How Can I Deal With My Mood Swings?

Posted by | September 11, 2018 | Stress, Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments
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Pregnancy is not always a time of that wonderful glow and delicately round belly bump. It can be a time of extreme mood swings that make you want to run away from even yourself, and it makes your family willing to pack your bags. The hormones that are surging through your body during pregnancy can make you feel energized, depressed, anxious, or more prone to overreactions. If you are struggling with pregnancy mood swings and they are disrupting your family environment, there are some tips and strategies you can use to decrease the severity of the symptoms and improve your overall mental and emotional health.

My temperament is hard on my family and me. How can I deal with my mood swings?

If you are feeling the added stress of hormone induced stress, on top of the anxiety you might be feeling about bringing home a new baby, you don’t have to simply suffer in silence. Your first step should be to talk with your healthcare provider about your symptoms and how they are affecting your life, but there are other things you can also try to lessen the severity of prenatal mood swings.

Make a list of priorities. Sometimes the most stressful part of pregnancy is the overwhelming feeling of all the things that you want to finish before your due date. Pregnancy hormones can tip these anxious feelings over the edge. Listing your priorities on paper can help you focus on those things that really need to be completed and then you can work your way down the list.

Make your partner your teammate. Let your partner know that the pregnancy is creating havoc on your emotions and that you need some help managing the stressors in your life. Instead of becoming opponents in the battle of the mood swings, offer concrete suggestions that might really help you feel less anxiety – taking out the garbage, helping to find a car seat, or taking evening walks with you.  Don’t forget to show him how much you appreciate him during this time, too, as he is preparing for his own new future as well.

Exercise. You might be tired of hearing it, but getting regular exercise can truly help to manage those emotions naturally, and exercise is good for your overall health, too. Even a 20 minute brisk walk can release those “feel good” hormones of dopamine and serotonin that boost positive mental energy.

Give yourself a break. Pencil yourself in on the calendar for an hour each week (or more if possible) of something that is pure enjoyment for you. This might be an hour at the spa, a book club meeting, a pregnancy yoga class, or something else that makes you feel good about yourself and gives you perspective and time to relax.

If you’ve tried these methods and others to reduce your stress and alleviate the symptoms of mood swings and you are still struggling, be sure to keep talking with your healthcare provider. It is estimated that as many as 10% of pregnant women suffer with depression, but there are treatment options available. Pregnancy isn’t always smooth sailing, but it can really help to find those little life rafts along the way.

Dr. Gareth Forde

About Dr. Gareth Forde

An obstetrician-gynecologist, a clinical professor, a researcher, and a father of five—and he delivered them all! He speaks and publishes extensively on maternal and child health issues, where he emphasizes the role of a healthy maternal lifestyle, good nutrition, and breastfeeding on infant development. He chose the field of obstetrics because it is a celebration of life, a happy and exciting profession. “Children are a blessing and they bring joy and laughter to the world,” he says. “I cherish my work, as a doctor and a dad.” The study of genetic imprinting is a major focus of both Dr. Forde’s research and medical practice. This looks at what happens in the womb, how the genes a baby inherits are expressed (turned on and off), and how this influences the child’s health after birth. “This field holds great promise, shedding light on many unsolved mysteries in health and disease from infancy to adulthood,” he adds. Dr. Forde grew up in London, England and Orlando, Florida. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and is currently pursuing a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to this, he practiced with Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, a consortium of Saint Mary’s Health Care, Spectrum Health, Grand Valley State University, and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine—where he was a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology. He also has a master’s in molecular and cellular biology from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University; a Ph.D. in environmental science (computational chemistry) from Jackson State University; and a post-doctoral fellowship in biophysics from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York.”