Marriage 'spark,' 'brain fog' after baby's birth

This week’s questions involve keeping the “spark” alive in your marriage and overcoming “brain fog” after the birth of your baby.

Dear Mary Jo,

How do you keep the spark alive after you’ve been married to the same person for many, many years?

Dr. Michael Krychman

Dear Michael,

Keeping the spark alive requires attention and effort, but anything worthwhile is worth working for. Here are some ideas. Schedule a date, think of an all-day love date beginning first thing in the morning with loving acts, and take turns planning  date nights. When you do the same boring thing, your relationship becomes boring. Engaging in new activities increases excitement and desire. Bringing romance back with a luxurious bubble bath and good music together gives you a chance to de-stress and talk face-to-face, which alleviates stress and helps you both feel closer. Exercise is important for keeping your spark alive, building body confidence and stimulating endorphins. Preventing feeling like “roommates” instead of lovers is a matter of prioritizing your relationship, resolving the emotional conflicts between the two of you that get in the way, and thinking out of the box in creating a relationship you both enjoy being part of.

Dear Mary Jo,

I’m a new mom and while pregnant other moms told me I’d have pregnancy brain for the rest of my life.  How do I regain cognitive thinking, and will I have brain fog forever?

Thanks,

Rebecca

Dear Rebecca,

The good news is “mommy brain” doesn’t last forever, and the bad news is it can last for six months to a year. Experts attribute this fog to hormonal shifts and hormonal imbalances with the end result being loss of memory, sleep deprivation and feeling as though you’re only half there.  Your brain is working hard to acquire more information, making you feel additional stress and worry which contributes to the brain fog, and although it can last up to one year; it usually subsides after you’ve fully adjusted to your new life. There are things that can help such as lowering your expectations, and celebrating the small things you accomplish and can remember. To help your faulty memory write things down, and try to take time to meditate more as this seems to help clear the fog. Talk to friends and family as much as possible because you don’t want to go through this alone. Also having a supportive partner can help you feel more normal and allow your brain to catch up with adjusting to your new life. If your loss of memory or fog is so severe you feel as though you cannot function, be sure to tell your doctor. Sometimes medical intervention is necessary in balancing hormones and lifting brain fog. 

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