Women and baby brain. What are your theories?

slick

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Had some colleagues, peers, mentors and friends that are all still suffering from a bout of postpartum that changed everyone’s life.

That’s serious stuff.

Congrats on the kiddo! Hoping for many years of adventures with your son.


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Marbles

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I've not read the other replies. So this may have been covered.

There is decent evidence (though not conclusive) that when a woman has a child her brain starts rewiring itself for better awareness of others. This neural remodeling would literally over write and destroy some of the previous neural connections. While it is not a pathologic process, it has rough similarities with things such as traumatic brain injury. Obviously safety still matter's, however I would recommend approaching the issue with a large amount of empathy and an understanding that she may literally be having to relearn things she knew a month ago.
 

Wrench

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I'd rather slam my nuts in a door jamb than live through 1 day of postpartum again.
 

P Carter

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I'd rather slam my nuts in a door jamb than live through 1 day of postpartum again.

Indeed. Ironically, should’ve slammed my nuts in the doorjam BEFORE, but what did I know!

On a serious note, yes, keep an eye out for postpartum depression and do NOT hesitate in getting help for your wife if you think it’s an issue. Scary stuff.
 

cacklercrazy

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My wife and I were recently blessed with our first child--a son who's now 3 months old.

She's proving to be an incredible mother. But dear LORD what is up with women and baby brain? Now, on a given day she is driving in the wrong lane and wondering why the cars are coming at her. Or heating soup on the wrong burner and wondering why the potholder is on fire. Or walking the dog by holding his collar while the leash is unused in her other hand. o_O All of this would seem to imperil a newborn. Meanwhile my situational awareness is dialed up as if I'm in the field, on a stalk.

BUT she can also read our little dude to a "T." With the slightest peep or cry she's up to nurse him from a dead sleep. And she has this intuitive sense of what he needs, and can remember his last feeding, last diaper, his daycare teachers' names, etc., etc. Watching the connection between them is heartwarming and absolutely amazing...and this is coming from someone who feels connected and deeply involved in his son's life.

It makes me wonder what your experience has been and if you think there's a biological, evolutionary explanation to how/if men and women change when they're raising a new baby. We laugh a lot and we're happy to have each other and be on this journey together. But they way we've changed, it feels beyond fatigue, to something more fundamental...
Be watchful of postpartum depression. My wife had it with both our first two kids. It's something to take very seriously.
 

Jimbob

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No matter what physical feat I accomplish in my life it will never compare to what my wife accomplished with our three kids. Simply amazing how she could function while doing what she did.

Now that our kids are 13, 10, and 5 things are a little easier.

Try to enjoy the crazy and I hope you do no experience any serious mental or physical health concerns.
 

rohrer

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With the slightest peep or cry she's up to nurse him from a dead sleep.
I've found that if I specifically know I'm going to be the one getting up with the baby that night, I'll wake up at the slightest noise. But if I know my wife will get up I'll sleep through the whole thing. I think some of it just comes down to what you're expected to do.
 

DavePwns

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for how much sleep my wife got with our first, I'm surprised she was able to do anything. Our baby had colic pretty bad and my wife would get maybe 30-40 minutes of sleep at a time the first 3 weeks. I'd probably die after day 3, mothers are simply incredible what they can do.
Turns out the colic was induced by my wife drinking coffee and eating quinoa
 

Unclemoe

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backing up what everyone else is saying about postpartum, my wife went threw SEVERE post partum. look up the signs online and talk to a doctor as well about signs and for the love of god do not assume its just her being stressed or tired, it can get seriously out of hand fast.

Not saying your wife will but it is a very serious topic to me, my wife spend a week admitted to the hospital for hers when our first son was born at around 2 months old.

All that shit aside, this is an amazing time and take in every aspect of it, the baby brain the waking up early the crying hell even changing diapers. there is a song about this something along the lines of "your gonna miss this" its very very true my boys are 8 and 6 and as much as i couldn't stand the baby years and honestly hated it, i miss the hell outa being able to hold them and feed them.

Congrats on being a dad!!!
 

Dexter Grayson

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My Wife’s brain start to work again after she switched from breast feeding to formula. Once we made the switch, the whole family started sleeping all night and we were much better people for it.
 

SonnyDay

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With the slightest peep or cry she's up to nurse him from a dead sleep.
As others have said, do not underestimate what sleep deprivation can do to a brain.

If it works for your family, try to get your wife to pump milk so you can do middle-of-the-night feedings and diapers some of the time. Don't get me wrong--it sucks! But dads are already at a huge disadvantage in bonding with kiddos... but doing those early feedings and such help you establish a bond with your kid that lasts a lifetime. Pumping may seem like a waste of time in the beginning because your wife will just be getting up to pump instead of nurse... but it ends up paying dividends soon enough in letting her get more sleep, go to Target for no reason, have lunch with a friend, etc. That will have a major impact on your wife's mental functioning. All of that can help stave off post-partum depression.

My first son (who's now 16) was a super colicky baby... very hard to get to sleep... never stayed asleep for longer than 45 minutes.... really tough to nurse, etc. When he was 3 months old, my wife left her wallet on top of the car in a parking lot. Within minutes some meth-head had stolen her identity... and we STILL have headaches from that. Sucks.

Do whatever you can to get your wife more sleep. Don't be that dad that lets mom do all the hard work in those early months... you will never catch up.
 
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Johnboy

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No matter what physical feat I accomplish in my life it will never compare to what my wife accomplished with our three kids. Simply amazing how she could function while doing what she did.

Now that our kids are 13, 10, and 5 things are a little easier.

Try to enjoy the crazy and I hope you do no experience any serious mental or physical health concerns.

Bill Burr disagrees. (I have no opinion.)

 

USMC-40

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There is probably a thread on some women's forum titled:
"Why Cant My Husband Focus the Day Before Opening Day?"

Same shit. Different cause.
 

Jimmy

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My wife would forget to turn the stove on when she cooked something. I'd walk in and there's a pot of water for pasta just sitting there cold and she's been waiting for 20 minutes for it to boil.
 

WCB

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Wait till she starts asking for a second one...We are expecting number 2 this spring and our other one will be almost exactly 2 years old when the new one arrives. Wife had a pretty big scare after number one putting her in the hospital but baby brain erases all of that and within a month or so she was already planning the next one.
 

cjdewese

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If it works for your family, try to get your wife to pump milk so you can do middle-of-the-night feedings and diapers some of the time. Don't get me wrong--it sucks! But dads are already at a huge disadvantage in bonding with kiddos... but doing those early feedings and such help you establish a bond with your kid that lasts a lifetime. Pumping may seem like a waste of time in the beginning because your wife will just be getting up to pump instead of nurse... but it ends up paying dividends soon enough in letting her get more sleep, go to Target for no reason, have lunch with a friend, etc. That will have a major impact on your wife's metal functioning. All of that can help stave off post-partum depression.

My first son (who's now 16) was a super colicky baby... very hard to get to sleep... never stayed asleep for longer than 45 minutes.... really tough to nurse, etc. When he was 3 months old, my wife left her wallet on top of the car in a parking lot. Within minutes some meth-head had stolen her identity... and we STILL have headaches from that. Sucks.

Do whatever you can to get your wife more sleep. Don't be that dad that lets mom do all the hard work in those early months... you will never catch up.
I could not agree with this more. My 1st sons mom had a hard time and would basically hand the baby over as soon as I got home from work and would be my responsibility until I went to work the next day.

Was it tough, absolutely but the bonding that we had during that time has stayed that strong his entire life through a separation and living in different homes with our own significant others now. You cannot ever give back time and as others have stated I promise you will miss this phase as tough and crappy as it is later in life. Enjoy the little things and ask your wife if there is anything you can do for help. It will come in handy later on when you ask to do something for yourself.

It only gets better, this too shall pass and it's all great.
 

schmalzy

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Oct 1, 2014
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Lot of great insight on here. I’ve got 2, a 3 and 5 year old, with a third due around thanksgiving. Wasn’t around as much as I wanted to be for the infant time, working out of town.

Just ride the lightening and understand it’s all temporary. Take care of her and your other obligations, but after that don’t feel guilty about going on a reasonable hunt or taking time for yourself. Listen to what she says even if it’s ridiculous to you. You paradoxically don’t matter anymore and are also the most important person in this situation. It’s all good.

Nothing better than being a husband and father.


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