Most women struggle with intense mood swings during pregnancy. One moment you are overjoyed and the next you have a total emotional low. Even in the postnatal period, pregnancy and childbirth leave their mark and the roller coaster of emotions continues. It is not uncommon to feel powerless and weak all the time. But what exactly is behind it and how can you prevent the emotional chaos and exhaustion? In today’s blog article, we go into more detail on this topic.
Mood swings during pregnancy
As a pregnant woman, you may have heard about it more often: strawberry week is coming and with it the moody days. This can be very stressful for our partner, our fellow men and especially for ourselves. Every woman who has a normal cycle – and doesn’t take the pill – experiences this. On some days everything is wonderful, the world seems perfect and on others everything suddenly seems dull and gray. The same happens to us during pregnancy – only amplified. Hormonal changes are one cause of the typical mood swings that pregnant women experience. So you are not alone. Hormones get really mixed up during pregnancy and reach peak levels. Increased adrenaline, for example, can lead to stress or nervousness. Women often react more sensitively to criticism, arguments, fears, excessive demands, etc… during this time. In the worst case, anxiety can even lead to attachment disorders with the unborn child. Therefore, if you experience extreme mood swings and internal baby aversion, you should definitely get help and talk to someone about your emotions. There is no need to feel ashamed at all, because almost every woman needs physical and emotional support during this time. Often we also need more closeness from our partner during this special time.
Dear mom, the most important thing is to make yourself aware that the roller coaster of emotions is part of pregnancy and is something very natural and has a beautiful reason! So be proud of yourself, your body is doing something so incredible right now!
Not only hormones can be a cause of mood swings, but also psychological reasons. As well as constant worry about the baby, anxiety about the future and the big change in your life. These thoughts can cause a worrying feeling and can put a lot of stress on us mommies. It can even lead to pregnancy depression. Fortunately, you can consciously counteract this, how exactly you will learn in the last point of today’s article.
My tip: I was also caught up in mood swings. When you add nausea to the mix in the first few months, it can be exhausting. What really helped me were gentle exercise sessions – release endorphins – , fresh air and breathing meditations. This makes you more relaxed, less anxious and less worried, and you can enjoy the anticipation more.
As wonderful as it is when our sunshine is finally born, it’s also clear that the new mommy routine involves a lot of stress, because our baby needs us around the clock. Therefore, a lack of sleep and the associated physical and emotional “permanent” exhaustion are unfortunately not uncommon. In the worst case scenario, these can even last for years after birth if you don’t take preventative measures. Not only is your body exhausted from pregnancy and childbirth, but you also have a myriad of new tasks in your everyday life. You feel 100% responsible, have to completely change your daily routine and still “function”. If you feel overwhelmed or need to have a good cry, feel like you are in good company with countless other moms. We moms are only human! If you want to seek help, that’s perfectly fine. However, please distinguish between exhaustion, which we all struggle with due to lack of sleep and hormonal changes, true postnatal exhaustion and postnatal depression.
Signs of this could include lethargy (tiredness upon waking), hypervigilance (when you feel like you are constantly “on”,” difficulty concentrating, anxiety, etc. Women who experience postnatal exhaustion often feel lost and not like themselves. They may even feel guilt for not being able to enjoy being a mother as much as one should.
How do I prevent postpartum depletion?
The most important thing is that we as moms accept that we can’t always manage everything perfectly and that’s not a bad thing. Of course we take care of our little bundles of joy as best we can, but think of yourself too! Don’t always put yourself in the back of the queue. Because if you are doing well, then that will also radiate to your baby.
So give yourself the little bit of attention you need! Most of the time, your partner, relatives and friends are more than happy to help. It’s only us moms who think we have to do everything on our own. The hormonal changes after birth are normal and you should give your body and soul enough time to recover!
My tip: Taking placenta capsules can help you cope better with the hormonal changes after birth. My doula in America did “placenta encapsulation”. I took one tablet of it a day for the first few months and felt very good with it. However, it is my first son, so I have no means of comparison. In addition, this trend from America is seen rather critically in Germany.
Therefore, it is more important to me to tell you how important self-care is – take care of yourself! -, regular light exercise and healthy, nutritious food are to protect yourself from postnatal exhaustion and even depression.
Counteract mood swings and recharge your batteries with sports
As mentioned above, gentle exercise helped me to keep mood swings in check during pregnancy. Physical activity gets the circulation going and releases happiness hormones. These have other positive functions: they positively influence the gastrointestinal tract and play a major role in the cardiovascular system, regulating blood pressure, for example.
However, it is important that you follow an adapted mommy training plan, which is adapted to your personal needs and especially to your phases. In all likelihood, you will be able to reduce your mood swings and gain new energy. This is true both during pregnancy and afterwards. Many women underestimate the effect of hormonal changes. Therefore, you should listen to your body, but this does not mean that you should only put your legs up, but get used to a regular workout already during pregnancy, so that you can continue this also after the birth. This is exactly what we do with MOVE IT MAMA and the results of our users and myself show that it really works. We are happier, healthy and fit with enough exercise and relaxing.
I myself used to underestimate the effect of stretching and Breath-Work. But our workout series RELAX AND ROLL IT MAMA helps enormously! to charge your body with new energy. This will make pregnancy easier for you and you will be able to cope with everyday life as a new mom with a little more ease. It is also important to get enough sleep! This is not so easy as a young mom, but try to take small breaks during the day again and again!
By the way, cardio exercise is also perfect for stress relief as a young mom, and according to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, regular cardio exercise will also improve your sleep patterns!
I hope I could give you some useful tips on the way, so that you can enjoy this special time in the life of a mom even more. Feel free to check out our training plan with which we accompany you 40 weeks through pregnancy and another 40 after birth!
Keep it Moving,