a new city."

Women will also be recruited to take part in a cross-sectional study to help unpack the underlying brain-based reasons why some of the cognitive changes in pregnancy occur.

The study will compare women in their third trimester with those who have never been pregnant using behavioural testing and records of electrical patterns in the brain.

"Baby brain" is confined to minor memory or attention lapses which are typically only noticed by the woman or her partner, she added.

"What we want to do is simply better understand how women's bodies and brains change during pregnancy, so we can support the health of expectant mothers in the best possible way," she said.


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