Mood swings

Adjusting to being pregnant and preparing for new responsibilities may leave you feeling up one day and down the next. Your emotions may range from exhilaration to exhaustion, delight to depression. Your moods can also change considerably over the course of a single day.

Some of these mood swings may result from the physical stresses your growing baby is placing on your body. Some may be the result of fatigue, pure and simple. Mood changes may also be caused by the release of certain hormones and changes in your metabolism.

To meet the demands of your growing baby, different hormones are produced at different levels throughout your pregnancy. Though the mechanisms aren't well understood, doctors believe these hormonal changes contribute to mood swings during pregnancy. Sudden fluctuations in progesterone, estrogen and other hormones likely play some role in mood swings. The effects of hormones from the thyroid and adrenal glands also are receiving considerable scientific attention.

Your moods are likely to be strongly influenced by the nurturing and support you receive from your partner and family. Perhaps now as never before, you need understanding, support and encouragement as you progress through pregnancy and develop your identity as a mother.

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