MSP Shalaka Tambe shares details on pregnancy emotions and how you can enjoy this phase without the emotional stress!
Pregnancy emotions are real! A woman experiences so many emotions and mood swings in pregnancy. A woman may find some emotions as familiar while some may be completely new!
Remember, your body and mind are going through a major transition. There are adjustments to be made. It is very important to pay attention and understand the mind-body connection or the Mind-Body interaction that happens during different stages of pregnancy. The mind and body are interconnected. Therefore, emotional changes during pregnancy may influence the mind and body as well.
In the physical context, hormonal changes play a big role in influencing your moods and emotions during pregnancy. The flood of hormones (especially estrogen & progesterone) can cause emotions to swirl up. Some women are sensitive to changes in estrogen while some women are sensitive to rising levels of progesterone. Throughout the three trimesters, a woman goes through various physical changes. A woman’s pregnancy emotions are varied and how she experiences and perceives these changes influences her psychological response to these changes.
Self-care methods such as taking rest and relaxation techniques can help you to remain calm and settled during this initial upheaval.
So, what are emotional changes during pregnancy? Is that normal? Let’s explore & understand some of the normal emotional and psychological changes you might experience during each trimester.
We’ll explore the 3 trimesters to understand mood swings during pregnancy.
In the first trimester, you may not be able to see changes that are happening, but they surely are happening, and are significant. One of the most important factors that can influence how you feel about the pregnancy during the first trimester, is whether the pregnancy was planned or unplanned, and whether it was wished for. Your initial psychological response can be as unique as your situation and your own circumstances. The cultural and social conditioning can sometimes demand us to display happy emotions and demonstrate a happy response. However, here it is important to keep in mind that there is no right or wrong response to receive the news of pregnancy. One can feel happy, excited about the pregnancy, one can feel surprised, anxious about it or one can feel worried and fearful too. Such mood swings in the first trimester are normal. And, every response is natural and acceptable.
Once the initial feelings and emotions subside, then the Mind-Body interactions of the Mother-to-be, start becoming more visible. Here are some of the normal emotions experienced during First Trimester.
Mood swings in the first trimester are called by many names such as irritability, moodiness, crabbiness, and so on. What this tells us is that pregnancy will be a roller coaster ride of emotions and one has to be more accepting of one's emotions, rather than being self-critical about them. The nature and intensity of these mood swings depends on different factors such as personality, stress levels experienced, and available emotional support.
Pregnancy emotions also include worry. Women might also find themselves worrying a lot during the first trimester. The worry can be about many things. One dominant thought here is the worry of a miscarriage, especially if its your first pregnancy or you had previous experience of miscarriage. Women may also worry about other things like, how will I go through this, what needs to be done next, what precautions do I need to take, will I find a good doctor, and so on.
Self-care methods such as taking rest and relaxation techniques can help you to remain calm and settled during this initial upheaval. Talking to your partner, your family, a close friend will definitely help you deal with these pregnancy emotions. It is also helpful to talk to a Counselor if the feelings of worry start to impact your day-to-day functioning.
After the initial emotional upheaval of the first trimester settles down, women can expect to feel much lighter feelings and emotions in the second trimester. As the physical discomforts of first trimester fade away and the fear of miscarriage disappears, women tend to experience a better sense of physical well-being. Research suggests that pregnancy emotions like fear, anxiety, and depression occur more during the first and third trimester as compared to the second trimester.
The most significant event of the second trimester is the fetal movement. This event brings to surface many emotions in a mother-to-be. This experience can mean different things to different women. However, it is safe to assume that this event triggers new emotions which a woman has never experienced before. A sense of motherhood, first feeling of bonding with the baby, a feeling of bliss and gratitude, and many more.
Pregnancy emotions during the second trimester include many positive emotions. And, to experience these emotions to the fullest, women need to develop a deep connection with themselves, which can in turn help in building a deep connection with the baby.
Women may also find themselves in a place where they feel more dependency on their partner, their family for support and engagement. As the second trimester progresses women may also start becoming more conscious of their body image. It is important to engage with your partner and have a healthy dialogue about your concerns, worries and discomfort. This will help in keeping you in tune with the natural changes and be more accepting towards them.
Mental strength plays an important role to handle mood swings during pregnancy while ensuring you develop the right mental attitude towards yourself
In the third trimester, the expectant mother’s body goes through rapid changes. And these rapid changes also trigger rapid emotional responses. Third trimester is the time to prepare for the bay, both physically and emotionally. Women may experience increased levels of fear and anxiety during the third trimester. So let us understand about these dominant emotions experienced as the 3rd trimester emotions.
Third trimester brings with it significant physical limitations in a woman's day-to-day experience of life. A lot of effort is needed in carrying out routine activities. This can impact the mood swings in the third trimester. How a woman feels about these physical limitations can reflect on her emotions and psychological response. During the later stage of pregnancy, women may get frightened with the thoughts of wide responsibilities of carrying a newborn, and may experience fear imagining around the day of birth.
Fear and Anxiety are often experienced together. The fear of uncertainty may lead to anxious thoughts. Fear and anxiety are also a natural way of the body to keep the mother alert and protect the baby. Women may also experience anxious thoughts about weight gain, body image issues and worry about getting back in their pre-pregnancy shape after delivery. Women who are pregnant for the first time have anxious thoughts about whether they will know when the labour will start, or how painful the birth will be. During this time women need extra support and attention from their partner, loved ones, and close friends. In order to handle emotional changes during pregnancy, self-compassion and self-care will be the most helpful tools to sail through the second and third trimester.
However, prolonged exposure to stressors can lead to excessive anxiousness which is not good for the mother as well as the baby. It can be a sign of prenatal depression which needs to be addressed with compassion and care. In such cases, it is advised to connect with a Counselor and address your fear and anxiety to find useful tools and techniques. Mental strength plays an important role to handle mood swings during pregnancy while ensuring you develop the right mental attitude towards yourself.
The greatest gift that you can give to your baby and yourself, is the bond you will create during the nine months. And the bond is dual, - it’s your bond with the baby and your bond with yourself. In order to develop this dual bond you need to be highly aware of your emotions and feelings and be in a deep connection with yourself.
To explore, understand, and connect with your emotional changes during pregnancy and to sail through your journey through different stages of pregnancy, all you need to do is take a step towards seeking support. Contact a Mental Strength Professional and we will guide you to manage mood swings in pregnancy, emotional stress during pregnancy, anger, crying, and everything that you are feeling uncomfortable with. Book an appointment online to schedule a video call or even a voice call. The counseling sessions are 100% confident. We offer a safe way to build your mental strength to handle all effects of emotional stress during pregnancy. Book your appointment with me, now!