Mood Swings & Relationship Swings During Pregnancy
Most pregnant women have some experience with mood swings, which are usually most intense in the first and third trimesters. Whatever their cause (e.g., hormonal shifts), mood swings can stress your partnership and relationship satisfaction.
While mood swings are, by all means, a normal part of pregnancy, it’s sometimes wise to seek professional help.
If mood swings are extreme, last more than a couple of weeks without relief, and/or have a significant negative impact on your ability to function, or on your partnership, consider speaking with a counselor, or ask your doctor for a referral.
In most instances, however, you and your spouse can work together to limit the impact of mood swings on your partnership. What follows are some ways to do so; as with anything, one size does not fit all. If one of these approaches doesn’t work for you or your spouse, move on or devise strategies of your own:
Educate & Normalize: Together, confirm how normal mood swings are during pregnancy. If you’re not familiar with the physical changes that contribute to them, read up on the topic, and encourage your spouse to do the same. In other words, educate yourselves about pregnancy mood swings, so you can normalize their occurrence. Doing so doesn’t negate their impact, but encourages you to perceive them as regular parts of the pregnancy process, instead of unwelcome intruders.
Make a Patience Pact: Like other pregnancy symptoms, mood swings ebb and flow. Agree to be patient with this part of the process, while reminding yourselves, and each other, of the endgame: your new baby. Of course, your moods might sometimes preclude you, or your spouse, from being tolerant. The idea isn’t to always be patient, but to recognize that, just as this is a waiting game for your bundle of joy to arrive, so too must you wait for challenging symptoms, like mood swings, to subside.