During pregnancy, you may feel a whole host of emotions including excitement, happiness, fear, sadness, anger and panic. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to feel all of these things. Pregnancy can be daunting, you know your life is about to change forever, but you can’t quite imagine how. You may find that your mood changes without warning. From feeling ecstatically happy one minute, to uncontrollable sobbing the next. These mood swings are a common feature of pregnancy, and most women experience them at some point.
What causes mood swings during pregnancy?
Simply put, hormones. Yes, those blasted things that are also making you nauseous, are now turning you into the stereotyped irrational pregnant woman often seen in US sitcoms. It’s not just the hormones though, lack of sleep can play a part too. If you’ve been struggling to sleep, you may find yourself more irritable than usual. Even if the pregnancy was long-anticipated, you may still feel scared and unsure as you embark on this life changing journey.
How to manage mood swings during pregnancy
- talk it out – open up to your partner about how you are feeling. Chances are, he’s feeling every bit a nervous about parenthood as you are, and you’ll both feel a lot better after talking through your concerns.
- be honest – if you’ve just screamed in your mum’s face because she said you were blooming, apologise and explain you’re feeling hormonal. One of the great things about pregnancy is that people are more lenient with you. People expect you to feel tired, emotional and hormonal, so they tend to be more understanding of grumpiness.
- take it slow – if you’re trying to keep up your fast paced lifestyle, you may find the exhaustion is adding to your bad mood. Try taking it slow, spend time relaxing it each and do things at your own pace. This should help you to feel more in control.
- rest – try to get as much sleep as you can, you may find napping during the day or straight after work helps you to make up the hours lost at night. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, try to rest instead. Relaxing can help you to feel rested, even if you haven’t been sleeping. Working on your laptop at 3am won’t help you feel relaxed, and it is in fact likely to make you feel more stressed.
When it’s not just mood swings
If you are feeling down, and you can’t seem to shake it, speak to your healthcare provider. You may be suffering from antenatal depression, and they will be able to advise you of where to get help. It is important to remember you are not alone, and there is help available to you.
If your mood swings are extreme or are interfering with your everyday activities, you should speak to your healthcare provider.
Written by Fiona, proud owner of a toddler, @fiona_peacock
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.