The news of a pregnancy can cause different feelings for the mother-to-be. Some of the obvious physical changes, which occur abruptly, can also affect your emotional balance, causing ups and downs of sensations and feelings.
Many women experience these changes during the entire pregnancy, others only during the first trimester, and others hardly notice them at all. In any case, emotional changes in pregnancy are common and their presence is completely natural.
What are the causes of emotional changes in pregnancy and how can they be managed?
Insecurities, doubts, changes in physical appearance, body aches, difficulties in falling asleep… At first glance the reasons for emotional changes in pregnancy could be many, but they are basically summarized in one: the changes in hormones that cause neurotransmitters to also alter, producing emotions that indicate instability.
Can the fetus notice the emotional changes produced in pregnancy?
The emotional state of the mother during pregnancy can affect the development of the baby and its mental and physical health, since the emotions it perceives will remain in its memory. This can influence the baby’s personality and behavior in the future.
Although babies in the mother’s womb cannot experience definite feelings such as sadness, joy, loneliness or fear, they can perceive sensations such as well-being, pleasure, satiety, alarm or shock. And, of course, it is the mother who transmits all these emotions to the baby through her voice, her breathing, her heart rate or her emotional state.
Even so, in all these cases the placenta protects the baby by preventing the most toxic neurotransmitters and hormones resulting from the mother’s stress, anguish and severe fear from leaking through the umbilical cord.
Emotional changes in pregnancy: in which period are they most common?
Emotional changes in pregnancy are different according to the stage of gestation in which the mother is.
- First trimester. It is possibly the most complicated at an emotional level since, on the one hand, there are many physical and hormonal changes and, on the other, there are conflicting emotions such as joy at the news of the pregnancy, with insecurity and concern because this is the trimester in which there is most risk for the baby. Normally women are more sensitive and irritable during this period and episodes of moodiness are common.
- Second trimester. This is usually a period of emotional tranquility. Hormone levels are more stable and the mother-to-be has adapted psychologically to pregnancy. Watching the belly start to grow and seeing the baby on ultrasound scans reduces stress and nerves, and what could have been sadness or worry at the beginning of the pregnancy now become states of euphoria and positive emotion.
- Third trimester. Difficulty sleeping, frequent urination, back pain and fatigue cause the mother, in this period, to manifest a state of mind marked by negativity, anxiety about meeting her baby, fear of childbirth and insecurity about parenting.