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Why Women Have Mood Swings During Pregnancy

Updated on October 11, 2014

The man could not understand why his wife didn’t want him sleeping with him as always on the matrimonial bed. Arriving home in the evening, the sofa set became part and parcel of his new bedroom

Another one could not understand why his wife blacklisted his number on her phone. Every time he tried to call, he received the response the number he is trying to call is busy.

Still there is another case where the man’s wife hated him for no apparent reason. The wife felt disgusted at the sight of him.

Pregnant | Source

The list goes on and on and on. What may be the reason for the sudden changes in mood? There are varieties of reasons, but one of them rings true when it comes to pregnant women. In the above cases, the women were pregnant.

Men don’t seem to understand and women who it is their first time to be mothers are not sure why they behave strangely. Both the husband and wife were excitedly expecting a baby, why is it then the woman experiences a variety of emotions – mood swings? Why is it, instead of feeling excited, all of a sudden begin behaving strangely?

Many women who go through mood swings during the pregnant period think something must be wrong with them. Why is it their emotions are high one minute, then the other minute their emotions take a down fall?

According to Baby Centre, one of the reasons for the range of emotions pregnant women go through is a result of surging of hormonal levels. This implies, the levels of the human estrogen and progesterone are increasing in the blood. It is these hormones which cause the moods the pregnant women experience.

Pregnancy | Source

This is clearly noted by American Pregnancy who note, “Significant changes in your hormonal levels can affect your level of neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that regulate mood.”

Hormonal levels are not the only cause though they form the higher percentage of the main causes. Other causes of mood changes according to American Pregnancy can be caused by changes in metabolism, physical stresses and fatigue. Also, worries do form a bulk to the mood changes. This is when pregnant women worry about a variety of issues. Some of the things they worry about are:

  • Will I make a good parent?
  • Am I still looking attractive?
  • Does my husband like my figure?
  • Does my hubby still love me?
  • Will I give birth to a healthy child?
  • Will the baby be a boy or girl?

It does not make matters good when the women have to always go to the toilet or have morning sickness. It gets to their nerves they feel they are going through this alone when the man is not affected in any way. He just go on with his life as usual just waiting for a few months for a baby whom he is not even going to give birth.

It is up to this point when men need to be close to their wives in order to offer comfort and try in every way to be close, though it is not that easy in most cases. When women feel they will be carrying their babies for nine months, have to feel the discomforts alone and are unable to do many things they would have done, while their men are not affected in any way, there are reasons to be moody. They are easily irritated the reason men should try to understand and try their level best to make the experience a little bit comforting if not at all, all that comforting.

Ask the Obstetrician: Pregnancy and Mood

The mood swings don’t last for long. They normally appear during the first three months of pregnancy and towards the last three months before giving birth. It is a normal part during this condition. It doesn’t occur in every pregnancy though at times even if it is the third pregnancy the woman might show the moody signs.

During this period “You may feel you cannot control your emotions properly during your first trimester. Your temper may be shorter than usual, or you may dissolve into tears over the smallest thing.”

“However, you should find things stabilize after that, as your body adopts to the hormonal changes of pregnancy and you get used to the idea that you’re expecting. You may find you experience mood swings again in the last few weeks of pregnancy or just before you go into labour…” (Babycentre).

Maternal physiological changes in pregnancy
Maternal physiological changes in pregnancy | Source

Managing Mood Swings

There are different tactics pregnant women can use to ease the pregnancy experience. They include:

  • Relax as often as possible
  • Have regular exercise/physical activity (light ones)
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Spend time with your partner as much as possible
  • Be easy on yourself
  • Try not feel guilty mostly as a result of the realization how your treated yur hubby
  • Listen to music, watch a movie, if possible with a friend
  • Chatting with a friend does help, and
  • Going for a walk

When to Seek Professional Help

Even though mood swings do get out of control and happen when least expected, there are times when they become too frequent and severe. This is a cause for concern. American Pregnancy Association states, “If your mood swings last more than two weeks and do not seem to get better, you may want to ask your health care provider for a referral to a counselor?”

Why this need for concern? This is because the severe mood swings may indicate you are depressed or have bipolar disorder. This is clearly noted by Baby Centre, “The feelings range from feelings of extreme happiness and elation (“highs”), to periods of intense depression and despair (“lows”).” It is further noted, “It’s rare to develop bipolar disorder for the first time during pregnancy. However, women who already have the condition are more likely to have a flare-up at this time.”

Albeit depression do occur at any age as noted by APA; it is most prevalent in pregnant women, that is, during child-bearing years.

If you exhibit the symptoms of depression or the mood swings are severe such as short-term memory loss and you area always irritated and anxious which seem to increasing, it is advisable to seek professional help.

“If your mood swings become more frequent and intense, it is crucial you speak with your healthcare provider about your options for dealing with severe mood swings, anxiety or depression.”


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