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Honestly, I have some awful mood swings and food cravings during pregnancy. Sometimes I would be so happy thanks to those hormones and other times I would be emotional while complaining about my back hurting or feet swelling. It is not all chocolate and rainbows being pregnant. Yes, being pregnant is a blessing as you are growing a little human inside, but there is more. Today, I am going to tell you about mood swings during pregnancy, and if they can determine the gender, be signs of labor, affect the baby, or be signs of a miscarriage.
Mood Swings in the Third Trimester
It is likely you have experienced mood swings prior to the third trimester, but here is where you may experience not only hormone changes that cause mood swings. During the third-trimester mood swings are very common as you are about to give life and there is the fear of the unknown. Each delivery is different making it harder to know what to expect. You also have the feeling of being huge, uncomfortable, and more.
A “new” mood swing you may find yourself experiencing during the third trimester is “nesting.” Nesting is when you are suddenly overcome with a desire to clean, organize, and physically prepare for the baby. Not everyone experiences nesting, and for most, it can be a positive mood experience. For others, especially if there are fears about not having enough to provide for the new child, nesting may lead to anxiety.
Can Mood Swings Determine Gender?
Old wise tails say that if you are having mood swings you are more likely to be having a girl. But it’s probably because you’re on a hormonal roller coaster called pregnancy! There’s no science behind this myth. Mood swings are common for mothers-to-be carrying babies of either sex with the rises of progesterone, estrogen, and other hormones.
Can Mood Swings be a Sign of Labor
Many women experience unusual mood swings in the days before labor as hormone levels rise. Whether this is due to nervousness and excitement about the impending baby or if it is caused by a secretion of the hormones that trigger labor, is hard to determine.
If you’re feeling irritable, have a headache, or you’re more tired than usual, rest up and take it easy as this could be a sign of labor soon to come. This is a sign to make sure your well-rested before delivery.
Can Mood Swings affect your Baby?
Something else that can lead to mood swings is reading about everything that can possibly go wrong during pregnancy and childbirth. Some pregnancy books are more like long lists of every possible complication.
I remember looking at one that some people recommended and I went to Barnes & Noble to look at it prior to purchasing. The best decision was made not to buy it. I went to my obstetrics after and she told me don’t it will make you worry and try to self-diagnosis yourself.
Not all of the “mood swings” of pregnancy are negative, however. Some women experience an increase in libido and sexual desire during the second trimester. This is possibly because they are starting to feel physically better, and because of the increased blood flow to the pelvic region.
Can Mood Swings Cause Miscarriage?
A team of scientists from Tufts University and Greece has identified a suspected chain reaction detailing exactly how stress hormones and other chemicals wreak havoc on the uterus and fetus. Their report, in an issue of Endocrinology, may help explain why women miscarry for no obvious medical reasons and why some women have repeated miscarriages. And it could lead to measures to prevent miscarriage medically known as “spontaneous abortion.”
How to Deal with Mood Swings During Pregnancy:
- Be patient with yourself.
- Talk to your partner and your children. You might lose your temper, or start to cry unexpectedly. Let your partner and your kids know it’s not them. Communication is key here.
- Put down the scary pregnancy books that give you every complication that could occur. Of course, you want to be informed so you can make educated choices about your prenatal care, diet, and upcoming birth. However, if those pregnancy books are making you anxious, don’t read them.
- Be prepared for waves of morning sickness. One of the worst parts about morning sickness is that it can strike without warning. This can make you feel out of control, and that can lead to mood swings and worry. To lessen the fears, try to be prepared. Carry around snacks for sudden hunger attacks. Carry around a sandwich bag in your pockets or purse for when you feel like you’re going to vomit and there’s no bathroom available.
- Get your rest and prioritize sleep. In the first trimester, you are often very tired no matter how much you sleep. During the third trimester, you want to sleep but just can’t get comfortable. You need your sleep! Being fatigued is one way to have mood swings occur. Try and take a nap during the day if you can or try to make bedtime a calm and quiet period.
- Bring your spouse or friend to a prenatal appointment. Having someone with you, especially for ultrasounds or amniocentesis, can help with nervousness.
- Go shopping with a friend for maternity clothes or baby clothes. Often when pregnant and shopping for pregnancy clothes you may feel fat even though you are pregnant. Take a friend with you shopping who will stand outside of the dressing room and tell you how beautiful you are or how amazing this is going to look at the baby.
- Try yoga or meditation. It can help reduce anxiety and increase feelings of well-being. There are many free meditation apps online to try. If you decide to take a yoga class or purchase a DVD, make sure it’s for pregnant women.
- Take a childbirth education course and/or hire a doula. Being fearful of the delivery day is common. The more you know, and the more supported you feel, the less anxious you’ll be. Taking childbirth education classes and hiring a doula can help reduce that anxiety.
- Connect with other moms that are expecting. Talking to others about your mood swings and anxiety can help you feel normal. There are social media groups just for expecting mothers and local support groups on sites like Meetup to allow you to meet other women going through childbirth.
- See a counselor. You don’t have to be “clinically depressed” to see a counselor or therapist. Counselors are there to help people cope with major life changes such as pregnancy and childbirth.
Key take aways:
Mood swings do occur in different various ways and stages throughout pregnancy. However, these tips work because they helped me through the toughest times of having a baby while being pregnant with one at the same time. I just wish someone told me about these tips beforehand. So, I hope this helps, and please let me know which tip helped you the most below in the comments.