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Let’s talk about…[Coping with] pregnancy mood swings, baby!

Sometimes, family members might feel that early pregnancy should come with a disclaimer of what-not-to-do around the expecting mother, who is now becoming a receptacle of feelings and emotions.

You might feel as if you have no control over what is going through your mind, and the onslaught of emotions can be overwhelming and are often unpredictable. Your mood swings are confusing the wits out of your loved ones. One moment they are laughing with you, only to find themselves walking on eggshells around you the next. Luckily, there are ways for them to cope with your pregnancy mood swings so that they can escape this potential minefield unscathed.

How can your family cope with your pregnancy mood swings?

  • Let’s talk about it: Forget what you have learned – now is not the time to suppress your feelings. Open up to your family about what you are experiencing. Discussing what you are going through with your loved ones not only calms you down and puts things in perspective, it can also keep your family from feeling alienated. Sometimes you just need the acknowledgement of what you are feeling, and a sympathetic ear goes a long way.
  • Prepare and educate: Together with your family, read up as much as you can about the topic to prepare yourselves. Knowing what to expect can normalise the situation, and they can be a lot more understanding towards your needs.
  • Take time out for yourself: The family must agree to be patient with one another in this process. If you are feeling exceedingly irritable, you should be allowed to remove yourself from the situation to go to your happy place – be it the garden or a hot bath.

How can the husband cope with your pregnancy mood swings?

What is a husband to do in a situation that is so completely alien to them? First and foremost, it is important to remember that your wife is probably experiencing a real crisis of confidence here. Self-esteem issues about her new body will probably form a big part of her pregnancy concerns, and how she feels largely depends on how you are reacting to pregnancy. The only reaction she expects from you right now is one of loving support. Learning how to give a proper toe-curling prenatal massage will score you extra good husband points.

Be patient with her during this time. Contrary to what you might think, her emotional outbursts are not aimed at you – unless you left your dirty socks on the bedroom floor. Yelling and picking fights will do you no favors. Instead, indulge her with tenderness, and you might just find that it will regulate her mood.

How can you cope with your pregnancy mood swings?

Much of your moodiness stems from a hormonal influence, but this is not to say that there aren’t ways you can cope with your pregnancy mood swings.

  • Get plenty of rest, so take short naps whenever you can. Follow a healthy prenatal diet, and enjoy relaxing activities. Don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself – you deserve the break.
  • Exercise is an established mood enhancer and confidence booster. Prenatal Pilates is an excellent choice, since it provides you with a good social outlet among other expecting mothers.
  • Remember your husband. He is most likely bearing the brunt of your emotions, so do make an effort to still make him feel loved and cherished.

 

If you feel as if you can no longer cope with your pregnancy mood swings, do not hesitate to seek professional help. A small percentage of women experience depression during their pregnancy, and moods can turn manic. Your obstetrician or gynaecologist will be able to recommend the right treatment or counseling classes to see you through your worst.

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