Pregnancy is such an intensely emotional time. Many women experience swings between highs and lows including excessive crying and “mommy brain.” One moment you may feel euphoric with anticipation about meeting your new family member. The next moment you may break out in tears about something seemingly insignificant. If so, you are not alone.
Pregnancy emotions are complicated and dynamic, after all, your body changes to accommodate a new life. Every pregnancy is unique, but here are a few common sources of the emotional shifts of pregnancy.
- Changing hormones – pregnant women experience an increase in estrogen and progesterone production. Shifting hormonal balance may result in feeling moodier and increased difficulty processing emotions. If you experience this, be aware it is normal. Talk with a partner, trusted friend or your OB/GYN to get the support you need.
- Changing body – for many women their body is a big part of their self-image. During pregnancy, rapid changes may alter your physical balance, comfort, and self-image.
- Exhaustion or fatigue – many pregnant women experience fatigue during pregnancy and it affects everyone a little differently.
- Stress about the future – as a mother to be your life is changing. Even if you are already a parent, your family is growing. It is common to experience stress or doubt about finances, your changing lifestyle, and the future. Seek support from those around you. Some new moms-to-be are surprised to learn their friends who are parents experienced similar feelings while they were expecting.
While mood swings and stress are common among pregnant women, please seek professional help if you experience destructive or harmful thoughts or impulses. Call your OB/GYN’s practice to learn which resources may help.
Your OB/GYN’s team is a resource to provide both essential prenatal care and to provide individual support throughout your pregnancy. Think of your OB/GYN as a partner who provides useful information and education along with medical care.
Throughout your pregnancy knowledge is power. For example, many find it empowering to know it is normal for their emotions to be in flux. This awareness may help you prioritize self-care and to seek emotional support. Here are a few tips that may help:
- Too often women expect their pregnancy to be pure bliss. It may be, but be aware that overly high expectations often sets women up to feel like failures even though their experiences are a normal part of pregnancy. There is no right or wrong way to feel.
- As much as possible take care of yourself. Try to eat healthy foods, stay active and get plenty of sleep. Again, don’t stress if you miss a workout of don’t sleep well one night.
- Try to make time to spend time with people who care about you and are positive. A little emotional support goes a long way.
- Be open with your OB/GYN. Every pregnancy is different, but it helps to have an expert on your side throughout this exciting yet stressful time.
Dr. Eule would be honored to provide individualized care as you welcome your baby into the world. Please call our office for an appointment (303) 770-0665.