Emotional Changes During Pregnancy

Is it common to have mood swings during pregnancy? What is this due to?

Yes, unfortunately it is relatively common to have emotional changes during pregnancy. Some women will have episodes of mood swings which could disrupt her relationship with others. During pregnancy, there are a lot of changes occurring physically and emotionally. Coping with the excitement of having a baby, the seemingly never ending nausea and vomiting of morning sickness and the uncertainties of pregnancy could all take a toll on the poor pregnant woman. In addition, the fluctuating hormones in the body could affect the level of neurotransmitter (i.e brain chemicals) which regulates the mood. Most of these emotional changes in pregnancy usually occur during the first and late third trimester.
How could I cope with the emotional changes?
  • Understand and accept that having all these moodswings is perfectly normal in pregnancy.
  • Keep a diary to identify potential triggers that make you upset. If you have identified similar factors which worsens the mood swings you could take the necessary steps to avoid it.
  • Confide in your partner or close friends regarding this problem. You will feel much more relieved when you are able to vent out your feelings instead of bottling it up all inside!
  • Everyday take time to do the things that you enjoy e.g watching a movie, reading books, go to the spa or listening to the music.
  • Read up a pregnancy book. Engage your partner as well to do so. Knowing what possibility could happen during pregnancy and labour will make you better prepared and less anxious.
  • Keep a positive mind and smile! It could help lighten up your mood.
  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet
Is there anything my partner could do to cope with my emotional changes?
Yes, firstly your partner should be aware that it is something normal to have these emotional changes during pregnancy. Hopefully, your partner is understanding and could provide the emotional support for you to tide through these difficult moments. In addition, he/she should be aware of the severity of these mood swings and to consult the doctor if the mood swings becomes very disruptive to your daily life, function or relationship with others.
When should I see a doctor?  
  • When your mood swings are severe or persistently does not lift up after 2 weeks.
  • You are having suicidal thoughts or self harm thoughts.
  • You are feeling difficulty sleeping or changes in appetite.
  • You are unable to concentrate or having short term memory loss.
Even though, you do not have the above symptoms but you feel that something is not right, go ahead and see your doctor to talk about it.
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