REMEMBERING // I don't teach stress management for women to "feel calmer". Yes that's a wonderful side effect, but it goes so much deeper than that.
When our physiological stress response is deactivated, we're able to do so much more, including be more present during doctors' visits and actually remember what they say.
One study found that on average people remember only 49% of decisions and recommendations provided during their appointment! Can you imagine all the wrong info you might be getting when you're Googling things you can't quite remember the details of?
What's more is being at the doctor can be a traumatic experience in an of itself.
Many of my clients have spent weeks, months or even years in doctors' offices, being reminded of their miscarriage or the moment they found out the baby had no heartbeat. Same is true for NICU parents! Anything that activates your arousal system due to past trauma means the way memory is stored completely different than when you're in a situation that feels safe.
This is not to say anything about how your relationship with your doctor and how they present information to you impacts memory too. (See Chapter 2 of Pregnancy Brain for more on that!)
My work with my clients revolves so much around patient care : preparing for appointments, processing what they remember after, asking questions between visits, and teaching them how to go into each appointment with a deactivated arousal system (not just feeling calm in their head!) so they can remember, accurately, what they discussed with their physician.
What questions do you have about the stress response and memory? Let me know below!
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