What is the Connection Between Pregnancy and Mood Swings?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2018
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While a joyous occasion for many, pregnancy can also come with many discomforts. Pregnancy and mood swings are related due to changes occurring in a woman's body. Mood swings can be brought on by changes in hormone levels, fatigue, stress, and a variety of other factors.

Sudden emotional, mental, and physical changes are the hallmarks of pregnancy and mood swings. During pregnancy, these changes can result in both bouts of crying and bouts of extreme joy. While these reactions are normal, mood swings can interfere with life’s responsibilities and impact relationships.

Mood swings can, and do, occur at any time during pregnancy. Typically, mood swings become worse from week six to week ten, and then again in the third trimester. Expectant mothers may notice a change in moods before confirming pregnancy.

Changes in the levels of the hormones during pregnancy can affect the behavior of neurotransmitters within the brain. Neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating mood. Moodiness results when neurotransmitter levels begin to fluctuate within the brain.

Fatigue associated with pregnancy and mood swings can affect a woman's ability to cope with the changes occurring within her body and in her life. Both physical and mental fatigue can play a role in the pregnancy and mood swings connection. Getting plenty of rest and taking frequent breaks during the day can help limit the severity and occurrence of mood swings while pregnant.


Stress resulting from both unknown causes as well as various concerns related to welcoming a child into the world can aggravate mood swings. Uncertainties related to finances, housing, education, and child care can all take a toll on a pregnant woman's mood. The anxieties and uncertainties related to pregnancy are completely normal, and should be expected throughout pregnancy.

Other symptoms of pregnancy, such as heartburn and nausea, can lead to alterations in mood. In addition, weight gain during pregnancy can lead to feeling less attractive. A reduced activity level and efforts to stay fit also contributes to mood changes.

Taking proper care of oneself during pregnancy can help reduce the frequency and severity of mood swing occurrence. Regular physical activity, eating well, and make time for enjoyable life activities such as a massage or outings with friends can reduce low mood swings by relieving stress. Meditation and yoga can also help reduce and manage pregnancy-related stress.

Mood swings lasting longer than two weeks necessitate a trip to the doctor. In addition, an increase in the frequency or intensity of mood swings should be brought to the attention of a trained medical professional. Treatment options, including counseling, are available.



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