If you’re like a lot of women, you’re going to experience a wide range of emotions while you are pregnant. The fact of the matter is that, depending on the exact moment, you might be uncontrollably weeping or hysterically laughing. These kinds of mood swings or emotional changes are terribly common during pregnancy. In many cases, they’re simply caused by the changing hormone levels going on in your body.
The first trimester tends to be the most pronounced in terms of these emotional changes. Setting aside the physical and chemical changes going on in your body, it’s just an emotional time. You’re coming to terms on a mental and emotional level with the idea of becoming a parent.
Some women experience the greatest degree of emotional changes during about the 6th and 10th weeks of pregnancy. As the woman gets closer to the birth of her baby, near the final weeks of pregnancy, she may experience another set of emotional changes. For some women, these periods of emotional change during pregnancy aren’t nearly as well-defined. Some women may experience mood swings throughout their pregnancy, for example.
There are some important things that you can do to reduce the number and intensity of emotional changes during pregnancy. Making sure that you are getting enough sleep will help your mood at any time, not just during pregnancy. Getting regular exercise or other physical activity will help, as well, because this causes your brain to release important chemicals that help to increase your emotional stability. Nutrition plays an important role in your mood, as well. Eating a balanced diet, and avoiding sugary foods and caffeine will help to keep you on more of an even keel.
The key thing is to watch for severe emotional changes. If those emotional changes are accompanied by severe or prolonged depression, thoughts of suicide or visible or auditory hallucinations, you should speak with your health care provider immediately. Depression and other mental illnesses can spring up during pregnancy, and if left unchecked their effect on pregnancy can be devastating.