Mood Changes During The First, Second & Third Trimester
Changing moods are a common part of pregnancy. The sheer physical changes that are taking place to a woman’s body during this time are enough to create a variety of emotion responses, to say nothing of the general excitement and anxiety that come with the process of pregnancy and preparing to be a parent.
Mood changes are especially common during the first trimester of pregnancy. Specifically, the time between 6 weeks of pregnancy and 10 weeks of pregnancy can be the time for some women when their moods will fluctuate the most. During the first trimester, emotions can be very unstable, and a woman might feel depressed for seemingly no reason. The changing levels of estrogen and progesterone are thought to be a part of the reason that the first trimester contains so many mood changes.
The second trimester of pregnancy tends to be the calmest in terms of mood. Morning sickness is gone, fears about miscarriage tend to subside, and a woman will typically feel her baby move for the first time during the second trimester. The second trimester is not inhibited by the large growth of the baby like the third trimester, and the anxiety about labor and delivery are still a good while away.
The third trimester tends to be the most anxious. A woman can begin to worry not just about the labor and delivery process, but about baby care and parenting in general. In addition, the woman’s abdomen will grow the most at this stage, and will often leave her unable to become physically comfortable. This can lead to irritability as well as a lack of sleep which can greatly affect mood.
There are some important things that you can do to reduce the number and intensity of mood swings during the trimesters of pregnancy. Making sure that you are getting enough sleep will help your mood at any time, not just during pregnancy. Getting regular exercise or other physical activity will help, as well, because this causes your brain to release important chemicals that help to improve your mood. Nutrition plays an important role in your mood, as well. Eating a balanced diet, and avoiding sugary foods and caffeine will help to keep you on more of an even keel.
If your mood swings are long-lasting or particularly intense, you should discuss this with your health care provider. He may be able to help diagnose whether there is another problem, such as depression, that is causing or contributing to your mood swings, and refer you to a therapist or counselor who can help. You should also watch for other signs of depression, such as sleep disturbances, memory loss, a change in eating habits, and irritability. While many of these things can be a natural part of pregnancy as well, it is important to keep on top of any risk that you have of depression.