When asked what they enjoyed least about their partners’ pregnancies the two words mentioned most by the dads we surveyed were “mood swings”!
During pregnancy the huge changes in hormone levels may cause dramatic swings in your emotions and moods. Particularly in the first few months you will notice that your mood can change in minutes, even seconds, from extreme happiness to tears of frustration, from anger to elation. You cannot predict it, usually you cannot control it - it’s just like a rerun of puberty!. And both you, and your partner should not be surprised if you find yourself crying without explanation – even when you are feeling happy.
These erratic mood swings are all normal, though sometimes disturbing for you and those around you. However, the good news is that once the placenta takes over the production of pregnancy hormones in the second trimester, your hormone levels should start to even out, resulting in you feeling more relaxed and positive.
It is possible that your pregnancy hormones will also influence your choice of viewing and reading material, that you will not want to watch or read about anything violent, or sad, or that involves child cruelty.
- Breath in…breath out…breathe in…breathe out…
- Take up yoga or find a relaxation technique that suits you.
- Apologise when you have taken your bad mood out on someone else.
- Explain to others that it is the hormones/exhaustion/stress, which has you on this emotional roller coaster.
- Go for a walk, or even just leave the room, when you feel your mood changing for the worse and you are not alone.
- Take a shower or bath, or even just splash water on your face. It can help you change your mood.
- Try smiling, even when you feel least like it. Even faking a smile can make your feel happier.
“Nothing phased me during my first and third pregnancies. I had a constant supply of happy hormones. On my second baby, however, my mood changed by the minute. I could be laughing and then would burst into tears, or start snapping at my partner or toddler, or anyone who got in my path….”
“For a few weeks everything seemed sadder. I couldn’t look at the news, and even hearing about the death of someone I hardly knew sent me into floods for days. Then one day a shop assistant was abrupt with me when I asked a question and I burst into tears. I couldn’t stop and I had to be taken into an office and given a drink of water. I haven’t dared go into that shop since”.