Emotional Changes


Pregnancy hormones can produce a Rollercoaster ride of emotions that come as a shock to many women. Some [or all!] of the following comments may describe how you are feeling, and would be considered completely normal in pregnancy.

I feel happy, but I keep crying!

Just as many women become tearful around the time of their menstrual period, the surges of hormones in early pregnancy and again near full term, can occasionally make you feel weepy for no particular reason.

I suffer with mood swings

Again, this may be the result of hormonal changes, but tiredness and drops in blood glucose levels may also be a factor. Try to eat little and often and dont be afraid to ask for help with childcare and household chores if you need to.

I seem to be getting scatty and forgetful

This is often referred to as the pregnancy brain but tends to continue into early motherhood too! Hormones play a definite role, as does tiredness. Dehydration and low blood sugar levels are known to affect concentration. Try to write down a list of the things you want to ask the midwife at your appointment, but if you forget to take it with you, you can always phone the maternity unit for advice.

I have very vivid dreams and sometimes cant shake them off when I wake up

Although this is very common, it can be quite distressing. Many women have bizarre dreams about giving birth, which is understandable, and sometimes this can highlight issues that are worrying you. Dont keep it to yourself; talking about the content of your dream can help to dilute it. Try to stick to a relaxed bedtime routine a warm bath may help you to wind down.

I seem to be suffering from fears and anxiety

It is natural to think ahead and worry about how you will cope with labour, the birth and bringing up a child. When you are pregnant, everyone wants to tell you about their childbirth experiences, and this is not always helpful! Even close friends and relatives may tell you something that worries or upsets you without meaning to. Remember that your pregnancy and birth will be unique to you your body and your baby are not the same as theirs. If there is some specific worry that you have, discuss it with your midwife, or phone your maternity unit for advice.

Some women dont feel particularly worried about anything to do with the pregnancy, but develop fears and anxieties about other aspects of their life or daily routine. Occasionally women experience panic attacks for the first time in pregnancy. Fears and phobias may seem irrational to other people, but it is really important to talk about them openly and seek professional help if you need to.

If you feel that your symptoms are so severe that they are preventing you from enjoying your pregnancy, or from carrying out your daily activities, you need to speak to your GP or midwife. Likewise, if your pregnancy was unplanned, or you have difficult personal circumstances, or a history of depression, you may need to be referred for extra professional support.