Pregnancy is about a lot more than just physical changes - you'll no doubt experience an emotional makeover, too. In fact, no matter how happy you are about your impending arrival, feelings of anxiety, ambivalence, and stress will be about as common as the elation, excitement, and anticipation you expect. First-time mothers, especially, may experience mood swings that leave them feeling like they're on board a runaway train.
What's Going On
Your body is working overtime to nurture your baby, leaving you fatigued and sometimes on edge. Things that didn't bother you before may cause you to dissolve into tears. You may become frustrated when your added weight prevents you from doing things you were once quite capable of. You don't always feel attractive. And you're probably overwhelmed at times at the thought of caring for a baby. Of course, there will be other, more confident moments, too. Conflicting emotions are the first steps toward the myriad changes ahead - it would be unusual if you didn't feel them. These tips will help you cope with tough times:
- Lean on your partner. The more you both can express your concerns, the better you'll understand each other.
- Don't be afraid to talk with your doctor. Physicians have seen it all and can suggest ways to ease your concerns.
- Avoid excessive sugar. A sweet snack may give you an initial rush, but it will ultimately be followed by a feeling of even greater sluggishness.
- Exercise to increase your stamina.
- Keep a journal. Writing down feelings may help you deal with them.
- Do everything you can to nurture a healthy fetus - eat right, don't smoke or drink alcohol, avoid stressful situations.
- Go easy on yourself. You deserve a good cry now and then. Extra rest may also minimize mood swings.