Mood Swings during Pregnancy? Is it Normal?
Getting pregnant can be exciting but challenging too as you may have a mix of feelings during the nine months. You may be happy about having a baby today but feeling sad and scared about the pregnancy complications and delivery tomorrow. Don’t worry, mummies-to-be, you are not alone.
Mood swings are common and normal during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Again, hormonal changes are blamed for most pregnancy discomforts. Some women become irritable and angry when the estrogen and progesterone hormones increase.
Worry is common for first time mums. Most of the time, your constant worries come when you have not fully prepared to welcome a new life to this world. You may doubt if you have the ability to raise a child or burden the total expenses to welcome a newborn. Please take note when you feel nervous, stressful and down all the time as it could be a sign of serious mental health problems like depression or anxiety.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10% of pregnant women experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. Actually all women can develop depression, especially those who live under extreme pressure or violence.
If you find yourself crying unexpectedly and frequently, you may be influenced by the fluctuating hormones again. The condition becomes worse and continues for weeks and months and you have below symptoms: feeling hopeless, sad, no appetite or you cannot sleep well every night.
Anxiety and fear may come together with the uncertainty during pregnancy. In the first trimester, you may have some negative and frightening thoughts like miscarriage and you can hurt your baby. You may start to worry about how to be a good mother later on or any pregnancy discomforts. When you enter your last trimester, you may hear plenty of birth stories. As a result, you may struggle with the countdown due date.
Other mental disorders which is less common:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Eating disorders (like bulimia or anorexia nervosa)
When you notice any above signs, take care of yourself first. Seek help from doctors as soon as possible instead of using drugs or alcohol without any doctor’s concern. As you’re growing a baby, bear in mind to consult a doctor before you take any medicine or stop any medicine.
Tips to manage your mental well-being
Besides taking medications, try some natural ways to treat mental health problems for your health and baby’s:
- Talk with your partner or someone you trust
- Find support by joining some prenatal course and talk with other mums-to-be
- Relax yourself by shopping or going to spa or a movie
- Eat healthy and balanced diet
- Try mindfulness and meditation to manage your pain and anxiety
- Get plenty of sleep
If you still feel stressed and overwhelmed after trying the above methods, talk to a doctor and get help as soon as possible. If you have mental health issues before pregnancy, remember to let your doctor know. Your doctor can provide some treatment options for you to make you feel better if you have severe mood swings.