Pregnancy mood swings are real. And who is to blame? You guessed it, hormones! Particularly at the beginning of your first trimester,  (about 6-10 weeks) the level of estrogen and progesterone can increase a great deal. These changes as well as other stressors can greatly affect your brain chemistry leaving your emotions a roller coaster ride and causing these pregnancy mood swings!

Getting enough sleep can also help with your pregnancy mood swings, so make sure to look at these 5 tips to help you get more sleep while pregnant.

Anticipating and Treating Hormonal Pregnancy Mood Swings

Pregnancy mood swings are real. And who is to blame? You guessed it, hormones! Particularly at the beginning of your first trimester,  (about 6-10 weeks) the level of estrogen and progesterone can increase a great deal.

What else can cause pregnancy mood swings?

On top of the changes going on inside your body, there are other outside factors that can influence your mood during pregnancy. You may feel frustrated by weight gain or exhaustion from sleepless nights when you can’t seem to find a comfortable way to sleep. You may also have concerns about your ability parent, or simply how your life will change after baby.

Others may worry about the financial adjustment or whether they are doing the right thing to prepare for birth. Whatever your fears are, they contribute to the stress you feel which has a direct affect on your mind as well as your body.

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What to Expect

In your first trimester if you find yourself crying as you watch a pull-ups commercial or over a seriously delicious piece of chocolate cake, you can chock it up to the hormone shift! During this time you may also notice forgetfulness, exhaustion and nausea.

For most women, once you reach your second trimester, the morning sickness and heavy exhaustion will subside some and leave you with a surge of energy, giddiness and excitement for what lies ahead. The third trimester is often accompanied by crankiness from discomfort  and a strong urge to nest and prepare the home for the baby.

Anticipating and Treating Hormonal Pregnancy Mood Swings

How can I prepare for/manage these mood changes?

  • Eat healthy food and snack often. Drops in your blood sugar can increase mood swings.
  • Exercise or take a prenatal yoga class. Exercising can release endorphins which will help you be in a better mind space and taking the time to care for yourself will leave you feeling more at peace and in touch with your changing body.
  • Spend time with family, friends and your partner. Spending time with people gives you the opportunity to have meaningful conversations. Utilize these times to talk through some of your emotions and fears and to make memories. Leaning on your loved ones and friends will help you feel less insecure, understood and confident.
  • Nap. People always say, “Nap while you still can!” Well, you will have time to nap once baby comes, it’s just not quite as easy. However, as you await the arrival of your baby, allow yourself to let go of the things that aren’t most important and rest your mind and body.

How do I know when something’s off?

While it is common for women to have mood swings during pregnancy, pay attention to patterns. If your anxiety is more and more frequent or intense, call your practitioner. If you are feeling exceedingly lonely or down, you may be one of the 14-23% of women battle mild to moderate depression during pregnancy. Contact your doctor or midwife and they will help you take the next best steps for you.

Alise Durkota
Alise Durkota
Alise is a mother of two who loves the slow, small town life. She is a teacher turned stay at home mom who loves cooking, her husband, going on long neighborhood walks, just about any baked good (with coffee) and playing with her children. She has a passion for all things childhood development, teaching, and learning.