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Pregnancy period is a process of changing one’s role from being a kid of others to someone else’s mom. As the roles change, the responsibility and burden would also increase. Especially for a first-time mom, it may be easy for you to get mentally disrupted when encountering things that you haven’t experienced before – physically and mentally.
Throughout the different stages of pregnancy, you might have psychological changes that interfere with daily life. However, know that this is common, especially given your internal body changes.
Before knowing why and when do the psychological changes occur, we should get an idea on the basic mode of the changes first:
Mood swings during pregnancy are one of the psychological reactions that is caused by hormonal changes. A common manifestation of it is crying. In fact, the emotional state of a pregnant woman can be influenced by the rising level of her progesterone and stress hormone. Hence, do not feel upset when you realise yourself or the pregnant lady around you often weepy. It is just triggered by the flood of hormones.
The feeling of fear as a pregnant woman encompasses many things, such as the fear of miscarriage, failure in the childbirth process, and unable to support the whole family. It stems from the feeling of lack of control towards those possibilities. Often, fear and anxiety come in pairs and most of the time anxiety is triggered by the instinct to protect the baby. It can even affect your health when it interferes with your sleep.
A pregnant woman might experience a feeling of sadness and tears up more often. It comes from the overwhelming feelings in going through the difficulties in eating, sleeping, and daily activities. When they feel miserable and do not want to express the complex feeling, there is the possibility of depression.
So, what are the factors that may affect these psychological changes?
Other than the internal hormone changes, one might also be influenced by her own culture. The culture and belief of a woman would affect the feelings during the expecting.
For example, few pregnant moms believe the culture hearsay that morning sickness relates to whether the baby likes the food or not. This might affect the way of taking care of the pregnancy and bring unnecessary mental disturbance.
Besides, the family itself can influence the psychological changes during pregnancy. If the woman is loved as a child, then she would have an easier time accepting the pregnancy. If not, she might take pregnancy as a source of burden. Undoubtedly, it is better if the family has a positive attitude and growing environment.
More importantly, is the individual herself. It is about the ability to cope with stress. The mommy would have an easier time if she feels secure with the relationship of the spouse. Whenever she feels uncomfortable, she can talk to her better half.
During the early three months of pregnancy, a woman may feel anxiety and fear easily as everything is new for her. She would need time to adjust herself to the new changes and accepting the pregnancy. Depending on the culture and family, pregnant women would feel pleased or unhappy from the life-altering situation. They might become depressed and upset easily on little things as their hormonal level rises and need to go through the uncomfortable time like morning sickness.
During the fourth to sixth month of pregnancy, they start accepting the baby and the anxiety would be less intense. In this period, women become more forgetful and disorganized than before. In the meantime, they become self-conscious of their looks from physical changes. Some would feel overwhelmed from these but some would become calm as they are now able to accept everything and start to have intimate relations with the baby from the kicks.
During the last three months of pregnancy, it’s time for you to prepare everything for the baby. Instead of worrying about pregnancy complications, you are probably now starting to worry about labour and your baby’s arrival. For instance, the anxiety would take place on worrying natural or c-section delivery as they probably are the toughest part during the pregnancy. During this period, mental support from friends and family is so important.
Meditation, counselling, talking to others, getting more rest are some ways to relieve stress. Also, getting massages while pregnant may help to reduce stress and promote relaxation when you are going through psychological changes. Other than effectively lowering stress hormones, prenatal massage can improve blood circulation, reduce swelling and back pain which gives pregnant mom a more comfortable period before the little one comes!