Handling the First Trimester: Mood Swings

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Your body is going through all kinds of changes and one of the things you may have to cope with are mood swings. Read what the experts have to say.

WORDS ANNA FERNANDEZ

 

Your body’s level of neurotransmitters, which are mood-regulating brain chemicals, is affected by significant changes in your hormone levels. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone affect your brain’s serotonin levels. This means that if your serotonin levels drop, your mood will worsen. However, your hormone levels aren’t the only cause of your occasional emotional outbursts. Whether it’s your first child or your fifth, having a baby comes with its fair share of anxieties. And with so many things on your mind, it’s no wonder your emotions are unpredictable.

 

Dr Seng Shay Way, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Seng’s OG Practice at Gleneagles Medical Centre says, “It is important to understand you are not alone. Mood swings are just another aspect of the pregnancy experience, and just knowing that what you are experiencing is normal may help you cope.”

 

 

A drop in your blood sugar level can increase the incidence of mood swings, so try to

maintain a healthy diet. You can also take up prenatal yoga, Pilates, or low-impact exercises.

They release endorphins which improve your mood while diminishing stress and anxiety.

 

 

Remember to listen to your body and stop exercising as soon as you start to tire out, not after you've reached the point of exhaustion. Of utmost importance is to communicate with your partner. The more the people around you know about your mood swings and techniques for reducing their severity and frequency, the better for all of you.

 

Mood swings are usually experienced between the first 10 weeks, and then again in the third trimester as your body prepares for birth. However, if they are getting worse, you should see your doctor because they can sometimes signal conditions like depression, anaemia, gestational diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or migraines.

 

 

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