Handling Mood Swings During Pregnancy

Julie Kirk
Angry Pregnant Woman

It is not unusual to experience mood swings when you're pregnant; you may be joyous and happy one minute and inexplicably crying the next. These fluctuating emotions can be challenging and it is essential for your own well-being that you learn how to handle and better cope with your mood swings during pregnancy.

Why Are You Having Mood Swings?

While some women don't experience the intense pregnancy mood swings, there are many that do. There are multiple reasons why you may experience mood swings during your pregnancy which include:

Hormones

The hormones estrogen and progesterone that increase and fluctuate during pregnancy are big contributors to mood swings especially in the first trimester. Changes in your hormone levels basically affect the chemicals in your brain that help maintain your mood.

These drastic hormone level changes during pregnancy can cause significant and dramatic changes in your emotions and your mood.

Pregnancy Issues and Discomfort

Dealing with first trimester issues such as morning sickness and fatigue can cause anxiety and emotional distress which can lead to mood swings. When you don't feel well or are exhausted, this can easily trigger a shift in your mood.

History of Miscarriage

If you have a history of a previous miscarriage, you may be extremely nervous and stressed about your current pregnancy. The anxiety and hormone flux of early pregnancy can cause extreme mood swings.

Physically Uncomfortable

Your body changes may affect you as well. You will undoubtedly be uncomfortable in the home stretch of the third trimester. This may lead to a lack of sleep and irritability. Again, when you are fatigued and uncomfortable, this can provoke mood swings.

Are Extreme Moods During Pregnancy Considered Normal?

You may experience extreme highs, excitement, and even nesting instincts with your pregnancy which is considered normal. However, if you are experiencing outright anger or extreme frustration during your pregnancy, this could be attributed to a low tolerance for any emotional or physical issue you're experiencing during your pregnancy. As long as you are able to rein in your anger and maintain control, it's probably a temporary problem. However, if your anger and frustration is affecting your relationships and interfering with your mental well-being and daily life, you will need to discuss this with your doctor.

When Mood Swings Indicate a Serious Issue

If you don't feel you are experiencing typical pregnancy mood swings and you are having trouble maintaining your emotions, feeling depressed, having extreme anxiety or are having suicidal thoughts, you will need to discuss this with your doctor immediately. You may need to be evaluated by a therapist.

How to Cope with Mood Swings

You should do or try what feels best for you and your self-care. The following are a few ways to cope with your mood swings:

  • Get a good night's sleep, if possible.
  • Maintain a healthy diet during your pregnancy.
  • Consistent physical activity is important. You can take a walk or swim, for example.
  • Get out and enjoy yourself. See a movie or go to your favorite restaurant.
  • Discuss your moods with other moms, you will find you're not alone.
  • Try a pregnancy massage.
  • Try pregnancy yoga or meditation.
  • If you are tired, relax or take a nap.
  • A warm bath may help you relax.
  • Let your family and friends know about your emotions and moods, having their support can be incredibly helpful at this time.

Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy

While mood swings during pregnancy are common and normal, you should be cautious about any continuous emotional struggle you may be experiencing. Your personal mental and emotional health during pregnancy is just as important as your physical health. Ensuring a healthy pregnancy is the ultimate goal for you and your baby.

Handling Mood Swings During Pregnancy