mood swings in pregnancy

Mood swings in pregnancy are the source of thousands of jokes and funny situations – even if they are not that funny for the poor future mummy!

Passing from tears to laughter can be overwhelming sometimes, especially if we don’t really know why it happens, or if the reasons are objectively quite silly. Nobody seems to understand us, but we don’t understand ourselves either!

Mood swings in pregnancy are actually quite common, affecting around 70% of pregnant women. This turns them into one of the most common early signs of pregnancy, together with morning sickness, swollen and sore breasts and others you’re probably quite familiar with at this point.

So let’s take a closer look at those sudden pregnancy mood swings. Don’t miss the following lines!


Mood swings in pregnancy: What is happening to me?

Yes, pregnancy made you a bit moody. Nothing uncommon here! Can you guess who’s fault it is? Yes, pregnancy hormones are causing the changes: that hormonal dance going on in your organism has something to do with that back and forth trip between tears and laughter. There is more progesterone and more oestrogen in your system, which affects your mood, but which is also a good thing: It’s because of those hormones that you can grow a baby!

However, not all the blame is on pregnancy hormones. There are more reasons why you are more sensitive and irritable while you’re expecting a baby, and those are related to all those changes that are taking place in your life. You are now facing a life-changing process, and not just because you are pregnant: you are going to be a mother, and that can be very overwhelming. You are probably wondering if you will be up to the task: Will I bee a good parent? Will I be able to do it? Will I be able to provide for my child along the years?

And those are not the only worries in your mind. You are probably a bit anxious about your baby being OK, and labour going smooth. Many times, pregnancy feels like a test with too many things that escape your control. And that is enough to make someone irritated and moody, don’t you think?


The typical mood swings in pregnancy, per trimester

During pregnancy, you will experience a myriad of feelings. It’s probably going to be one of the most intense periods of your life! However, in terms of mood swings in pregnancy, the most common are the combo euphoria + sadness, laughter + tears, fear, and forgetfulness or pregnancy brain.

And would you like to know if there will be any differences in those mood swings? Pregnancy symptoms change trimester after trimester, and the moodiness is no different. Here’s what to expect in the three main stages of pregnancy:

  • Mood swings in the first trimester: Here comes the mood swing bomb! This is the period when you will be the most irritable and where you will suffer the most dramatic mood swings, and when most of the tears will come. Of course! All the things that are happening are new to you, and everything is overwhelming. Suffering from other annoying pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness won’t be of help. Try to be a little understanding with yourself. Your loved ones will understand you, so why wouldn’t you cut yourself some slack?

  • Mood swings in the second trimester: The second trimester is usually a millpond, and you’re probably used to the hormonal changes. Besides, you’ve had some time to come to terms with becoming a mum, and that will probably reflect positively in your mood swings: the tears will most likely be substituted by laughter, so embrace the happiness!

  • Mood swings in the third trimester: Your baby bump is probably slowing you down, and you may not be able to deal with everything you were capable of doing before. Besides, you may have a case of the nesting instinct, and not satisfying it to the fullest can be very frustrating! Insomnia is pretty common during this stage as well… And all that together doesn’t help with the mood swings! It will be normal for you to feel cranky and irritated.


How to deal with mood swings in pregnancy

Unfortunately, mood swings during pregnancy will be there throughout the 9 months of gestation: The worries are a normal part of the process, and the hormones will keep dancing until birth – and even after! However, there are some things you can do to handle those mood swings, or at least to keep them a little bit under control:

  • Rest a lot… You are pregnant, and growing a baby is hard work! Sleep and rest as much as you need (and as much as your baby bump lets you!). You will feel much better.

  • …But move with a purpose! Doing regular exercise is recommended for keeping healthy during pregnancy, but it has a lot of amazing side effects. Doing exercise makes you release endorphins, which will make you feel happier and more relaxed. You can try prenatal yoga or these easy pregnancy exercises. Besides, if you’re suffering from insomnia, doing exercise before bedtime will tire you out!

  • Talk about your feelings: If you were not a fan of talking things through before, this may be the best time for starting. Talking about how you feel may help you understand and deal with it, and it will also increase your bond with your partner. Sometimes, the many changes that come with a baby can be challenging for a couple.

  • Have fun: Dedicate some time to your hobbies, to yourself, or to whatever makes you relax. Reading, going to the cinema, painting or just having coffee with your friends will all bring you positive flows of energy!

  • Laugh them off: You may end up crying for the silliest things, like accidentally dropping something, especially during the first trimester. Try to make fun of it, it will be easier to deal with.

Don’t forget that mood swings in pregnancy are very normal, so don’t feel guilty if you are irritated, have negative feelings or take it out on someone else.  And, if you find that you can’t deal with what you’re feeling, ask for help. Some future mummies suffer from greater levels of anxiety or from depression in pregnancy, so if you fear you may be one of them, don’t hesitate to tell your doctor or midwife.


Mood swings in pregnancy are very common, and you’re entitled to have them! Don’t worry, because they will pass too – soon it will be your baby the one who is moody and cranky!


Need help? Ask other mummies in CaptainMums' forum!


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