Dealing with Pregnancy-Induced Mood Swings
Pregnancy definitely brings a lot of changes not only on the physical aspect but also psychologically and emotionally. It’s no wonder a lot of women experience mood swings and irritability while they are pregnant.
Even if the pregnancy is planned, it is normal for your brain to be filled with questions concerning the future, your career, labor and delivery, finances, and motherhood. It is normal to feel mixed emotions of depression and excitement. In addition, it is also normal to feel anxious while you are pregnant. Your partner may not understand this. However, you can help him understand by explaining that your mood swings are normal and that you will need his understanding and support as you go through the entire process.
Since pregnancy is most likely a mystery to most men, they tend to be confused about the entire process. They have to understand that all they need to do is to support their pregnant partners in this journey and give them lots of hugs and words of support whenever they need them. Since most of the time they do not know how to do this, women should offer them clear instructions and make sure that the communication line is open between them.
Mood swings may be a normal occurrence most of the time during pregnancy. However, you should monitor them closely, as this could also indicate a sign of depression, especially to those pregnant women who have had history of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.
What is Causing Your Mood Swings while You Are Pregnant?
The likely culprit of your mood swings during pregnancy would be your hormones. Since there is a great change on your hormone levels during this phase of your life, you will feel symptoms of pregnancy, which are giving you discomforts most of the time. During the first trimester of a pregnancy, hormone levels change dramatically, affecting the normal brain chemistry. While hormones are the first ones to be blamed, this is not the only reason why you experience mood swings while you are pregnant.
Whether the pregnancy is planned, having a baby is considered a life-changing experience. People have normal anxieties as well as worries about the pregnancy, the health of their unborn baby, finances and the future. However, the tricky part is that this pregnancy symptom may also be a sign of other health conditions like anemia, depression, hyperthyroidism, or migraines.
When Will Mood Swings Likely to Occur?
Mood swings during pregnancy will be most evident in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In fact, a lot of pregnant women may feel that they are not able to control their emotions properly in the first trimester of their pregnancy. You would feel that your temper is shorter than usual and you can snap at anyone any time. Moreover, you will become tearful over the smallest things.
However, you will find emotional stability once your body adapts to the hormonal changes brought about by your pregnancy. Moreover, stability will come once you get used to the idea that you are expecting.
When you reach the last few weeks of your pregnancy or before you go into labor, you will find your mood swings returning. In addition to mood swings, you will also experience a surge of energy at the same time.
Effectively Managing Mood Swings during Pregnancy
Even though mood swings during pregnancy is driven by your hormones and may seem out of control, there are various ways on effectively dealing with them.
- Ask for Help. It is understandable that you would want to get everything set up and ready before the birth of your baby. However, you should not do everything on your own. You can always seek help from your partner. Moreover, you can also ask help from your friends and family.
- Get Plenty of Rest. Mood swings can be triggered and aggravated by fatigue. Thus, you should take time to rest whenever you can. If you are feeling tired and stressed out, you should consider taking a break once in a while. This way, you will have the time to recharge and rejuvenate before your baby is born.
- Allow Some Time for Fun. You should allow some fun time. You can watch a movie with your friends, sit in your garden and do things that you like. You should also take time to pamper yourself.
- Talk to Someone. One of the best ways to manage mood swings is to talk to someone. If you are feeling down or excited, you can tell your friends and family about it. You can even talk to your health care provider. You can also join communities and peer groups for support.
- Exercise is considered a mood lifter. If you are feeling anxious or irritated, you can take a walk, go for a swim or do some exercises. You can even try something that can soothe your mind like prenatal yoga.
- Bond with Your Partner. Since your partner is likely the receiving end of your mood swings, you should take time to bond with him and let him know that you still love him. During the time that you are not having you mood swing episode, you should spend some quality time with your partner. This should help you strengthen your bond as new parents before the baby is born.
- Don’t Feel Guilty. You should not feel guilty and stop feeling one. Since pregnancy is considered a life changing event, you are bound to feel irritable, anxious and overwhelmed at certain points in time while you are pregnant. So, you should definitely give yourself a break.
When Should You Consult Your Doctor?
If you feel that your mood swings is anything but normal, you should talk with your health care provider. You should explain your worries to your doctor and seek advice. A lot of pregnant women are thought to experience depression while they are pregnant. If you often feel down and that everything is not alright, you may be becoming depressed. Thus, it is best to seek consult.
For those who are having very intense as well as severe and frequent mood swings, this can indicate a condition known as bipolar disorder. This type of mood disorder can last for several weeks to several months. If you think your mood swings are falling to this category, you should seek medical consult right away.