Your Pregnancy Mood Swings
Expectant dads share a lot more than the birth of their bundle of joy with their partner. Long before that bundle arrives, you may share in many of the symptoms, including pregnancy mood slumps, which are surprisingly common for expectant dads. Fluctuations in your hormones can play a role, but feelings factor in as well. Almost every dad-to-be, just like most moms-to-be, experiences a host of conflicted feelings in the months leading up to life’s most major changes, from anxiety to fear to ambivalence to a crumbling of confidence.
You can help boost your pregnancy mood, and perhaps prevent the postpartum blues, which about 10 percent of new dads find themselves experiencing.
- Talking. Let your feeling out so they don’t bring you down. Share them with your partner (and let her share hers, too), making communication a daily ritual. Talk them over with a friend who recently became a father (no one will get it like he will). Or fin an outlet through dad social media.
- Moving. Nothing gets your mood up like getting your pulse up. A workout won’t only help you work out your feelings, but those feel-good endorphins can give your mood a long-lasting boost.
- Getting baby-busy. Gear up for the anticipated arrival by pitching in with all the baby gear gathering and other baby prep that’s likely going on. You may find that getting in the baby spirit helps give your spirits a boost.
- Cutting out (or cutting down). Drinking a lot can swing your moods even lower. Though alcohol has a reputation for being a mood booster, it’s technically a depressant, so there’s a reason why the morning after is never as happy as the night before. Plus, it’s a coping mechanism that covers up the feelings you’re trying to cope with. Ditto with drugs.
- Eating well. Like with the mama-to-be in your life, eating well and keeping your blood sugar on an even keel can help moderate mood swings. Focus on lean protein and complex carbs instead of getting pumped up with sugar and caffeine which can crash your blood sugar, bringing your mood with it.
Your Pregnancy Mood Swings
Remember, there’s a difference between pregnancy mood swings and actual depression during pregnancy and that goes for both expectant moms and dads. True depression can be physically and emotionally debilitating.
It can wear on relationships, impact eating, sleeping, normal functioning, your work and your social life, and keep you from enjoying what should be an exciting, joyful life change.
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Research has shown that a father’s depression can ultimately affect his baby’s wellbeing, too. If you’re having symptoms of depression, please seek professional help from your physician or therapist right away.
It is normal for every expectant mom to have her difficulties. If your lows are consistent and frequent, you may be among the 10-15 percent of women who battle mild to moderate depression during pregnancy.Both emotional & physical depression shows up in a variety of symptoms, that go well beyond standard moms-to-be moodiness. They can include feeling sad, empty, hopeless, and emotionally lethargic, having sleep disturbances (you don't feel like eating at all, or you're eating all the time), feeling fatigued and lacking energy (above what's normal in pregnancy) and/or feeling agitated or restless, losing interest in work, friends, family, and activities you usually enjoy, losing concentration and focus, having exaggerated mood swings (more dramatic than what's normal in pregnancy), and even having self-destructive thoughts. There may also be unexplained aches and pains.
Your nutrition during breastfeeding isn’t affected by your diet unless you’re eating habits are inadequate. You do need to be sure to take in enough calories and water for your body to produce adequate milk. Your baby may react a different way to certain foods, but if you pay attention to how your baby responds, you can figure out what foods to avoid.
Before starting any type of fitness program, please consult your physician. Let him or her know what type of exercises you plan on doing, and whether they are safe for you.
If you were to offer your child a candy bar or an apple, which would they choose? What if instead, you offer them the choice between crackers and cheese or an apple? Teaching kids to eat well can be real tricky. You don't want to turn every meal into a lecture, but if you wait too long, they could pickup unhealthy habits in the meantime.