Mood swings during early pregnancy can be a troublesome experience not only for a new mother but also for a mother who has never experienced them before. They are a common symptom of pregnancy.
Early pregnancy mood swings cause
In most instances, if not all, they are triggered by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The level of these hormones goes up during early pregnancy leading to mood swings. Aside from the hormones, other culprits can be:
Stress due to concerns
Common concerns that plague mothers include questions such as how they are going to raise the baby, if they will be able to make good mothers, or if they are taking care of themselves the right way without harming the baby. The latter issue is a common concern especially among women with an experience in miscarriage or women who have struggled to conceive.
The first trimester is a unique experience for any woman. In most instances, it is a period of morning sickness, exhaustion, and changes in libido. You are likely to feel fatigued amidst the daily pressures of life. As a consequence, your normal defenses are likely not working well at this time and you are vulnerable to them.
It is advisable to avoid fatigue. Take it slow and give yourself time to rest during the day.
Overall, the physical changes occurring in your body, plus the day to day happenings in your life and fatigue, it is understandable why mood swings are a common symptom among pregnant women.
How to handle them
- Try yoga
Pregnancy yoga classes are a great way for you to manage the mood swings. These classes are designed to help you relax and achieve overall wellness. There are many benefits you can enjoy from attending prenatal yoga classes, for instance, the relaxation techniques will make labor easier and more comfortable. Also, the yoga classes will help you reduce stress, nausea, and headaches.
- Reach out and Talk to Someone
As the saying goes, a problem half shared is half solved. It is important to talk to someone when you are feeling stressed, frustrated, or anxious. You can open up to your partner, a friend, or you can share with your family. Alternatively, there are supportive communities that you can join for support, for instance, online communities such as the Baby Center Community are a great place for you to talk out your feelings.
If the mood swings last more than two weeks, you can consider consulting your doctor. Depression is a prevalent concern among women in the U.S. You can consider talking to a counsellor to get to the bottom of the issue. Symptoms of depression include:
- Short-memory loss
- Change in eating habits
- Constant feeling of anxiety and irritability
- Severe mood swings
It is challenging to handle mood swings if you are fatigued. Therefore, it is advisable to get enough sleep Consider incorporating short-naps during the day to help you relax. Also, set your priorities. This will help you reduce the level of stress resulting from the myriad of things you need to do. Ask yourself if everything you’ve planned to do really need to be done. At the same time, projects such as painting the nursery, shopping for the baby, and buying the crib can trigger stress and fatigue. It is important to seek assistance from your family, friends and partner. Have them help you out in these projects so you can have time for rest.
- Do something fun!
Incorporate feel-good activities in your plans. For instance, going out for a movie with a friend, reading a good book at the park, going for a walk, or for a picnic can help keep your mind off the pregnancy. These activities are also a great way of getting your body to relax. Consider going out with your partner. This is a great time for the two of you to bond and strengthens your relationship before the baby arrives.
- Stay physically Healthy
Aside from yoga, try out some gentle exercises for pregnant women. Exercise is a great way of calming the mind and boosting the feel-good hormones. At the same time, pay attention to your diet so as to keep your body nourished.
There are other great tips to consider:-For instance, do not allow little problems to escalate into big ones. Try to deal with small concerns the minute they occur so as to avoid getting stressed over them. Also, let others know that you are experiencing mood swings since you became pregnant. This information will help those closest to you as they will be in a better position to support you through this time.
Will the ever end?
It is common for the mood swings to end as you enter to the second trimester. However, occasional outbursts are still normal. Do not blame yourself for the emotional roller coaster you are going through. At the same time, it is imperative for the people around you to understand what changes to expect so that they are in a better position to give you support.
Try not to be so hard on yourself during pregnancy. It is okay to have this issue. If you are watching the Good Dinosaur movie with your child, and you end up crying even more, then it’s okay (i almost cried too), if your partner walks in and forgets to remove his shoes leading to an outburst greater than a level 5 typhoon, then it’s alright. Once you’ve calmed down, you can talk about it and move on. Mood swings are every pregnant woman’s cup of tea, whether during early pregnancy, or somewhere along the 9-month journey.
- Adele Pillitteri. Maternal and Child Health Nursing: Care of the Childbearing and Childrearing Family, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013