Mood swings are very common during pregnancy. They are caused by a variety of factors including changes in hormone levels, the physical discomforts of pregnancy and anxiety about the baby’s health. The increase in your estrogen levels tend to trigger anxiety and irritability while the increase in progesterone leads to fatigue and tearfulness – which explains a lot about your pregnancy mood swings. Pregnancy is a huge transition in your life so it’s normal to be a little anxious. The good news is that there are ways to prevent extreme mood swings during this time so that you can enjoy your pregnancy and look forward to the birth of your baby.
Ways to cope with pregnancy mood swings
- Be patient with yourself
You go from wildly ecstatic to weepy in the blink of an eye which can be terrifying for those around you, especially your husband and kids. What’s worse is that once you’ve calmed down you realize that your emotional outburst affected your family and you can’t help but break down again. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which you and your family get increasingly agitated for no real reason. One of the first things you need to do is realize that you are not to “blame” and that you should cut yourself some slack.
- Start each day on a positive note
It’s difficult to stay positive when you start each day being violently sick. This is why it is important to find ways to start your day on a positive note. For instance, you can ask your husband to leave you little notes on your bathroom mirror which will help to take your mind off your morning sickness. You can also ask your sister or best friend to send you cute animal pics or baby videos before she goes to sleep so that you wake up each morning to a cheerful message. You can also use an app to track your baby’s growth and development which is a sure-fire way to put a smile on your face.
- Create a support structure
Most of us instinctively turn to our spouses when we are feeling low. This can be a problem if your partner is at work and can’t attend to your calls. You can’t rely solely on your partner for support during your pregnancy which is why you should create a strong support structure based on family members and friends. Studies show that social support helps to reduce stress and anxiety during pregnancy which lowers the risk of a preterm labor. Talking to female family members or friends who have children will also help as they have been through the same experience and understand how much your mood swings can affect the way you think.
- Exercise daily
You get tired more easily when you’re pregnant, especially in your second and third trimesters. The last thing you want to do at this point is exercise but it is exactly what you need. Physical exercise triggers a release of endorphins or “happy hormones” which work as mood elevators. Furthermore, exercise also helps to reduce stress which in turn reduces the frequency and severity of mood swings. There are plenty of other benefits of exercise during pregnancy including a reduced risk of pregnancy complications and less body aches and pain. Regular prenatal exercise is also linked to improved brain development and cognitive function in newborns.
- Prioritize your sleep
It’s not easy to get a good night’s sleep, especially during your second and third trimesters. Unfortunately, inadequate sleep can cause anxiety, irritability and fatigue which will increase the frequency of your mood swings. Prioritize your sleep and follow a regular sleep schedule which will improve your sleep patterns. You should also avoid spicy foods and heavy meals before you go to bed as this could trigger acidity which can ruin your sleep. Invest in a full body pillow as it will provide your belly with the support it needs which will make it easier for you to fall asleep. Full body pillows are also very effective in preventing back pain and leg cramps.
- Opt for a prenatal massage
A prenatal massage is a great way to relax and simply let go of your stress and tension. Treat yourself to a soothing prenatal massage and you will find that your negative thoughts and mood swings disappear. These massages are carried out by certified therapists in a relaxing environment to help you rediscover the joy of pregnancy. Regular prenatal massages can also help to reduce muscle and joint pain as well as swelling in the arms and legs.
Mood swings are a normal aspect of pregnancy so don’t get frustrated with yourself if you can’t control your moods. Talk to your family about how you feel and figure out ways in which everyone can help to reduce your mood swings.
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