Mood Swings: How to keep yourself calm in Pregnancy

Mood Swings: How to keep yourself calm in Pregnancy

The most beautiful period in the life of a women is pregnancy, a time during which an offspring develops inside a woman’s womb. The oscillation between pure, unadulterated joy and complete utter despair is considered a sign of pregnancy. The wild ride with happy highs and sad lows are mainly mood swings experienced by some expecting mothers.

The gestation period of a human pregnancy is 9 months, consisting of three trimesters, each lasting for 3 months. There is a big change in hormone levels during pregnancy. Estrogen and progesterone hormones increase in the blood which affect a woman’s emotional health too.

Causes of mood swings during pregnancy

Experiencing mood swings during a pregnancy is quite normal. There are physiological and mental explanations for this seemingly erratic behaviour.

  • Changes in hormone level: During the early trimester of pregnancy the level of Oestrogen and Progesterone increases which could be a reason for anxiety, irritability, and depression. Progesterone on the other hand helps in loosening of muscles and joints and prevents early contractions. Consequently, it can cause fatigue and sluggishness.
  • Fatigue and sleep deprivation: In the first and the third trimesters of pregnancy a disturbed sleep pattern is common and may result in sleep deprivation and then fatigue and stress.
  • Morning Sickness: There is a constant feeling of nausea which could have major mental and psychological effects.
  • Physical Changes: The changing body can bring tears of joy or exasperation as some mothers would like the growing bellies and some may find it difficult to accept the fast changing body image in a span of a few weeks.
  • Anxiety and Stress: The thought of becoming a parent and rearing a child can trigger a mix of feelings. Also, stress of adjustments with the partner and managing finances may make a woman worried.

Tips to Manage Pregnancy Mood Swings

Always remember, mood swings in pregnancy are normal but there are some strategies which can help a mother to be stay calm:

  • Accept that mood swings are normal in pregnancy and nothing wrong is happening to you.
  • When you are feeling down, lift yourself up and engage in some prenatal exercises, take an extra hour of sleep, pamper yourself with a visit to a salon or prenatal massage, or plan a dinner with your partner or friend.
  • Involve your partner and share your joys, fears and concerns with him. Remember you are not alone in this journey.
  • Put self-care as your first priority.
  • Do not stress yourself with commitments and make time for stress management activities like yoga, meditation, walks and some prenatal exercises.
  • On regular basis, follow your appointments and talk about your concerns with your doctor.

Dr Ranjana Sharma

Dr Ranjana Sharma, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
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