Pregnancy can be stressful and overwhelming for a woman. The anxiousness and joy associated with the impeding arrival of the baby coupled with the drastic changes in the body, can make any woman irritable and worried.
Questions regarding the baby’s health, family’s finances and relationship with your partner can plague the mind, and keep the emotions on a perpetual roller-coaster ride. Moreover, the hormonal and physical changes can make a pregnant woman emotionally unstable. Here are some of the common causes for the stress and irritability during pregnancy.
Causes of Irritability in Pregnancy
☞ Physical and Hormonal Changes
Sudden surge in the mood and constant anxiousness can be caused by hormonal changes. During pregnancy, the progesterone and estrogen levels in the body can change. This affects the mood regulating neurotransmitters in the brain. This is particularly significant in the early stages of the pregnancy when there are massive hormonal changes in the body, and sometimes during the third trimester when the body readies itself for labor.
Along with the hormonal changes, there are a number of physical changes that a pregnant woman has to deal with. The constant aches and pains, fatigue, heartburn, constipation and the pressure of the growing belly can leave a woman feeling extremely irritated. The weight gain during pregnancy can lead to the feeling of unattractiveness as well.
☞ Emotional Changes
Along with the significant physical changes, there are emotional concerns of a pregnant woman that remain unanswered. The emotional upheaval is caused by relationship changes, financial troubles, and constant thoughts about whether you should have a baby. This can have a serious effect on the relationship with your partner, other children, and even have a negative effect on the day-to-day functioning.
Dealing with Irritability: Tips for Pregnant Women
The irritability and anxiousness is often accompanied by other symptoms like sleep disturbances, changes in diet, and an inability to concentrate on anything for long periods of time. Dealing with the mood swings and irritability becomes crucial for the health of the mother and the unborn baby. Here are some tips that will help in dealing with the emotional upheaval.
This is easier said than done especially with grueling days and nights of staying awake and doing the normal household chores. However, adequate rest is important for physical and mental health during pregnancy. Instead of long, hectic chores, divide the time into short chores and take small naps in between when you feel exhausted. Watch a movie, get a massage, go for a walk, listen to some calming music, get a foot pedicure ,or just go shopping for some sexy maternity clothes. Do whatever relaxes and calms you down.
☞ Involve your Partner
The constant mood swings and snappish behavior can affect the relationship with the partner. Avoid this by spending quality time with your partner. Allow your partner to take care of you by doing simple things like washing the dishes or giving you a foot rub. Getting him involved in the pregnancy can also help. You can go shopping for the baby together or decorate the nursery for the baby.
☞ Try Meditation
Meditation and yoga can relax and calm the mind while also keeping a pregnant woman healthy. There are a number of yoga classes for moms-to-be where relaxation techniques helping in keeping a pregnant woman calm. The pregnancy yoga will also help in dealing with the lethargy and keep the body fit for childbirth. Simple exercises like walking helps in releasing the feel-good endorphins that keep a pregnant woman relaxed and happy.
☞ Eat Properly
The nausea and other pregnancy complications in the first trimester can make any pregnant woman lose their appetite completely. However, the focus should remain on eating healthy and nutritious food that would be beneficial for the baby’s growth. Instead of large meals, have small well-balanced meals which keeps the nausea at bay, and prevents those occasional sugar spikes that contribute to the irritability.
☞ Seek Help
Do not bottle in the frustrations and anxieties. Instead, it is best to seek help and tell someone about the problems. Talk to other moms on how they managed the financial and health issues before and after the baby is born.
Dealing with a pregnant woman’s mood swings can be difficult for a partner as well. It is just important to be patient and understand that the outbursts are not directed at someone. Try doing small things for her and help her cope with the mood swings. If the irritability persists even after the best efforts or depression sets in then it is best to consult a professional counselor or therapist.