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How To Remember What The Doctor Says: 20 Things Smart Pregnant Moms Do

It's true ladies, "mommy brain" and "pregnancy brain" are real, they exist, and they're here solely to ensure that moms forget just about everything within minutes of hearing it. Meet someone new? Don't worry, mom will forget their name in a second. Learn a new fact? Forget it, it's zero to London within minutes. Can't remember the name of the new food from yesterday? Never think of it again. This isn't so much of an issue with minor things like what was just mentioned but with the more important things like, say, doctor appointments, a forgetful streak is not something moms want to tow into that office with them. It can be increasingly easy to forget simple things while mom is pregnant between all of the hormones raging inside her and the fact that there are so many things on her mind at once. She has a lot going on, so it's really easy to understand how forgetful she can be sometimes.

Luckily, there are ways to remember things if moms want to make the commitment. Mom can't avoid a pregnancy brain just like she can't change the hormonal changes that are going on inside her, but she can take proactive steps to remember every single thing the doctor tells her. Remembering is simple, it's the process of finding a way to actually do that that can become complicated sometimes. With this list of ways to remember important things, however, mom might just find a way that works -- And turn remembering into something fun for her in the process!

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20 Pictures Aren't Just For Picture Books

When in doubt, picture it out... Or something like that. In all seriousness, pictures are a powerful tool in the way of committing something to memory and ensuring that it stays there. This can work in a myriad of ways and you can choose whatever works the best for you. If you have a white board, chalkboard, or even just a pen and paper, you can write out a list and then snap a picture of it on your phone. This way, you've not only committed it to memory via writing, but you also have a picture to refer back to. If you have to remember something big, like "ultrasound on Tuesday", set an alarm with a picture of an actual ultrasound to wake up to... Then continuously set alarm reminders throughout the day until your appointment. This is great for visual learners!

19 "Memory Spots": Put Reminders In Key Places

What's the first place you always look for something? Is it in the junk drawer? On the shelf in the living room next to the TV? On your dresser in the bedroom? On your office desk? Many of these "first places" that we often check for lost items can also help us remember the memories we've lost. By placing a note, picture, or even a post-it pad in one of these places that you're likely to check often, you can easily remember things. As soon as your doctor tells you something important, take a chance and write it down, then stick it in one of your "memory spots", even if that just means on the kitchen table. You'll remember to check the spot, which means you'll inevitably see the note.

18 If You're Witty, Mnemonic Devices Can Help

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We're kickin' it old-school and taking it back to elementary school with this one. How many of you remember memorizing things with this neat little tool called a "mnemonic device"? If you remember it, then obviously it worked. If you don't remember, well... Perhaps it's best to skip to the next number on the list. mnemonic devices are basically just  little jingles or sayings that help you associate certain things with certain first letters. For example, if your doctor told you to drink more orange juice, eat fiber, and lower your calcium intake, you could come up with something like, "Orcas Just Eat Fish, Less Calories" -- Therefore, each first letter corresponds with something you need to remember: "Orange Juice, Eat Fiber, Less Calcium". Sounds super weird, but it works.

17 Of Course, Write It Down

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This is probably the most obvious way to remember something, but we had to include it as nothing more than a nudge to encourage you. It can be easy to leave a doctor's appointment and plan on remembering everything that was said, until you wake up the next morning and realize that you can't even remember what you wore yesterday. To avoid that moment of panic, we implore you to write things down as soon as you get to the car or home if only for the sake of committing it to memory by writing it. It's the easiest and quickest thing you can do to be sure that you remember all the important details and even the minor ones.

16 Buy A Cute Organizer

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Any excuse to shop, right? Organizing all of your thoughts into one, solid place during pregnancy can really be a time-saving and anxiety-reducing life saver. Not only does it give you an excuse to run out to Target and find the cutest possible organizer you can find, but it'll give you a sense of actually having your life together and being exactly where you should be. Organization is such an underrated way of dealing with pregnancy symptoms which is a shame, because it can really help in big ways. You'll be able to write down all of your important dates, reminders, keep track of things like eating habits and vitamin intake, and also make fun notes like when your baby is kicking, awake, or presumedly sleeping.

15 Craft It Out: A Memory Tree Is A Cute Way To Keep Track

If you're the crafty type, then this one goes out to you! Crafts shouldn't just be relegated to elementary schools and library clubs, in fact, they can be tremendously helpful in remembering things as well. As a fun little project, try making a "memory tree". You can find outlines and starter on Pinterest as far as how to construct some type of tree (it can be as easy as using pipe cleaners or as complicated as paper mâché), and as you go through your doctor's appointments, write down all the important information on tree "leaves". You can also make this a keepsake and hang tiny ultrasound pictures on it or any pregnancy pictures that you want, so that someday you can show your baby how important his or her pregnancy was to your family. So cute!

14 Google Search It, Then Save The Search

Google can be a worthy friend in times of memory issues and when it comes to remember doctor's orders, we'll do everything we can to help you keep them in mind. In the digital age, everyone is on their phones nowadays. That fact alone should make it super easy for you to do a quick google search on whatever your doctor has told you, for example, "find such and such prenatal vitamins". Search them on google, then save the search to your homepage, "favorites" screen, or home screen. Now, every time you go on your phone, you'll have a visual reminder to not only purchase vitamins, but also to take them. It's almost like a two-in-one process that's completely effortless.

13 Text Or Email Yourself

In keeping with the same notion of being on our phones a lot, try texting or emailing. You can star both the text and email so that it pops up first thing when you open up either inbox and this will also prevent the message from being deleted when you accidentally hit "delete all" (we're all guilty of it). This is a great way for busy moms to remind themselves of what's said in doctor's appointments, especially if you're going to them in between breaks at work. Even if you have an appointment before or after work, simply email yourself and, just like magic, your reminder will be awaiting you in your inbox when you start work for the day or go in the following morning.

12 Post-Its Are Your Best Friend

It's the truth, post-its are no longer just for college research or for sticking all over your best friend's car as a practical joke. As an adult, post-its really come in handy and pull their own weight as far as helping you to remember things goes. It's a great idea to keep them in your pocketbook so you can pull them out while you're at the doctor's office, or even keep them in your car so you can write on them as soon as your appointment is over. This is also a great way to bring questions into your doctor; if they're always on-hand, then all you need is a pen to be one step away from remember all the important info .

11 Tell Someone Else Right Away

Right after your doctor appointment, call someone! Text someone! Email them! All three of these can be excellent ways of remembering exactly what your doctor says. If physically writing things out isn't your thing, which is absolutely okay, then you might just be better off repeating it verbally. Sometimes, people remember better this way because they'll actually remember telling it to someone else -- Not actually saying it. By repeating it to another person, you're essentially teaching yourself something via memorization rather than keeping it stored in your brain right off the bat. Not to mention if you tell someone, they'll half a fifty-fifty chance of being able to relay it back to you... Not a bad deal.

10 We Call It, "The Notebook" And It's Purely About The Pregnancy

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I know, visions of long lost love are encircling your mind right now along with the most tragically bittersweet love story ending possible, but focus! We're talking about memory here, not a book that will have you crying for days on end (although it was good). The "notebook" we're talking about is actually one that you'll devote solely to your pregnancy and bring with you to every single doctor appointment you have. You'll keep it close and treasure it, and write down everything you need to know, remember, research, and be aware of. You could even draw pictures in it if you really wanted to, we're not here to judge you.

9 Clear Your Mind And Focus

If your problem seems to fall under the "busy brain" variety, perhaps all you need is a simple cleansing of the mind to set you at ease and make room for the important stuff. Being pregnant is a whirlwind of emotion and combine that with hormonal changes, and you have a weird combination of a brain that isn't really sure what to focus on. It's not just you -- It happens to a lot of moms-to-be. Something that can absolutely help you during these "busy brain" moments is to just stop, take a breath, and redirect your focus. You can clear your brain by controlled breathing or another relaxation technique; as long as it helps you to redirect and hone in on your focus point, you're good to go.

8 Ask Questions, Even If You Have None

Some people learn better by asking questions. Being of the shy, anxious type myself, I've learned that more questions can often be much better than having absolutely none. Not only will it help you to open up with your doctor and be more inclined to pay attention and remember things that he or she says, but you might learn something in the process. You should always be asking questions, even if it's just to clarify. Your question can be something you think is completely insignificant but because of the fact that you're asking it, your body will automatically go into focus-mode and you'll remember that exact moment, just because your anticipation level rose while awaiting an answer. Boom.

7 Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: When The Doctor Says Something, Repeat It As A Question

When you're not asking your doctor questions, be sure to repeat information back to him or her. If your doctor is telling you about how best to go about sleeping at night since you've been having problems, and they say, "try a pillow in between your legs, this brand is good, etc. etc. etc.," you can repeat back (at the end), "so you're saying a pillow by <insert brand here> is probably my best option, right? And I can position it this way, etc.?" By repeating information back and asking for confirmation in the process, you'll not only remember what you've asked, but have a better chance of remembering your doctor's answers as well.

6 Activate The Info: Reenact The Appointment On Your Own When You Get Home

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This is a simple technique I like to call, "beat it into your brain". If you're stubborn and completely disagree with having pregnancy brain at all (I don't blame you), then try this trick. As soon as you get home from the doctor's office, play over the entire visit in your mind. Seriously, sit down for a second and just play over the major points that you want to remember. Then, before bed, do it again. When you wake up in the morning, you'll have a 50/50 chance of remembering it, since you've gone over it twice -- Once when it was fresh, and then once again after it had sunk in a little bit. If you do remember it by morning, then  it's a great trick. If not... Well, you should have tried the notebook thing.

5 Observe Specific Things In Your Environment To Jog Memories

Muscle memory is powerful and comes into play when writing things down, but visual memory is pretty powerful too. If you're someone who's a visual learner, then observing your environment might be something that works well for you. When you get to your doctor's office, make sure to look around. Imprint your environment and commit it memory. While your doctor is conducting an exam or just simply talking to you, remember their facial features, what they were wearing, their hand gestures while they're talking, etc. It's these little details that might allow you to recall the things you'd normally forget without them. Visual memory for the win.

4 Go Home And Bake Something: Scent Memory Is So Strong

Ah, this is definitely one of my favorite ways to remember something, however, half the time it backfires and I end up preoccupied with eating what I'm baking rather than actually remembering what I'm supposed to... Oh well. The best way to do this is as follows: If cookies are your thing, prep the dough the night before and get it all set out on a cookie sheet. When you come home from your doctor appointment, pop those suckers in the oven, sit down, and think about your appointment and what was said while that delish cookie smell wafts over you. If nothing else, you'll remember the day as a whole, get to reward yourself with cookies, and whenever you're reminded of your guilty pleasure food, you'll think of your appointment and what was said.

3 Don't Overload Your Brain: De-stressing Will Improve Memory

This isn't just a myth, your brain can actually get so hot-wired that you begin to selectively remember certain things and forget others. When you're stressed out, how well do you remember things? Not very well, I'd imagine. By taking things slowly and doing what you can to remove things that fall on your plate, you can drastically limit your stress and give yourself a better chance at remembering things. Keep in mind, you're pregnant and caring for someone other than yourself now -- It's okay to take time to be yourself, to relax, and to practice strong self-care. In fact, you definitely need it in order to have a healthy pregnancy.

2 Bring A Pen And Pad With You

Drumroll please. This is the most old-school, obvious, for-sure way of remembering what your doctor is telling you. But for some reason, a lot of women don't do it. Whether it's embarrassment at the thought of needing to write something down or just the effort it takes to remember to actually bring these things with you, I'm not sure. What I do know is that your doctor will definitely welcome it and might even encourage it, especially if this is your first child and you have the inevitable first-baby nerves. Trust me, bringing a pad and pen is the simplest and best thing you can do when it comes to doctor appointments. Just do it!

1 If Nothing Else, Record It Or Bring Someone In With You

If you're absolutely paranoid and convinced that you won't be able to remember anything, it's totally okay to bring a pal or your partner. You'll drastically increase your chances of remembering things and this way, the stress won't all fall on you in the event that you do forget something. You're only human, you know. Another option is to use a "record" app or feature on your phone to tell yourself everything your doctor said; simply hit record and talk away once you get back to the car. This is a paperless, easy, and fast way to remember things without worrying about losing a hard copy of notes, post-its, what have you. Plus, talking back to yourself might help you remember everything without even needing to play back the recording.

References: americanexpress.compsychologytoday.comfastcompany.com

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