Mood swings during pregnancy

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If you have mood swings that are causing spats with your husband, you can learn to deal with them. It’s very easy.

First things first—get your partner on board. Learn about the hormonal changes of pregnancy together and try to rationalize your irrationality.

Your partner is less likely to take anything you throw at him personally if he knows what’s happening in your body. Learning to support your mood swings, rather than dismissing or escalating them, is a key role for your partner, and should not be underestimated. Remember, too, that while the hormones are affecting your body, anxiety, nervousness, and excitement about impending parenthood are things that you both feel. Indeed, your partner may feel overwhelmed by the thought of an added responsibility, especially if wedding is before you and you need to buy wedding gifts.

During your first trimester, the hormonal changes in your body are rapid and raging. It’s a primeval response that ensures you maintain your pregnancy. These surges, primarily in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, upset the chemical balance in your brain, causing neurotransmitters—your brain’s chemical messengers—to switch on and off randomly.

And that’s what gives you the mood swings. In many cases, your mood will settle down by week 12. However, some women continue to experience severe highs and lows and may be diagnosed with prenatal depression. This is as common as postpartum depression and can be just as serious. In addition to fluctuating hormones, there are other causes of prenatal depression such as anxiety about your pregnancy, feeling sick and tired, feeling low, previous depression, fear of something going wrong and isolation. If your mood swings are very extreme, or you suspect you may be suffering from depression (and almost 10 percent of women are thought to experience this during pregnancy), speak to your doctor, who will be able to get you the treatment you need.

There are many self-help techniques you can employ. Try some of these quick fixes when you feel a negative mood—sadness or irritation:

  • Walk around the block or through a park, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Fresh air and a change of scenery are sometimes all you need to clear your head.
  • Have a healthy snack since sugar lows exacerbate negative feelings or irritation so keep your energy levels stable.
  • Write a letter explaining how you are feeling. Even if you never send it, it can help to put things into perspective.
  • Knead some dough, make cookies, or make something that involves using some elbow grease. Physical exertion can help you to work through what’s troubling you and may provide an outlet for your pent-up adrenaline.

Sex during pregnancy

sex during pregnancy health

It is safe to have sex in a straight forward pregnancy. It won’t harm your baby as he is well cushioned in his amniotic sac and research has shown that it’s highly unlikely that penetration can rupture your membranes and cause your water to break.

The biggest challenge to having intercourse when you’re pregnant is accommodating your growing abdomen, but there’s no health reason why you should stop having sex. In fact, later in pregnancy, the uterine contractions of an orgasm can help prepare you for birth. Many couples enjoy the freedom of having sex without using any contraception or without
having to give thought to the consequences. You can also check various positions, recommended by love subreddits Reddit.

However, remember that you can still contract sexually transmitted diseases, so if this is a concern use a condom. Although sex is safe for your baby, it might not be all that comfortable for you, due to breast tenderness, cramping, nausea or increased fatigue. You might find gentle lovemaking more comfortable and you may need to adapt or experiment with different positions at various stages of your pregnancy. Many couples report that a side position works best of all, either facing or in spooning position with your partner behind you.

Many women experience swings in their sex drive during pregnancy. You may feel more sensitive due to the increased blood flow to the breasts and vagina, and the rise in progesterone and estrogen in your body, which can increase your libido. Your changing body might be incredibly exciting to your partner, or he might be too fearful of hurting.

Later in pregnancy, an orgasm can set off Braxton Hicks contractions. Don’t worry—this is a fairly common occurrence but if you’re uncomfortable, try slow, deep breathing or relaxation techniques until they pass.


Prenatal care explained

prenata care explained

Once you’ve absorbed the news of finding out that you are pregnant, you’ll probably start to focus on the practicalities of what happens now. Should you go to see your doctor? How do you get yourself into the system of prenatal care? Who will take care of your health and the health of your unborn baby?

For most women, there will be a standard number of regular appointments to check their progress; for others there can be extra appointments if their doctor needs to keep a closer eye on them and their baby as they progress through pregnancy. You’ll be given routine blood and urine tests and your blood pressure will be checked.

Advice on lifestyle and well-being will also be given by your doctor. You can opt to be screened for infections and complications that could affect you or your baby, and there are ultrasounds and tests to assess your baby’s health. Prenatal appointments are a great opportunity to seek advice about the many changes you are experiencing, as well as to connect with your pregnancy, and with your baby (you’ll find out how much she’s growing and you might get to hear her heart beating). You can even go to childbirth preparation classes if you want to learn more about what happens during labor and birth, and how to take care of your new baby afterward.

Your birth, your choices

Your doctor will lead your care so that you have a pregnancy that is as healthy and safe as possible, but he or she should take into account your needs and preferences. There will be some decisions about which tests you do and don’t want, how and where you’d like to give birth, and whom you’d like with you when you do.

When planning your birth you might consider: Are you more comfortable with the idea of a giving birth at a hospital or birth center? How would you describe your pain threshold? Does the idea of giving birth in water appeal or fill you with dread? What about giving birth standing up, sitting in a birthing chair, or lying down? Your answers to these questions might change over the course of your pregnancy—and that’s fine, too. Mapping out your wish list is a good way of honing in on specific aspects of your pregnancy, but don’t let yourself get too frustrated if things don’t always go according to plan. Nature sometimes has different ideas, which is all part of the adventure.

What should I do when I first find out that I am pregnant?

Call your OB/GYN’s office and make an appointment. They will schedule your first appointment when you are six to eight weeks pregnant. If you have any abnormal bleeding or other concerns, they may want to see you
sooner than that.

You may be asked when the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) was, in order to calculate an estimated date of delivery (EDD), or due date. Give your doctor a rough idea if you don’t know this date for sure; you’ll be offered an ultrasound at around 12 weeks pregnant to assess the due date more accurately.

You will need to tell your doctor about the history of any previous pregnancies (including terminations), any health issues you have, and any relevant family medical history for both you and the baby’s father. If you’re taking medications, have them with you, so he or she can tell you if it’s safe to continue taking them.

Be prepared to say how long it has taken you to get pregnant (if you’ve been trying), and if you had fertility treatment. In the latter case, you will have an early ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and make sure all is well. You can be asked about your diet, alcohol consumption, and any smoking or drug use. It’s important to be honest in your answers since this appointment is an opportunity to ensure that you get the best available care for yourself and your baby. Everything you tell your doctor is confidential—and it will benefit the health of your baby.

Finally, you will be given information on nutrient supplements to take (including folic acid and vitamin D), food safety, nutrition, and the various screening tests available to you in pregnancy.