What’s going on? One minute you’re so happy, laughing out loud like nothing can go wrong with your world. Next minute, you get annoyed over every little thing and feel snappy with everybody. Then out of the blue, you’re crying, maybe even bawling, because you feel guilty, panicky, insecure, afraid and overwhelmed all at once.
What’s a pregnant woman to do when her emotions are up and down like a roller coaster on overdrive?
When trying to understand your pregnancy mood swings, it’s important to know that this is perfectly normal during your first trimester. They may ease after the third month for some women, but be prepared to swing back and forth with your feelings throughout your term. Being aware of the fact that your emotions can become unpredictable during this time can help you cope.
Pregnancy causes your hormones to go into hyperactive mode. Hormones are chemical messengers and they know that your body is changing. They respond by going into overdrive, making changes that can affect your body and mess with your frame of mind. Most women are probably prepared for the changes coming in your body affecting your skin, teeth, hair, figure, appetite, digestion and libido, to name some. But pregnancy mood swings can take you by surprise and be a bit too much to handle.
Psychologist Fred Cavaiani, MA, a consultant for the Women’s Center for Medicine at the Detroit Medical Cente, points out, “You’re a walking receptacle of feelings,” he says, “and you don’t have the ability to suppress them.”
You can’t control what feelings you’ll feel next, but you can learn ways to express them and empower yourself.
- Talk to family and friends about your feelings to help them understand what you’re going through. Sometimes just knowing that the people closest to you understand can help you calm down and see reason.
- If you feel that your pregnancy mood swings are more up than down and turning into depression, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor or a counsellor or join a support group of expectant moms so you can get help and support right away.
- Eat healthy. Your diet can make a huge impact on your hormone levels. The right food groups can supply the vitamins and minerals your body needs to adjust to the hormonal imbalance. Also make sure, because you’re eating for two, to supplement your diet with a prenatal vitamin to help correct any nutrition deficiency you may have.
- Move a lot. Increasing your activity levels can boost the body to make more serotonin, the happy hormones. When serotonin levels are properly controlled, your pregnancy mood swings can go away.
- Take some “Me” time. Just take a few minutes each day to step away from it all and just focus on yourself. You can do yoga and meditate, go to the gym to workout, read a book in your cubby hole or go pamper yourself with a relaxing soak in the tub or a mani-pedi at your favourite spa. You’ll be refreshed when you go back into your world and ready to take on everyone and anything again.
A swirl of emotions will go through you the whole nine months of your pregnancy. Know how to calm down and enjoy every moment!