Get Help And Support If You Need It
Although its normal to have periods of feeling worried or low when youre pregnant, some women have feelings that dont go away and this can be a sign of something more serious.
It can be really difficult to accept that youre feeling low at a time when everyone expects you to feel happy and excited. But try to remember that mental health problems in pregnancy, such as depression and anxiety, are common, so youre not alone. Tell your midwife or doctor how you feel. They can help you find the right treatment and support so you can take care of yourself and your baby.
Additional Resources For Dealing With Stress While Pregnant
For more information about dealing with stress during pregnancy, see the following organizations:
Stress during pregnancy is common, with around 78% of pregnant women reporting low to moderate stress and 6% reporting high levels of stress.1 Pregnancy stress is a concern because it is linked to certain complications and can have negative effects on the unborn baby. Fortunately, you can take action to reduce your stress during pregnancy, which can help prevent these problems and improve your overall well-being.
Emotional And Physical Stress
Women, during this time, can become particularly sensitive and even the smallest thing may tick them off. Emotional stress is another huge factor responsible for mood swings. Similarly, physical stress and too much activity can also affect your mood. Metabolism, too, can impact your mood. In effect, your emotions can run helter-skelter for a whole lot of reasons.
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Bond With Your Partner:
It is said that you are bound to lash out more on the people that you love more. We feel loved and safe enough around our partner. There is certain evidence that suggests that it is difficult to figure out what kind of emotion you are going through during the pregnancy.
Sometimes the situation becomes unpredictable. It becomes so difficult to understand one another about how you feel for each other which can often lead to certain mood swings during pregnancy.
Why Am I So Moody While Pregnant
- whether youll be a good parent
- whether your diet or lifestyle is affecting your developing baby
- how having a baby will affect your relationship
- whether your baby will be born healthy
- how youre going to manage financially
- how your career may be affected by becoming a parent
- your changing body, and whether your partner still finds you attractive
- how you’ll cope with labour and birth
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When You Might Need More Support With Your Emotions
It is important to recognise that there is a difference between normal pregnancy emotions and a mental health issue. Pregnancy can be a time when women experience mental health issues for the first time .
More than one in eight women experience depression or anxiety when theyre pregnant, or sometimes both . Always see your GP or your midwife if you:
- have prolonged feelings of sadness
- have intrusive thoughts that you cant control
- have lost interest in things you normally enjoy
- find yourself engaging in repetitive patterns of behavior, like repeatedly washing your hands or checking social media
- feel worthless
- feel unable to concentrate or make decisions
- have difficulty falling or staying asleep
- have lost your appetite
- feel morbidly fearful of giving birth
- have thoughts about suicide.
If you have had depression or anxiety or any other mental health diagnosis in the past, then talk through this with your midwife early in your pregnancy. A relapse can be possible during pregnancy or after you give birth .
Extreme Anxieties Depression Support Groups
Being overly anxious and stressed all the time is unusual and only affects a very few pregnant women, but can cause problems. If you talk to your midwife or GP, they will help you, by referring you to a support group, counsellor or a psychotherapist.
Please get help when you are pregnant, as all the support can be set up for when you have given birth.
If you are taking medication for depression, talk to your midwife or GP if you are worried about any affects it has on your baby, but dont suddenly stop your medication.
Massage and aromatherapy can be very useful to alleviate stress and anxieties. Massage during pregnancy will not only benefit you, but your partner as well. This will make them feel part of the whole pregnancy and make you feel that you are not doing this on your own.
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What Causes Mood Swings During Pregnancy
However planned the pregnancy maybe, most women worry about-
Sex Pregnancy And Your Emotions
Its completely natural for your sex drive to change during pregnancy. Some women enjoy having sex while theyre pregnant and others dont. This can sometimes cause anxiety for couples, especially if one of you wants to have sex and the other doesnt.
There are many reasons why your sex life may change in pregnancy, such as:
- your pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness or tiredness, are putting you off
- you feel physically uncomfortable during sex
- you feel self-conscious about your changing body
- you or your partner are concerned that sex will hurt the baby
- your partner sees you as a mother, rather than sexy
- you or your partner are feeling anxious about parenthood.
Keep in mind that it is perfectly safe to have sex during pregnancy, unless your doctor or midwife has told you not to. Having sex will not hurt your baby.
Talk to your partner if you are worried about your sex life. It may help you both if you can talk about your feelings about sex, how theyve changed and why. Talking together now can give both of you the chance to air any concerns or worries you may have. You may be able to defuse any tension and reassure each other. You may also be able to find other ways of being intimate with each other that doesnt involve sex. You can also talk to your midwife if you have any concerns about sex during or after pregnancy.
Find out more about sex in pregnancy.
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How Can Stress Affect My Baby And Me
Chronic stress can affect your own health or wellbeing, and can include experiencing headaches, problems sleeping, fast breathing and a racing pulse.
Some people might also experience:
- obsessive thoughts
- eating problems
- trouble relaxing or winding down
Chronic stress could also cause problems for your baby. These can include effects on your unborn babys growth and the length of gestation . They can also increase the risk of problems in your babys future physical and mental development, as well as behavioural issues in childhood.
Its Okay To Have Mood Swings
Mood swings during pregnancy are a normal occurrence, and you should not worry about them. It can happen from hormonal fluctuations, morning sickness, loss of sleep, etc. However, taking care of your psychological and physiological health and following some stress management tips may help overcome the condition. You can bring in some lifestyle changes, such as sleeping adequately, getting a prenatal massage, or including yoga and meditation. These will ensure your mood swings are under check, and you can enjoy your pregnancy.
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What Causes Pregnancy Mood Swings
There are a handful of reasons you may have mood swings during pregnancy hormones, sleep deprivation, and nagging anxiety form just the tip of the iceberg.
Rest assured that you are not just being dramatic, there are real physical, physiological, and mental explanations for this seemingly erratic behavior.
Early Pregnancy Mood Swing Triggers
Hormones trigger mood swings during pregnancy, but its not only the hormones. The discomforts of pregnancy can cause emotional distress as well. For example, morning sickness, which can really hit you at any time of day, affects 70% to 80% of pregnant women.
Feelings of nausea and sometimes vomiting can be triggered by the slightest hunger pangs or even the smell of your neighbors cooking. For those that experience more severe morning sickness than others, anxiety may arise over whether they will suddenly feel the urge to throw-up during a business meeting. Or they may worry that they will suddenly smell something off as they walk down the street.
The stress of not knowing when they might feel sick, and the stress of possibly throwing up unprepared or in public, can be intense. Fatigue is another common early pregnancy symptom and one that can contribute to mood swings. No one feels well emotionally when they are tired, and you may feel really tired during those first months of pregnancy.
Lastly, women who have experienced miscarriage or infertility may be anxious about losing the pregnancy. This fear may be worse during the first trimester when the majority of pregnancy losses occur.
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Find A Supportive Friend
Feeling fat and ugly when youre looking for pregnancy clothes? Take someone with you who will stand outside the dressing room and tell you how beautiful you are.
You can also take a friend to prenatal appointments. This can be your partner, your friend, or a relative. But having someone with you, especially for ultrasounds or procedures like amniocentesis, can help with nervousness.
It Seems Like Nothing I Do Is Helping Im Worried What Now
If your partner is struggling, encourage them to talk to their doctor about managing their mental health during pregnancy. If there is a past history of mental illness, letting your health care provider know is also important as they can help you to manage the condition throughout your pregnancy.
Whilst you are there to offer support, you are not a medical professional so donât beat yourself up about not knowing everything or needing extra help.
If your partner shows signs of depression and unusual levels of irritability that last for more than two weeks it might be time to seek help. If youâre not sure where to turn the beyondblue support service can provide information and support to help you take the next step.
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Managing Emotions During Pregnancy
Its hard to think clearly or feel positive when you are feeling unwell and tired. Taking good physical care of yourself, especially getting plenty of rest and sleep, will help to keep troubling emotions in proportion .
Its also important to eat several small healthy meals a day and try to avoid sugary foods, alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks .
Gentle to moderate exercise can help to improve mood and general fitness, and benefits your growing baby and your labour . Try to build in some activity every day. Avoid contact sports or any strenuous exercise, particularly if you werent active before your pregnancy .
Reduce other sources of stress if you can, and find ways to boost your emotional wellbeing. Try to deal with worries one at a time, rather than feeling swamped by them .
Finding out about benefit entitlements, midwife appointments, what you should eat and what you need for your baby can feel overwhelming. So starting a to do list can help you get these things organised. This NHS one has lots of useful information.
Mood Swings During Pregnancy: What Causes Them According To Dr Himali Maniar
Youll be surprised to learn that hormonal fluctuations can cause emotional rollercoasters. During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels rise, which can cause mood swings and other unpleasant side effects like nausea and fatigue.
As a result, youll be irritable, depressed, and tense. Rapid breathing, palpitations, changes in eating and sleeping habits, panicky situations, and feelings of fear will all occur.
Physical stresses, fatigue, metabolic changes, and progesterone levels can all cause mood swings. As a result, a significant change in hormone levels can impact your neurotransmitter levels, which are brain elements that manage mood. Mood swings are most common between 6 and 10 weeks in the first and third trimester since your body adjusts for birth.
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Where Did I Put My Keys
You may have heard of this condition referred to as baby brain or “momnesia.” For some pregnant women, it can feel as if your mind is operating at 50 percent capacity some days . Ive heard numerous stories about women forgetting obvious things. One friend told me she searched hours for her keys only to find them in the freezer. Others have shared how they found themselves shopping in their slippers.
It might be easy to just blame your absentmindedness on the hormones, and to some degree they do add to this issue. Diana Dell, M.D., an obstetrician/gynecologist and psychiatrist at Duke University Medical Center, explains that pregnant women are really more inattentive than forgetful, and that the high levels of progesterone and estrogen might contribute to this because they have a sedating effect.
Two studies, from 1997 and 2002, show that womens brains actually shrink during the third trimester and that this shrinkage might impact memory and attentiveness . Dont worry, though. Brains do return to normal size, according to these studies, after about six months. Honestly, Im still waiting. And my daughters four.
But, the most likely culprit to the change in our brain functioning is that we are hugely preoccupied with the health, nurturing and impending arrival of a new person.
Anger And Your Babys Health
Anger and anxiety trigger stress hormones, including cortisol, and can send your body and mind into fight or flight mode. A continuous stress response , can trigger an inflammatory response in your nervous system.
It may be hard to stop stressing once you know the impact of stress. But remember, stressing about your stress levels and anger will not make them go away. Instead, use this information as motivation to implement some changes to handle your emotions better.
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Understanding Pregnancy Mood Swings
So you got to know that your wife is pregnant, and though you are somewhat in the middle of being happy and yet scared of the changes post-baby, she decides to throw a random request of a food craving at 2 am.
You tell her that tomorrow morning her desire will have to be furnished, but she resorts to a fit of crying and howling and cursing and you are left in a desperate situation not knowing what you did that you should probably have not done.
No, it isnt her, it is her hormones. The partner should understand that it is not her true self, but the hormonal changes that make her react differently in different situations. Let not her mood swings affect your relationship with her. It is important for the partner to understand that her mood swings are temporary and are caused by pregnancy.
She might want to fight over trivial issues, will get teary about the small stuff, she might overreact on small issues, she might dislike things which she liked once or her insecurity towards you might increase because of the physical changes she undergoes or any such odd behavior are just part of her mood swing.
Things That Come Out Of Your Body During Labor
So you’ve survived the mood swings and the hemorrhoids, and you think your surprises are over. But the day you give birth will probably hold the biggest surprises of all.
During pregnancy, fluid surrounds your baby in the amniotic sac. This sac breaks at the start of or during labor a moment usually referred to as your water breaking. For most women in labor, contractions start before their water breaks. Sometimes the doctor has to rupture the amniotic sac .
How much water can you expect? For a full-term baby, there are about 2 to 3 cups of amniotic fluid. Some women may feel an intense urge to pee that leads to a gush of fluid when their water breaks. Others may only feel a trickling down their leg because the baby’s head acts like a stopper to prevent most of the fluid from leaking out.
Amniotic fluid is generally sweet-smelling and pale or colorless. It’s replaced by your body every 3 hours, so don’t be surprised if you continue to leak fluid, about a cup an hour, until delivery.
Other, unexpected things may come out of your body during labor. Some women have nausea and vomiting. Others have diarrhea before or during labor, and passing gas is also common. During the pushing phase of labor, you may lose control of your bladder or bowels.
A birth plan can help communicate your wishes to your health care providers about how to handle these and other aspects of labor and delivery.
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