Pregnancy can be a time of wildly fluctuating emotions. In addition to adjusting to physical changes, there can be some emotional changes to adjust to as well. Many people feel more emotionally vulnerable. They may cry more easily or feel more tender. Other folks may be quicker to feel irritable or angry. All can be normal, and each pregnancy is very different when it comes to emotional changes. For some, the first trimester is the worst and they feel more stable as the pregnancy continues. For others, they experience highs and lows throughout the whole pregnancy. Or, you may feel great throughout your pregnancy but then your mood worsens during postpartum. Since pregnancy places so much demand on your body, making sure your foundational needs are met is the first step to balancing your mood.
Make sure your blood sugar is balanced. This is so important during pregnancy and is a major contributor to mood swings. Most pregnant women will feel their best eating something every two to three hours with a focus on getting protein, fats, and more complex carbohydrates.
Getting adequate sleep can be challenging during pregnancy. Listening to your body, especially when it comes to fatigue, can be a new experience to women who are used to pushing through when they are tired. But during your pregnancy, prioritize sleeping eight to ten hours each night and nap if needed. Doing so is essential for an optimal mood.
Making sure you get regular physical activity throughout your pregnancy can be a great way to process stress and relieve anxiety. Even walks and gentle stretches are enough, although if you are used to intense exercise, most people can safely do so. Just make sure to balance any increased activity with additional food and rest.
Oftentimes pregnancy can bring up lots of questions and concerns about relationships, the division of responsibilities, or parenting philosophies. Now is a great time to discuss, plan, and work towards open and honest communication about expectations and needs. If needed, a couples therapist can be a great addition. It is also important to realize that if you feel like these types of emotions are dominating your pregnancy or impacting the overall quality of life, you should bring them up with your healthcare provider or see a therapist specializing in perinatal mental health.
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.