Why do I feel depressed and sad at times?
Pregnancy is filled with many physical and emotional changes and mood swings due to fluctuating hormones. Feeling sad at times throughout your pregnancy is completely normal. However, it is when you start feeling sad or having thoughts of suicide or hopelessness for periods of time lasting two weeks or more that you can consider yourself actually depressed. These feelings are not harmful to your unborn child unless you become so down that you start neglecting yourself. Neglecting to eat and not getting enough sleep or rest may potentially cause harm to the baby because of lack of nutrition.
If your feelings of sadness come and go, you are fine. It is nothing more than the result of hormones, and events in your personal life (financial, marital stress, or worrying about the baby, for example) playing against you. If these feelings become more severe or do not seem to subside, no matter the events in your life, this is when you need to discuss it with your doctor to seek treatment. There are multiple treatment options that will not harm your pregnancy or baby.
Why do I have mood swings?
Mood swings are common in pregnancy and can be among the first early pregnancy signs and symptoms. Because of the overwhelming amount of emotion you are going to feel about being pregnant, and the differences in those emotions, (happy, sad, stressed, worried, excited, etc.) you are most definitely going to experience mood swings. You are not alone, and this is completely normal. It may cause you to behave erratically. Chances are you would not normally behave this way, and you may find that when your mood swings create an issue with those around you (your spouse will learn triggers, and soon adapt and understand), you may feel worse.
However, even though you should not lean too heavily on your pregnancy as an excuse, it is a valid one! The people around you will likely be understanding and sympathetic in the sense that they will know not to take it personally if you lash out at them.
How can I handle my fluctuating moods?
The mood swings are triggered by the hormone overflow (yes, everything in pregnancy has roots in those darned hormones!) and are exacerbated by things occurring in your daily life… hence why you may behave differently than you usually do when certain things happen to you.
To help with the mood swings, try these tips:
- Eat well
- Get plenty of rest
- Take naps
- Spend time with people you love
The most important thing is to understand what the emotional changes are and where they come from. You will be able to adjust and get through them, as long as you know what is causing them and can work around it with some of the tips provided. The nine months of pregnancy will seem like the longest nine months of your life, and you’ll likely feel like a completely different person; but, all you need to do is relax, think positively, and remember that each day will bring you closer to holding that beautiful baby in your arms.