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Why Am I So Moody During Pregnancy?

By Rachel Lacourciere, edHelperBaby

  Why Am I So Moody During Pregnancy?
           Mood swings, a common symptom of pregnancy, affect most women (and as a result their partners!) at some point.  Moodiness can be brought on by hormonal changes, fatigue, extra physical stress on the body, and changes in a woman's metabolism during pregnancy.  Often, hormonal changes play the largest role in generating the emotional roller-coaster that can be associated with pregnancy.  Normally, the hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced by a woman's body and work together in a perfect balance.  However, since pregnancy produces additional estrogen and progesterone, the balance can be thrown off at times, resulting in emotional highs and lows.       

       Mood swings are usually most intense at the beginning of a woman's pregnancy (approximately weeks 6 - 10) and then again during the third trimester as the body prepares for birth.  Furthermore, it is during these two times that a woman's stress level is likely to be at its highest.  When a woman initially finds out she is pregnant, thoughts of excitement and feelings of being overwhelmed often take over, while thoughts of anxiety and anticipation of the labor can take over late in her pregnancy.


  Coping With Mood Swings
           If simply knowing that mood swings are shared by just about every pregnant woman is not enough, a pregnant woman may want to try the following coping strategies:
  • Take time for yourself, remembering to take breaks, whether it be through meditation, a relaxing walk, or listening to your favorite music, to help improve your spirit and overall mindset.
  • Stay well rested, whether it be during nighttime rest or finding the time to nap during the day.
  • Eat at regular intervals, eating smaller meals throughout the day to help keep energy levels stable.


  Can Mood Swings Become A Problem I Need To Notify My Doctor About?
           According to the American Pregnancy Association, a pregnant woman should notify her doctor of her mood swings if the moodiness lasts more than two weeks without improvement.  The woman's doctor or midwife may refer her to a professional who can help her understand her mood swings and why they are afflicting her.  If undiagnosed, mood swings can lead to severe depression either during or after pregnancy.       

       Take the time to talk to your regular prenatal doctor about any additional questions or concerns you may have about mood swings during your pregnancy.


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