The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 19, 1998 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 19, 1998
Page 7
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THE SALINA JOURNAL PARENTING TUESDAY, MAY 19, 1998 A7 T NEW MOMS S-C-A-T-T-E-R-B-R-A-IN moms New mothers sometimes experience lapses of memory, focus By LISA JENNINGS Scripps Howard News Service Bryan Mauldin is an attorney. She makes her living using her brain. But shortly after she gave birth to her first child 15 years ago, she got into her car after work and j found she could not remember her i-way home. ; '. Debbie Mosley, whose third child was born in August, recently 'made a chicken pot pie. But she Ifprgot to put in chicken. ! ' Judy Drewry, whose two chil- ;dren are now grown, remembers a •time shortly after she gave birth •When she parked her car, got out iand locked the doors — with the : car still running. ; These are some of the stories ;you hear. It seems every mother 'has one. They are stories about capable and intelligent women who ! experienced a sort of mental lapse ;for a time after they gave birth. '. Some call it "mommy amnesia." Some call it "placenta brain." The 'pregnancy guide "What to Expect iWhen You're Expecting" calls it ;'<scatterbrain syndrome" and notes ;that, for some women, it begins in •pregnancy and lasts until the baby is sleeping through the night. Not just'the blues' It's not like the postpartum ; blues that most books about childbirth will warn you about. It's ^simply an inability to focus on I any thing except the health and ; well-being of the child you have just produced. You get in the car and forget where you are going. Your purse is missing. You "think it's stolen or lost. Later you find it in the freezer. You lock yourself out so often you decide to give a neighbor a key. Then, when you lock yourself out again, you can't remember which neighbor has the key. 'Or, like Mimi Hall, you find yourself in the same nightgown you've been wearing since the night before, curled up on the couch eating Hostess cupcakes and watching "Green Acres" on television. What's worse is you think "Green Acres" is pretty darn funny. When Hall's husband came home from work to find his wife in this situation — with evidence of .the cupcake's creamy inner filling '.still fresh around her mouth — he ;was appalled. "He looked at me like, 'What have I done? Where is the woman I-married?' " said Hall, president 'of Mimi Hall Communications. "I felt like my hard drive was erased." It's normal and temporary The good news is it's only temporary, most mothers say. "There are women out there who think they're forgetting things and losing their minds. But they're not delusional. It does go away," said If you've recently given birth and are suffering from "scatterbrain syndrome," here are a few tips to help prevent you from losing your mind completely: • Make a list every day. Carry it and a pen with you, whenever possible, so you can write things down as they flit through your mind. • Don't assume you'll remember anything. Get in the habit of saying aloud things like, "I'm going to get my glasses." So when you walk into the other room and can't remember what you came there for, someone can tell you. • Keep a pen and paper In the car. Can't find a piece of paper? Write it on the baby's diaper. But remember to pull over and stop the car first. • If you think of something you need to remember while changing a diaper, put It to music and sing It until your hands are free to write It down. Example: (To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) "Don't forget to pay the bills....", • Away from home and your list? Use voice mall. Call yourself and leave a message. • Give yourself time out each day, or as often as possible. Try to maintain a bit of pre-baby life by taking an exercise class, having lunch with a friend, or getting a manicure. But be sure to write down when the appointment is on your daily list. • Buy a good street map and keep it In the car at all times. • Lose something? Check the freezer. Mauldin, who has two children. When Mauldin mentioned to her doctor that she had forgotten her way home from work, the physician told her it was perfectly normal. He explained it as a consequence of hormones related to nursing. In a way, it was all part of nature's plan. "I'll never forget how he put it," said Mauldin. "He said, 'It's to render you fit for nothing else but nursing.' " But mothers of bottle-fed babies said it has happened to them too. Some suggested it was caused by sleep deprivation, and that may be a factor. But mothers whose babies slept through the night early on said it happened to them, too. Others wondered if it was a symptom of anesthesia used during delivery. But mothers who had natural childbirth said it happened to them, too. An epidural during labor wouldn't have any long-term effect any more than the type of anesthesia used when you have a tooth filled, said Dr. Tom Crenshaw, an obstetrician. No medical explanation Crenshaw said he knew of no medical explanation for the mental goofiness many mothers describe. "It's probably just a refocusing of all your energies on the baby — and perhaps sleep deprivation," he said. Dr. Lea Bannister, an obstetrician with a 2-year-old daughter, agreed. She went through it, too, she said, and hears it from patients. It seems to be worse for those who also suffer from postpartum blues, those under stress for other reasons and those with other kids at home, she said. Serious symptoms, such as insomnia or depression, should be discussed with a physician. The responsibility of having a new baby can be overwhelming, said Debra Brazelton of Robinsonville, Miss., whose daughter was born in April. "Having a baby is like nothing in your life," she said. "All of a sudden all your attention was focused on this one little person who needs you to do everything." Mostly little things, but... Brazelton laughs about the time she packed up her child and accessories for a weekend trip to the lake with family when her husband had to work. She didn't forget a thing — until she got in the car and couldn't remember how to get to the expressway, a route she had taken a thousand times. "I had to call my girlfriend and ask how to get to the expressway," said Brazelton. For Mosley, it took two days to pack for an overnight trip with her 5-month-old and 8- and 9-year- olds. But she still forgot clothes, diapers, and toothbrushes. "I always tell people I had brains before I had kids," said Mosley, a former accountant. "Now when someone asks me to do something, I always tell people there's a very good chance I'll forget." It's mostly little things, she added. But there's always that lurking fear you might do something really stupid. Like the young mother in Chicago who in December put her 2- month-old in his car seat and perched the seat on the roof of her car while she got her 6-year-old and her 4-year-old all buckled in. Then she drove away. The baby tumbled in his seat off the car and into a busy intersection. Fortunately, a driver stopped to see what it was. The child had only a few scrapes. But the mother was about five miles away before she realized the baby was missing, according to The Chicago Tribune. After that story ran in several newspapers, mothers across the country cringed. What a nightmare, many women thought. But they could see how it could happen. "It's like you're in a fog," said Angie Whitfield, a meeting planner at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and mother of a 9-month old. "For me it lasted two or three weeks," she said. "I wrote in a journal, and I can look back now and say, 'That's my handwriting. I was alive and breathing.' But I just remember it as all a blur." Adding to the mist was the "circus" of people coming to visit, family and phone calls. "You hear about people who have shell shock. Well, I had car- door shock. Every time I heard someone's car door slam outside, I'd go into shock," she said. Princess™ Beanie Baby . Giveaway Sign up once a day beginning May 19th Drawings to be held: Tuesday, May 26 Wednesday, May 27 Saturday, May 30 Total of 9 Princess Beanie Babies to be given away! ; Just Arrived! New Shipment of Beanies! Carroll's Hallmark Shop Downtown 827-2907 Central Mall 825-7046 Sunset Plaza 823-1697 Caltttristi at ~ BABIES A son, Zane Gavin, was born May 6,1998, to Chad and Stephanie Seuser of Waterloo, Iowa. .-Grandparents are Jim and Gloria Van Veghten of Leaven worth and Salinans Stan and Beverly Seuser, 3560 S. Knoll Lane. Great-grandmother is Anna Gilfert of Leavenworth. His great-great-grandparents are Carol and Orrill Breer of . Brookville and Salinan Nancy Seuser, Columbia Ave. •» + * A girl, Annaka Rae, was born May 6, 1998, to Myron and Amy A'pplequist of Hays. She has a . brother, Matthew, 5%. > ; "Grandparents are Marvin and "- Shirley Rupp of Hays and Ray and D.eanna Applequist of Falun. :: Great-grandparents are Alyce . Patrick of Lindsborg and Sadie Applequist of Marquette. .; * * * A son, Jack Alan, was born April 29,1998, to Dr. and Mrs. Jay Dunfield of Leawood. Grandparents are Stan and LeAnn Clark of Hesston, Laresta Dunfield of Wichita, and Rod and Mary Ann Dunfield of Buttons Bay, Mich. Great-grandparents include Stella Diehl and Ralph and Mary Clark, all of Abilene, and Cleona Hogsett of Salina. CARROL HAMILTON I Roofing Company Since 1962 Tl Free Estimates, All Work Guaranteed f.800-864-4637 • 765-452-9224 ILL 'CLiiLli Restaurant Catering Your Summer Parties & Events Events of the Day "* Salina Journal Birdhouses & Claire Burke Home Fragrances SmokvHill MUSEUM GIFT STORE 211 West Iron Tues.-SaL 10-6, Sun. 1-5 , OPIES The Latest Canon" Laser Quality, Don't Pay More for Inferior Quality! NO CONSTRUCTION ZONE DELAYS! Visit the Elmore Center 627 E. Crawford Across from Central High QfcSmokyHill River Festival WORLD WIDE WINDOWS, INC. REPIACEMENT WINDOWS MADE IN SALINA Where windows are our business, not just a side line. FREE ESTIMATES 826-1701 1-8OO-783-1711 736 N. 9th. Salina / Thousands of festival-goers will eagerly snap ' up the 1998 guide to The Smoky Hill River Festival. This handy guide will feature pertinent information that festival goers will find useful, Your ad should be included in this high-interest section that will reach pver_ 87,000 potential attendees. Reserve your space in the section that will be read and used by your potential customers over and over. For more information, please contact your Salina Journal marketing consultant at 823-6363 or 1-800-827-6363. Deadline: Thursday, May 21 Publishes: Sunday, June 7th Salina Journal 333 S. 4th * Sdllng Kansas • 6740 Available now! 1 998 SALINE COUNTY PROPERTY VALUES $3.50 tax Included A guide to residential property values set by the Saline County appraiser's office Available at: The Salina Journal, 333 S. Fourth

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