06 February 2008

Memory problems after pregnancy?

A new study has found that a woman's memory can be impaired for at least a year after giving birth.

A woman's memory can be impaired for at least a year after giving birth, says an Australian study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

But the impact is minimal and mainly affects new or demanding memory tasks, said the researchers, who analysed the findings of 14 international studies that included a total of more than 1 000 women.

"The memory deficits many women experience during and after pregnancy are pretty much like the modest deficits you'd find when comparing healthy 20-year-olds with healthy 60-year-olds," said Julie Henry, a psychology researcher at the University of New South Wales. It's unclear why a woman might experience memory problems at such a crucial time in her life, Agence France-Presse reported.

"Although we have no experimental evidence for it, our suspicion is that lifestyle factors are relevant," Henry said. "In pregnancy your normal routines are disrupted and you can suffer sleep deprivation after the birth. We know from other research that either of those things can affect cognitive performance." – (HealthDay News)

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