23-03-2022 / Mental Health and Wellness

Mood Swings During Pregnancy: Relationship Problems, Behavior Changes and Solution

Pregnancy is all about happy memories but mood swings in pregnancy can cause relationship problems. Pregnancy mood swings can be kept in check with effective tips.

Mood Swings During Pregnancy: Relationship Problems, Behavior Changes and Solution
Manasa Krishna PerumallaManasa Krishna Perumalla

Manasa Krishna Perumalla

B.Pharm, Research Associate

Table of Content

Introduction

  • Being pregnant is an emotional journey from the moment you found out till childbirth. You and your partner will plan everything beginning with an invitation to friends to share the news to welcome your new baby into the family. 

  • Sometimes, you may have a different opinion regarding bringing up the child into the world. Maybe you or your partner is not ready for the big responsibility. Because it’s hard to go from being a couple to being parents. 

  • Very often one of the partners may feel left out. Being pregnant can be stressful for both the mother and father. So, being prepared is not enough to handle the storm of these emotions all at once. 

  • You need to be extra focused on your relationship to put out all the fights that may light up during these nine months (pregnancy).

What is pregnancy?

What is pregnancy
  • Pregnancy:  Also known as the gestation period is the stage during which a baby develops in the woman’s womb. 

  • When you are pregnant your body releases many hormones to support childbirth. The release of these hormones may affect your physical and mental health. 

  • You may experience a lot of mood swings in pregnancy along with increased breasts, increased hunger, frequent urination, tiredness, pelvic girdle pain, morning sickness, back pain. 

  • Mood swings in pregnancy are the reason for many conflicts and most couple breakups.

  • The word ‘mood swings’ has a literal meaning in it - that says the mood will swing here and there. You will for sure experience various emotions from highs to lows all at a time. All these changes are mainly due to the hormones- progesterone (Hormone that regulates and maintains pregnancy and menstrual cycle) and estrogen (Hormone responsible for female reproductive functions). 

  • What can these hormones do to pregnant women to have relationship stress during pregnancy? is discussed below

Emotional changes or Mood swings during pregnancy

mood swings during pregnancy
  • With all the hormonal changes, you may experience physical and emotional changes. Every woman will have different mood swings during pregnancy. You may not have the same emotional changes as others.

  • Your mood swings in pregnancy are the reason for the emotional changes. Your mental health gets affected and you will become more irritated over small things.

Your tolerance to handle things will be reduced due to the tiredness from the pregnancy. The financial burden will make you stressed sometimes. The changes caused due to mood swings during pregnancy include:

First trimester of pregnancy

  • You will feel extremely tired due to morning sickness. Morning sickness will affect your daily life. Most women feel moody like premenstrual syndrome. It is ok to feel both happy and anxious. 

  • The mixed emotions are usually normal but make your partner understand this. You will feel less confident about your body with increased weight.

Second trimester of pregnancy

  • Fatigue, Morning sickness and moodiness may improve and will go away with time. Pregnancy will make you feel more forgetful and disorganized. 

  • You will start experiencing lots of emotions about all the changes such as the way you look, relation with your partner, or the movement of the baby.

Third trimester of pregnancy

  • You stay forgetful. It’s common to feel anxious about childbirth as the due date gets close. Your fear of responsibility towards the baby will increase. You may become more irritable than before due to all the tiredness from the pregnancy.  

  • Some women have shown improvement in stress, anxiety, or depression during pregnancy. For others, it will be the same. 

  • And do you know antenatal depression is a form of clinical depression that can affect you during pregnancy?

  • It is estimated that 7 to 20% of pregnant women are affected by antenatal depression, also known as prenatal or perinatal depression. 

  • This will lead to postpartum depression if neglected. Prenatal stress can be of any form and will surely impact various aspects of fetal development that can cause harm to both mother and the child. 

Relationship changes during pregnancy

With the onset of pregnancy, you start a new phase in your relationship with your partner. You expect more attention from your husband, you care more for each other to make this work in peace.

  • Parenthood will change your focus from one other to the third person, your future child. You will experience a new way of love in each other towards the baby.

  • For many couples, pregnancy is an exciting time. Along with pregnancy, comes change and new challenges. Mood swings in pregnancy can be stressful at first.

  • New financial and emotional burdens make you vulnerable, sometimes leading to conflicts. 

You may visit a counselor regarding the mood swings during early pregnancy if you are concerned about the conflicts and breakups anticipated.

Partner support during pregnancy

Your partner is the one with whom you can share any emotion and discomfort you feel as a couple. Opening up to each other may resolve many of the conflicts before they even start. 

To have a happy and healthy relationship during pregnancy you need to support your partner. Relationship issues during pregnancy are common and can be easily prevented with this most effective information to prevent them.

Why is partner support important during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can bring you a lot of excitement. But it will surely bring a lot more responsibility which sometimes can lead to anxiety along with joy. The lengthy to-do lists can be a bit more to handle alone. 

You need your partners to support you to evaluate the financial and emotional poorness you are going through. 

To overcome the changes and cope with the unknowns that come along with pregnancy and future baby birth.

Talking to your partner will help you feel stronger and can help you avoid feeling left out. 

  • Partner support is specifically more important to the mother and baby during pregnancy. The husband should understand the mood swings during pregnancy. 

  • A happy mother is a way to a happy child and a happy family. Partner support is very crucial for this bonding. 

  • A sense of teamwork supported by the husband during pregnancy mood swings will make the woman happier and stress-free during and after pregnancy.

What should a partner do to avoid conflict during pregnancy?

Partner emotional support during pregnancy

If this is your first time to be pregnant, start learning about pregnancy. Learn about pregnancy hormones, women’s mood swings associated with anger and relationship problems during pregnancy.

Read about each trimester and what to expect. Learn how to comfort her during each trimester and make her feel safe and happy.

  • Make an appointment with a psychiatric doctor to discuss her concerns.

  • Help her in making decisions about the birth defects.

  • Attend antenatal classes together.

  • Share your opinion on having a baby, if you are not ready.

The only way you can share your love with your baby during pregnancy is through the mother.

Emotional support during pregnancy

  • Make her feel lucky by taking time and asking for help to handle her emotions.

  • Reassure her and encourage her to maintain positive vibes.

  • Show affection by holding hands and giving hugs.

  • Respect her choice when she doesn’t want to be touched or have sex.

  • Start eating healthy foods supporting her to motivate.

  • Try quitting smoking, alcohol, coffee.

  • Make some lifestyle changes that you are planning to do like eating healthy, yoga.

  • Help her to get adequate sleep to overcome the pregnancy tiredness.

  • Plan a short walk to nowhere and say how grateful you feel to have her.

Physical support during pregnancy

  • Try doing some household chores that you are comfortable doing.

  • Avoid smoking around your wife. It will make her happy if you quit smoking.

  • Give her relaxing foot and back massages to help ease stress and aches. 

After delivery support

  • Childbirth will take all her energy to help the labor, to feed, change and bath your baby. 

  • Ask if she needs any help with handling daily tasks.

  • If you have more kids, handle them in the early weeks to make her less anxious.

  • Give her time for self-care, exercise, work or do other activities.

There are partners who do not understand the mood changes pregnant women will have and this ignorance will lead to relationship problems in pregnancy. Domestic violence is one of the relationship problems women face while being pregnant. 

Domestic violence during pregnancy

Studies report that domestic abuse starts during pregnancy or will become more during pregnancy or before childbirth. Pregnancy mood swings cause husbands to cheat on their partners due to a lack of libido (sexual desire).

All the mood swings, lack of sex, responsibilities, financial stress and feeling left out may burst up as conflicts between partners.

  • Pregnant mood swings may lead to less sexual desire in partners, which may be due to physical changes or less time together, or hormonal changes.

  • To solve this at least try having intimacy, if you are not comfortable having sex. Lack of sex will make partners less dependable and end up feeling ignored.

  • Don’t be afraid to have sex. Studies say it is totally fine to fulfil sexual desires till the 9th month unless your gynaecologist doctor's advice is to stop. 

  • If domestic violence goes out of control, you can call the women aid teams which work to keep women and children safe.

  • Never hesitate to lodge a complaint on emotional or physical abuse. Do it for the safety of the baby.

How can a partner get support during pregnancy?

How can a partner get support during pregnancy

Not only moms, fathers too need care and attention. Even though you are expected to stand for your partner to help and give you time for yourself too. 

You may feel anxious and ignored by the family with all the attention towards your child and the mother.

  • You can talk to your partner about how you feel and how you want to be included.

  • Usually, mothers love having their partner during labor and delivery.

  • Talk about the labor and your interest to be there during birth. Some mothers may feel more anxious when they have their partner with them

  • Ask questions during the visit to the doctor. This will make your partner and health professionals understand the level of interest and care you have.

  • Indulge in your own self-care, exercise, visit friends and spend time alone.

  • Don’t hesitate in sharing how you feel about childbirth, take classes to understand the importance of pregnancy.

  • Share feelings, ideas, and tips or read informational blogs to make this wonderful.

  • Talk about things other than pregnancy. Don’t be afraid of having sex during pregnancy. Ask if she is comfortable during intimacy and respect her if she wants to be left alone.

Relationship with family and friends during pregnancy

  • Pregnancy is special to your family along with you and your partner. Your family and your partner’s family will love to take care of you and the baby. Everyone will be excited and like to indulge in everything that involves the baby.

  • They care for you like you are a queen and sometimes it can take over you. Family members sometimes start passing opinions that they believe as true.

  • This is the time you receive lots of unwanted advice from each one of the family members over every other thing you do.

  • In such cases, take a step and express how you feel about their advice. Say you respect and appreciate their help and will follow if felt appropriate.

  • Decide on what is important and right for you to follow. After all, it’s your baby and your pregnancy to take care of.

Take-home points

  • Try solving your conflicts with adjustment and compromise rather than arguments.

  • Communicate your feelings, ideas and emotions you have.

  • Mood swings can irritate you and your partner, so talk it out.

  • Never avoid any conversation even it leads to different pinions.

  • Have fun, date nights, time together, go to movies, eat healthily.

  • Enjoy every moment of pregnancy through ups and downs.

Hope you have incredible moments throughout your pregnancy journey!!!


FAQ on mood swings during pregnancy

1. How to prevent conflicts during pregnancy?

Ans. Communicate with your partner and express your love and care.

2. What causes mood changes in pregnancy?

Ans. Pregnancy hormonal changes are the reason for mood changes in pregnancy.

3. How to solve pregnant relationship problems?

Ans.Have a conversation with your partner on what you feel without arguments.

4. How can pregnant women’s mood swings affect a relationship?

Ans. Mood swings during early pregnancy affect relationships causing breakups and moving apart.

5. What is the role of a husband during pregnancy mood swings?

Ans. Mood swings and pregnancy are both the responsibility of the husband that need to be taken care of with ease and understanding.

6. Is anger the sign of mood swings during pregnancy?

Ans. Pregnancy mood swings include anger, anxiety, happiness; all at once in an emotional bursts.


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