Pregnancy Mood Swings
If you’re pregnant you probably know all about having mood swings. If you’re not pregnant and are supporting someone who is, you too probably know all about mood swings. Mood swings are a very common pregnancy symptom. One second you’re excited about the baby’s arrival, the next you’re wondering if this was a terrible idea. One day you’re buying shirts that say “#1 Mom” and then next day you feel like you are the worst mother on earth.
Most women begin experiencing mood swings around 6 weeks pregnant. The moodiness usually lasts until about 10 weeks pregnant and tends to disappear during the second trimester. As the third trimester begins and the baby’s arrival draws closer, many women begin experiencing mood swings all over again. It’s normal, remember that. Having a baby is a stressful, exciting time for many expectant parents.
Even your partner may be experiencing mood swings. It’s not unheard of for a partner to have ‘sympathy pains’. They too are having anxiety, nervousness and other emotions about the arrival. One day they think they’ll be a great parent, the next day they are having their doubts. No, they aren’t dealing with the different hormone changes or growing baby, however, they are dealing with their pregnant partner, and that too can be just as difficult.
Causes of Mood Swings
The main culprit is hormones. Hormonal changes that are occurring affect the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that regulate your mood. Now, every woman is different and responds differently to these affects.
Other causes of the mood swings are due to:
- Progesterone and Estrogen
- Emotional Stress
- Physical Stress
Managing Mood Swings
It’s important to remember that mood swings are a normal part of being pregnant, and continuous or constant feelings of depression is not. Approximately 10% of all expectant mothers face mild to moderate depression while they’re pregnant. If you feel like you could be one of these people, talk with your health care provider or get professional help. Dealing with consistent depression, anxiety, or nervousness is not good for your health or your baby’s health.
If you are not in need of professional help and know that the mood swings are due to the pregnancy, there are some things you can do to help manage the changing emotions and feelings.
The first thing is to talk with your partner. Keeping a line of communication open at all times can not only help you feel better, but it can help your partner understand what you are going through. In turn, you and your partner can help others understand together, instead of alone. Your partner will be less likely to take your nasty comments, crying episodes and fits of rage personal. Doing things together can also help prevent negative feelings and emotions. Even if you two simply take a walk, go see a movie, or spend the night indoors cuddling, it can help both of you get manage the mood swings.
Speaking of bonding, it’s also important you bond and spend time with friends and family. Talking with them about feelings and emotions can help them understand where you are at. Plus, they may have advice that isn’t mentioned here. They knew you pre-pregnant and will have a better understanding of how to help you deal with these trying times.
Try reducing the amount of stress you let build up. If something is bothering you right then, speak about it right then. Don’t let petty things build up, as they eventually snowball. What was once a small problem to you is now a huge problem for everyone. Get enough sleep and rest. Exercising is also a great reliever. Even though you may feel fatigued and tired, get out of the house and have fun. Meet friends or your partner for lunch. Go shopping. Do things that make you feel good, even if you do them alone.