Coping with Mood Swings

Posted on Apr 1, 2012 | Blog Posts, Pregnancy Symptoms Category | | Print This Article

Mood swing
Creative Commons License photo credit: lydiashiningbrightly

Most women experience mood swings during pregnancy. In fact, for some women, mood swings are the first indication that they’re pregnant. It is generally accepted that the emotional roller coaster is caused by a combination of the physical changes taking place as a new baby begins to grow inside of you and the rapid hormonal changes which occur during the first trimester of pregnancy.

It’s perfectly normal to experience mood swings, with your range of emotions spanning everything from elation to mild depression. If, however, you suspect that your mood swings may be out of hand, or if you experience severe depression, contact your health care provider right away. Recent studies show that roughly 10% of women experience clinical depression during pregnancy.

Clinical depression is more than an occasional down or bluesy feeling. Signs that you may be dealing with clinical depression (and should see your doctor) include:

  • Any thoughts or harming your baby or yourself
  • Malaise that lasts for several days at a time
  • Loss of interest in things and activities which you usually enjoy (including sex)
  • Feeling that you are worthless or hopeless
  • Nagging feelings of guilt that won’t go away

Assuming you are not clinically depressed, you can expect a break from your mood swings when the second trimester begins. Don’t get too used to the stabilized emotions, however, as mood swings generally return during the third trimester, and sometimes carry over after the birth of you baby.

If you are having a tough time with mood swings, here are some things you can do to make it easier for yourself and those around you:

  • Get lots of rest. This can be easier said than done when you’re getting up to pee six times a night. Take plenty of naps and go to bed early to make up the difference.
  • Stop eating and drinking a couple hours before bedtime. This can reduce your need to urinate, and reduce heartburn.
  • Exercise. Moderate exercise for half an hour per day is good for you and the baby and can help regulate your moods.
  • Talk about your feelings. It’s always good to get it off your chest, whether with a friend, your husband, or a professional.
  • Watch your diet. Make sure you’re getting all the vitamins you need. Adequate protein and iron are especially important for evening out your moods during pregnancy. You should also be sure to take your prenatal vitamins.

How have you and your loved ones dealt with mood swings?

   Top of Page