Finding out you’re pregnant comes with many emotions. For some people, it means it’s a time for sheer joy and celebration. For others it’s shocking and terrifying. But we are here to tell you that no matter where you fall on the spectrum, it’ll be okay. And something that really helps get used to the idea of pregnancy is knowing what to expect when you’re expecting. While there are many resources dedicated to the long list of topics, we’re focusing specifically on mood swings. What causes them? And is there anything you can do to treat them?
What Causes Pregnancy Mood Swings?
Mood swings during pregnancy are very common. So if you’re feeling stressed out, angry, overwhelmed, or even depressed, be aware that you are not alone. It’s more common to hear women gushing about how excited they are about the baby because admitting negative feelings is taboo. But it is very normal.
It’s also common to go down a rabbit hole of worries: Am I ready to be a parent? Am I going to be a good mom? Will I be able to take care of the baby? What about finances? Daycare? Am I missing anything? All of these questions are also normal. Pregnancy is the ultimate life-changing event, so it’s natural to have many questions. On top of that, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels may cause you to experience mood swings on a regular basis. So do note that you feel moody because your own body chemistry is causing you to be moody.
To add insult to injury, other factors come into play to make you feel happy one moment, and ready to scream bloody murder the next: Morning sickness, water retention, fatigue, rapid weight gain, having to constantly pee, being unable to find a comfortable sleeping position, and body aches will all have a cumulative effect on you, both physically and emotionally.
How to Treat Mood Swings During Pregnancy
1. Prioritize Sleep
It doesn’t matter how many things are on your To-Do list. You’re pregnant. Now you have the perfect reason to bow out of social functions you really didn’t want to go to in the first place, go to bed extra early, and take all the naps you want. You’ll be feeling more tired than usual anyway because your body is busy creating a life. The most comfortable sleeping position while pregnant is to sleep on your left side, since doing so improves circulation and provides optimal blood flow for your baby. Also, play around with your pillows to find the most comfortable way to sleep.
2. Eat Healthily
Fatigue a big part of being pregnant. Extreme fatigue may also be a sign of an iron deficiency. Eat twice the amount of iron you normally eat when you’re pregnant, by incorporating dark leafy greens, oatmeal, eggs, lentils, fruits, and whole grains into your diet. And good news: You can add dark chocolate to this list. Eating foods with folate is necessary for your baby’s development, so if you’re constantly worrying if baby is going to be born healthy, incorporating avocados, legumes, eggs, leafy greens, beets, brussel sprouts, bananas, and folic acid supplements into your meals will help alleviate some of those concerns.
Also, do not skip any meals. Doing so can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, making you feel irritable.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water not only ensures that your baby gets a proper amount of nutrients, it also helps prevent (or at least alleviate) constipation and hemorrhoids, two conditions that frequently affect pregnant women. In addition, it’ll help minimize swelling that typically comes with pregnancy and reduce the likelihood of headaches.
Being pregnant comes with feeling body aches all over, which can send any good mood down the drain. Exercising regularly eases some of this discomfort. It also releases the feel-good hormone endorphins, which activate positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
In addition, it’ll make it easier for you to deal with childbirth and lose the baby weight after giving birth (so you’re addressing three issues that may cause you stress with one simple tactic). Speak with your OB-GYN first about any exercise program you may want to follow to make sure that it’s safe to do so, both for you and your baby.
5. Learn Stress Relieving Techniques
Maybe you’ve been thinking about taking up yoga, or maybe you haven’t meditated in a while. If nothing is helping, talk about how you’re feeling with friends who have had kids, with other moms in discussion forums online, or even with your gynecologist. It’s also good to go to prenatal classes, since it’s the best place to meet other people who are in your same position and who can relate to what you’re going through.
Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for More Information
At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services for every woman. We’ll help you feel comfortable and answer all of your pregnancy and childbirth-related questions.