Women who have just given birth may feel a number of postpartum effects, from depression to changes in their body weight and size. But one common postpartum symptom which is usually dismissed — forgetfulness — was recently addressed by former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison.
Holly Madison is now expecting her second child with her husband Pasquale Rotella. She discusses “brain mush” or forgetfulness in her blog post on E! Online.
Forgetfulness is very common in the general population — 39% of Americans have forgotten one basic piece of information or lost one everyday item in the past week. But for Madison, forgetfulness got so bad after her first pregnancy that she even missed obligations written on a calendar. She recounts feeling “embarrassed” and “stupid.”
“To me, it felt like a really big deal,” wrote Madison. Something else that scared her was the negative connotation postpartum forgetfulness might lend to women who were already pulling second and third shifts. “I don’t even want to think about how that would impact the issues women already deal with in the workplace, such as equal pay, securing adequate maternity leave, or being judged for taking time to pump breast milk during the work day.”
Madison’s doctor did confirm that hormonal imbalances might contribute to extensive forgetfulness after pregnancy, something she suspected after she started injecting hormones so that she could harvest her eggs. Shortly after this procedure, she began to forget her lines while filming a movie.
To combat forgetfulness for new mothers, Madison recommends becoming a “list junkie” to help keep on top of day-to-day needs, exercising as often as possible, taking a daily dose of fish oil, and learning a second language with your baby.