Mood Swings During Pregnancy

Emotions and feelings fluctuate a lot during pregnancy. It was seen that any moment you are laughing, and the next moment you are crying. Such rapid changes in your emotions are simply called ‘mood swings’.

Almost every pregnant woman goes through such feelings. However, such mood swings are often temporary and not harmful to pregnancy.

Why do mood swings happen?

A mother undergoes several physical, physiological, and psychological changes during pregnancy. These pregnancy-related factors can cause your mood to swing. For example,

In the first trimester

Hormonal Fluctuations: During pregnancy, the body of expectant mothers increases the amount of several hormones. Estrogen and progesterone are some of the hormones that are normally present in the body, but their amounts increase during pregnancy. Under the influence of these hormones, mothers may have mood swings.

Fatigue and lack of adequate sleep: No matter how much sleep you get during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, you will feel quite tired. It can interfere with your daily activities. This can also cause your mood to swing.

Morning Sickness: During pregnancy, around 70 to 80 percent of women experience morning sickness. Morning sickness can cause several physical changes in your body as well as emotional changes.

Nausea can also affect your mental state or mood, causing physical discomfort. Mood swings may occur as a result.

In the second trimester

Body Changes: While many expectant mothers enjoy body changes during pregnancy, many mothers cannot accept the changes in their bodies. This can sometimes lead to mood swings.

Especially those mothers who have heard harsh words about their body shape at some point in their lives or suffer from an inferiority complex about their body shape for some reason may experience mood swings due to physical changes during pregnancy.

Observation: During the second trimester of pregnancy, healthcare providers perform many types of tests on the unborn baby. Many mothers worry about the results of these tests. This can also lead to mood swings.


In the third trimester

Worries: Many mothers are often worried about being a first-time mother or about the relationship between the first baby and the unborn baby. Besides, many mothers are afraid of childbirth or delivery. These fears and worries can also cause your mood to swing.

What to do when experiencing mood swings

Mood swings are very normal during pregnancy. Still, it may cause some disruption in your daily activities. You can largely avoid the problem of mood swings by following some simple steps:

1. Eat healthy: When you’re hungry, your mood can naturally be a little off. So take healthy and nutritious food regularly during pregnancy. Do not skip any meals. By doing this, your brain will get the necessary nutrients, and as a result, the mood will also be cool.

2. Engage in enough physical exercise: Physical exercise is often referred to as a stress reliever and mood booster. Light exercise or walking may help you if you experience mood swings or depression during your pregnancy. If you go outside for a walk or exercise, the light outside will calm your mind.

Exercise helps reduce the levels of various stress hormones in our bodies. In addition, exercise causes your body to release hormones called endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and improve mood. So regular exercise during pregnancy will help keep your mind healthy.

3. Do breathing exercises: You can do a simple exercise to relieve anxiety and depression. Breathing exercises help us reduce stress. This exercise can be done lying down, reclining on a chair or standing.

Relax and assume a comfortable position at the beginning of the exercise. If you are wearing tight clothes, you can change them to loose clothes.

  • When lying down, keep the legs straight or bend the knees so that the feet touch the bed. Keep both hands long on both sides. Keep the palms facing upwards, i.e., towards the roof of the house.
  • When sitting in a chair, place both hands on the handles at either side. Place both feet flat on the floor. Keep a waist-length space between your legs.
  • While standing, place your feet flat on the floor and sit comfortably with space between your legs.

Now take a long breath. Breathe comfortably deep into the belly without trying too hard. Count slowly from one to five with each inhale. But in the beginning, it may be difficult to take long breaths to reach the count of five, in which case take as many as possible.

Then release gently without holding the breath. Again, you can try to count from one to five in your mind. Try to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Inhale and exhale like this at regular intervals. You can do this exercise for three to five minutes.

4. Prioritize sleep: The sleep required during pregnancy is essential for the body. 7-9 hours of sleep per day is considered ideal for a healthy and normal adult. If you sleep less than this, it can be dangerous for you and the unborn baby. If you have trouble sleeping for a long time, you can rest for a while during the day in addition to sleeping at night if necessary.

Try to stick to a sleep routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try to get enough sleep regularly, without sleeping too much or too little. Create the right environment for sleeping. Avoid drinking tea, coffee, or caffeinated beverages before going to bed.

Foods and beverages containing caffeine should not exceed 200 mg per day during pregnancy. Consuming too much caffeine can cause various complications, including low birth weight and premature birth.

Talk to loved ones: Talk to your family and loved ones about your feelings. Tell them what you are going through. Inform them in advance of your mood swings. If necessary, talk to other expectant mothers you know.

Be prepared for morning sickness: Morning sickness during pregnancy is a problem that comes without any warning. So be prepared for it. Always carry a polythene bag with you. Avoid any smell or food that triggers you.

Knowing when to go to the doctor

Talk to your doctor if home remedies during pregnancy do not relieve mood swings and you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • If you feel depressed,
  • If you have trouble sleeping,
  • If you have trouble eating
  • If something interrupts your daily activities,
  • If your problem with mood swings persists for more than two weeks,

Frequently Asked Question

Very rapid changes in emotions or moods can be an early sign of pregnancy. However, similar mood swings can often occur before menstruation. So take a pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy.

Just as no two pregnant mothers have the same pregnancy, not all mothers have the same type of mood swings during pregnancy.

One mother may have a lot of trouble with mood swings, while another may have the same mood throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Even a mother can have two types of mood swings during two different pregnancies.

However, women who experience mood swings before menstruation are more likely to experience mood swings during pregnancy.

Written By Dr. Sabrina Mansoor
Medical review done by Dr. Samia Afrin


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