Pregnancy is a life-changing phase. It changes your priorities. Not only that, but pregnancy is also a rollercoaster raid of emotions. Dealing with these ups and downs of emotions is not as easy as you think. Find out 15 tried and tested ways to handle emotions during pregnancy.
Every mother-to-be will be excited about being pregnant. However, this doesn’t mean she is relaxed and happy all the time. At times she will be stressed out. Even though she used to be a strong lady, now she might start crying on small things.
Why Do I Feel Emotional During Pregnancy
Are you feeling excessively emotional and extreme changes in mood? Well, you are not alone. Mood swings are a common occurrence during pregnancy1. Emotions usually peak during the first trimester, are somewhat manageable during the second, and again peak during the third trimester.
Here are some factors that trigger mood swings and put you through an emotional roller coaster.
1. Inability to adjust to the transformation
Everything changes during pregnancy. Sudden onset of pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, morning sickness, nausea can take a toll on the emotion of pregnant women. All these unpleasant side effects can trigger anger and irritability to anything and everything that happen around her.
Spike in the hormones during the early stages of pregnancy can make a woman sensitive to changes around her. The smallest of things can trigger her because they are huge from her viewpoint. That is why a pregnant woman sometimes reacts unexpectedly and unreasonably to even small things.
2. Motherhood and pregnancy worries
Constant worry about upcoming delivery and responsibilities of the imminent motherhood can contribute to excessive emotional outbursts during pregnancy. Thoughts like, ‘will I be a good mother’, ‘will I be able to continue working post pregnancy’,’ how will I manage my home and career’ etc. weigh heavily on a woman’s mind when she is pregnant.
Thoughts like this can also make the mother feeling alone in this journey and eventually pave the way to depression.
Related Reading: Unsupportive Partner During Pregnancy – Taking It in Your Stride
3. The emotions of fear
The fear of miscarriage can take a toll on emotion in the first trimester of pregnancy. During the second trimester, the mother will be relatively relaxed. That is why it is called the “honeymoon period” of pregnancy. However, the third month brings about fear about upcoming labor, the health of the baby, etc. which again take a toll on emotions.
Apart from having a fear of miscarriage, things like how will the baby be, will everything be alright etc. can also make a pregnant woman anxious.
4. Hormonal changes
According to NCBI, the hormone levels tremendously change during pregnancy. This can adversely affect the level of neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that regulate the mood. This brings about mood swings. These hormonal changes will be at their peak during the first three months of pregnancy. So will be a pregnant woman’s mood swings.
Once the body gets accustomed to the surge of pregnancy hormones the intensity and frequency of the emotional outbursts may be reduced. But, many mothers experience them throughout their pregnancy.
5. Unsettling thoughts
Pregnancy is a turning point after which the entire schedule in the life of a woman changes. With all the new decisions they have to make, new mothers may have to deal with a train of unsettling thoughts.
Thoughts from how to take care of the little one to how to balance her profession and motherhood can trouble her.
It is very important to know how to handle emotions during pregnancy. Getting angry at your husband due to your emotional imbalance can take a toll on your relationship with him. By expecting, understanding, and accepting these changes and also by seeking support whenever needed you can handle a firestorm of emotions during pregnancy well.
15 Tried And Tested Ways To Handle Emotions During Pregnancy
Leading a content pregnancy period in midst of mood swings is not impossible. Here are 15 tried and tested ways to handle emotions during pregnancy.
1. Get plenty of sleep
It is important to get plenty of rest during pregnancy. Managing the emotional flare-ups when you are tired is nearly impossible. Get plenty of sleep. If you are a working woman, take a nap whenever possible.
During your first trimester, no matter how long you slept, you might still feel tired. Likewise, during the last trimester, due to your growing belly and other aches and pains, you might find it hard to get a comfortable position to sleep.
But no matter what, during pregnancy, you need sufficient sleep. Take all measures that ensure a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation during pregnancy can potentially trigger more severe mood swings. Taking short naps throughout the day can compensate for the loss of sleep.
2. Take a break during the day to relax
Getting some me-time is just as important as getting ample rest. Sometimes you might not have the energy for your usual go-to activities. In this case, find joy in the ordinary and turn mundane things like bathing into something you can enjoy.
Also, reading books (if you are a book-lover), listening to music, are an excellent way to calm the flaring emotions. It will help to take your mind off your pregnancy for some time. Watching good movies and shows that give you positive-vibes is excellent means to relax.
Related Reading: Household Work During Pregnancy – What Do And What To Avoid
3. Do not Google everything and anything
The Internet provides you information. But, if it is the only source of your to clear doubts, it is better not to Google too much. A pregnancy is a unique experience for everyone, so do not read up unnecessarily and stay away from
Many information from these blogs and sites can create stress and panic in expecting mothers. Rather than searching about every single symptom you experience during pregnancy, discuss it with your doctor. Rely on Google for information, not inferences.
4. Never read pregnancy books that make you fearful
It is always good to read books that give you basic information about pregnancy, its normal progression, pregnancy diet, prenatal, and postnatal care. But, if any information in the pregnancy book makes you anxious, or scares you, or is giving you negative vibes, drop the book.
5. Increase bonding time with your partner
Your partner is your shoulder to lean on. He is the one who experiences the heat of your flared mood swings more than anyone. After all, to whom you can express your frustration and anger other than a person close to your heart.
Related Reading: 35 Beautiful Ways To Announce Your Pregnancy To Your Husband
Even then, he might be very confused as your emotional outbursts will be more often unpredictable. As a new parent, don’t forget he is also bearing his share of tensions. It is important to let him realize you still love and value him.
When you are calm, and not under the pressure of emotions, spend more quality time with your partner. Fill him in on your mindset including your fears and concerns and how you rely on him for the strength to go through this. It is important to ease the tension between you to strengthen the relationship.
6. Get regular physical activity
Stay physically active. Do you know exercise is a mood booster? Exercise enhances the flow of good chemicals throughout the body and brain. This doesn’t mean you have to do strenuous workouts to enhance emotional health.
Getting into gentle exercises like walking in fresh air, swimming, engaging in low-impact aerobics will help to boost the energy and decrease the frequency of emotional flare-ups.
7. Pregnancy yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation are excellent to restore emotional health. It is very beneficial to reduce anxiety and stress. Try some meditation or prenatal yoga to restore peace of mind. Breathing exercise like pranayama also helps to relieve stress.
8. Connect with other expecting moms
It is always worthwhile for the expecting mother to join some forums and social media groups for expecting mothers. This way, the mother will able to know there are more people out there having the same experience as her.
She will also able to realize this is a passing phase and no need to be so anxious about it. The forums also help the woman to understand how other women deal with or still dealing with the same issues that bother her. Realizing she is not alone in the boat itself can pump in more confidence.
9. Eat well
Studies show what you eat influences your mood. Unhealthy eating patterns result in fluctuation in blood sugar levels. It can also result in nutritional imbalances. This can bring about emotional outbursts.
Balanced nutrition plays an important role in stimulating the neurotransmitters that regulate emotions and moods. Therefore, a balanced diet and intake of micronutrients help to handle emotions during pregnancy.
10. Live in the moment
Living in the moment rather than mulling over future-oriented concerns helps to bring down the unnecessary anxiety and worries during pregnancy. Try to fill the mind with positive thoughts, talk to the little one in your womb. Try to enjoy each and every second of being the parent.
11. Take a childbirth course and hire a Doula
More often the root cause of emotional outbursts during pregnancy is the scare of labor and delivery. The more you understand about the delivery day, the more support you sense, the less concern you feel.
By enrolling in a childbirth education class, or by employing a doula, or finding a therapist who can help to reduce the anxiety of delivery, the expecting mother will feel more confident. Warding off labor scare significantly enhances the emotion and mood of the expecting mother.
12. Talk it out
Never overwhelm yourself by bottling up your concerns. It will only increase the intensity and frequency of emotional bursts. Share your thoughts and worries with someone you are comfortable with.
The thought of preparing the home for receiving the new member can be stressful. But never try to overdo it. You don’t have to everything by yourself. Also, there is no need to push yourself to finish everything before the baby comes. This type of stress can lead to frustration, guiltiness, and strong mood swings.
13. Reduce the sources of stress
It is always wise to avoid sources of stress. Let it be talking to a person or thoughts, try to avoid any situation or thoughts that give a negative vibe. It is not easy to get rid of thoughts. But you can always try a strategy of one at a time while dealing with worries, rather than taking everything into your head together.
14. Get a massage
Prenatal massage not only helps to soothe the physical aches and pains but also significantly helps to improve your mood and calm the emotional flares. Therefore, treat yourself to a manicure or prenatal massage whenever you feel emotionally down.
15. Seek professional help
In spite of trying out different means to handle emotions during pregnancy, if you still struggle to cope with the emotional outbursts and mood swings, it is important to seek professional help.
A good therapist will evaluate the emotional issue you are going through and make sure it is just the normal mood swings rather than clinical depression. Even if you are experiencing signs of clinical depression, he will help to pull you out of it.
Clinical depression during pregnancy is treatable. It is important to detect and treat depression during pregnancy on time. Or else, the risk of developing PPD (postpartum depression) increases. Handling depression after giving birth to a baby is harder.
There is no connection between the gender of the baby with the emotional outburst of the mother. At least there is no scientific base to support this theory.
Extreme anger can bring about some physiological changes like an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. When you are extremely angry, levels of hormones like epinephrine and adrenaline shoot up.
As a result, the blood vessels will contract. This is not favorable for the growth and development of the fetus. Thus, extreme anger for a prolonged period can adversely affect fetal development.