Mood Swings during Pregnancy and How to Deal With Them
Created by Janaki Srinivasan Updated on Jul 17, 2020
If you find yourself behaving strange during pregnancy—happy one minute, anxious the other, it's nothing to worry. You are in the same boat as many other mothers. The minute your pregnancy is confirmed you're on cloud nine and you start planning. But what you can't see is the immense toll in takes on your body and mind. It is preparing to make room for a little one to grow; so there's change in the metabolism, physical changes, stress, fatigue, and of course the increase in the secretion of hormones, estrogen and progesterone. All these put together are responsible for the mood swings that start from the first trimester itself around 6 to 10 weeks and may sometimes continue until the next trimester.
Are Mood Swings Normal During Pregnancy?
Absolutely! It's quite surprising that while we discuss so much about what to eat/avoid, sleep and exercises suitable for pregnancy, not much is talked about the emotional well-being during these 9 months which is equally crucial. Women respond differently to the hormonal levels. Some are excited while others may be depressed. The good news is, they ease around the end of the second trimester but make a comeback when the delivery date is close.
What Causes Mood Swings During Pregnancy?
However planned the pregnancy maybe, most women worry about-
- How they are going to manage the baby
- How will the birthing experience be
- How will it affect the relationship with their spouse
- Whether they will be a good mom
- Finances—how to manage the extra expenses
- Eating right and staying fit
- Getting the right information, reading the right books
These are just some; there are lots more and as already mentioned it varies across women. Towards the second trimester the physical appearance changes and there are other additional symptoms like frequent urination, heartburn and fatigue that adds to the problem. At this stage women start feeling that they are unattractive and whether they will be able to get back to shape post-delivery. When there is so much going in the mind, mood swings are obvious.
Do I Need To Consult A Doctor For Mood Swings?
Not unless you feel the problem is quite serious. However, if you have a history of anxiety, depression or other mental health problem, you might want to discuss it with your doctor to avoid complications later. If you feel that your mood swingsare frequent and intense and are accompanied by a change in eating habits, inability to concentrate or severe feeling of guilt or short term memory loss, check with your doctor immediately. Untreated emotional health problems can in the long run affect your baby's well-being and could be responsible for pre-term labor and later post-partum depression. Therefore, don't ignore it.
How to Manage Mood Swings during Pregnancy?
You may wonder if this is possible since the cause is completely out of our control, but the good news is, it is. You must be aware that mood swings are an integral part of pregnancy and therefore must make a constant effort to stay on top of things and consciously nurture yourself. What can you do?
Most women worry too much on the physical aspects of pregnancy and do not bother on the impact it has on the mind. It is important to keep the mind calm and the body healthy to enjoy a safe pregnancy.
Don't look too much in the future. Pregnancy is a phase to be enjoyed, not to be spent in worry. Enjoy while it lasts.
- Go Easy: Don't clutter your mind with too many "To-Do" things before the baby arrives. Take it easy. Instead relax and take care of yourself. When the baby arrives, things will automatically fall in place
- Spend Quality Time With Your Spouse/Partner: Talk to each other about your fears and worries. It helps when you try to solve problems as a team. It's also a good idea to go on a vacation to de-stress and spend quality time together before the baby arrives. If you are a single parent, look for support groups, new moms and bond with them for help in future
- Keep Yourself Happy: Do what makes you happy. Take a walk, sleep well, go out alone, meet friends, book a spa session—anything!
- Exercise Your Way to Health: Don't forget to exercise regularly. It goes a long way in keeping you physically fit and mentally strong. It is also a good idea to practice meditation; it helps calm the mind and relieve stress. Yoga is another good option that you might want to try. Whatever maybe your choice, enroll in a class to exercise every day
- Eat and Sleep Well: We all know that pregnancy is a time to eat healthy, for you and for the baby. Discuss with your doctor and make a diet plan to follow. Make sure you know what to eat and what to avoid. Above all, remember to get enough sleep and rest and don't forget to stay hydrated