Pregnancy is a time of emotional ups and downs. You may be giggling away one minute, only to be crying for no apparent reason the next.
Many pregnant women start experiencing moodiness around 6 to 10 weeks, and it eases in the second trimester. However, it may reappear as their due date approaches. Pregnancy emotions are normal, so don’t feel guilty. Just be aware of them and respond in a healthy, positive way.
What causes pregnancy emotions?
One of the main reasons for your mood swings is the change in your hormone levels. When you conceive, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in your blood increases. This helps to prepare your body for pregnancy, but it can also affect your mood, making you feel tearful or easily irritated.
It’s not all about the hormones, there are other reasons as well
Anxiety: While starting a family can be filled with joy, you may be concerned about all the changes it will bring. Your future, money, housing, employment, and medical care. All these things can cause emotions to rise and distract from self-care that may help better manage these emotions.
Body Changes: As your body changes to care for the growing #baby , you may experience morning sickness, body aches and skin changes. Some women feel unattractive and moody because they cannot be their old selves any longer.
Fatigue: Whether from discomfort or stress, you may experience fatigue more often during pregnancy. Your emotional state could be worse if you’re not getting enough sleep.
How can I manage my mood swings?
Firstly, it’s important not to blame yourself for the way you’re feeling. It is mostly as a result of the hormones and out of your control. So, be patient, calm down, and try one of the following:
Self-care: Pay more attention to your needs. Do things that will help to take your mind off your pregnancy for a while. Watch a funny movie, catch up with friends over lunch or go shopping.
Sleep: It’s harder to manage your moods if you’re tired, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Taking short naps when you can throughout the day may help to make up for any lost sleep at night. If you’re working, talk things over with your team to see if there’s a way for you to take more breaks.
Diet: What you eat can affect your mood and emotions. Eating healthy and natural foods, instead of processed foods, promotes both physical and mental health, leading to better emotional stability.
Exercise: Exercise is a mood-lifter, and you don’t have to do a strenuous workout to get those feel-good chemicals flowing in your brain. Next time you feel irritated or anxious, go for a swim, take a walk or start a yoga class.
Talk: One of the best antidotes to feeling down or stressed is to talk to someone. Try to be honest about what you’re feeling with your partner, friends, and family. You may be surprised at how understanding and supportive they can be!
What to do if you can’t shake moodiness
There are estimates that about 6-15% of all pregnant moms experience not only mood swings but in fact actual depression. So if you feel down consistently, talk to your family, friends and doctor so that you receive the necessary care. Research has shown that untreated emotional health problems can affect #baby ’s physical well-being during pregnancy and even later in life.
- Maternal Anxiety, Depression and Asthma and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes – A Population Based Study, Nature, (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-49508-z )
- Pregnancy Emotions, American Pregnancy Association (http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-concerns/pregnancy-emotions/ )
- Emotional Rollercoster, Web MD (https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/pregnancy-emotional-roller-coaster#1 )