A woman can go through a lot in order to keep up with the needs of pregnancy. As the body adapts to the changes, the sustained release of estrogen and progesterone, may also cause mood changes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can have an impact on neurotransmitters, which are responsible for regulating mood. This usually occurs from the 6th week to the 10th week of pregnancy. However, it can occur again during the last trimester of pregnancy.
Many mothers, who had mood swings during pregnancy, can attest as to how unpredictable it can be. Mood swings can cause stress not only to an expectant mother, but to the family as a whole. Here are some helpful tips on how to reduce mood swings:
1. Avoid stress and fatigue. Try to prioritize the things that can be done now, and the things that can be done at a later time. Pregnancy can sometimes lower your normal defenses. It is best to try to curtail your activities to prevent from being too overworked and stressed out. Try to be realistic in setting priorities so that you can gradually work on accomplishing them.
2. Try to handle small problems before it can grow into bigger ones. Pregnancy brings about changes physiologically, but it can also create bigger changes in the family.
3. Try to get enough sleep daily. Sleeping can help revitalize your body as well as your mind. Though hormonal changes may be normal, you can cope by getting enough amount of quality sleep.
4. Try to go out of your way to at least unwind once a week. A woman who is working and pregnant at the same time is subjected to a great amount of stress. Enjoy some time with friends when you can. The demands of motherhood later on can dramatically change your schedule. Take the time to have bonding time with friends.
5. Open up to your partner and to other family members regarding what you are feeling. There’s nothing wrong in telling them that you are having problems with your emotions. Your family and friends can help you snap out of it sometimes, and they can also provide you the support that you need. Try to see things at their perspective when you think you are being unreasonable.
6. Eat right and exercise if possible. Eating right will give you the nutrients you need to support your pregnancy. It also gives you the extra energy that you need to accomplish your day to day activities. Exercise can also keep your energy levels up, and it is also good for your overall well-being.
7. Educate yourself more on pregnancy and parenting. Sometimes fear of the unknown can lead to higher stress levels. Women may tend to worry about things that may occur during childbirth, and how to cope after delivery of the baby. There are numerous resources online, or you can open up to your doctor about it. The more that you set your mind for the coming of the baby, the better prepared you can be as a parent.
Contact your doctor if your mood swings do not seem to get better after two weeks. Depression is common among women during the childbearing years, and it affects around 11 million American women each year. If you experience anxiety and increased irritability, sleep problems, short-term memory loss and a change in eating habits, seek help from your doctor. These may be signs of depression and your doctor can help you in managing it during pregnancy.
Although mood swings can be normal, there is nothing wrong in asking for help in trying to cope. After all pregnancy is a life changing experience, and women need all the support they can get from their family, as well as other people involved in their care to ensure a healthy pregnancy.