With so many things going on during your pregnancy, we bet that you’ve found yourself snapping on more than one occasion. In this post we take a look at angriness during pregnancy and give you some great tips to help better cope with any feelings of anger that you might feel.
During pregnancy, your body is flooded with different hormones. When this is combined with a lack of sleep, sickness and constantly struggling to get comfortable, this can lead you to be extremely grumpy.
Take one look at social media and you’ll no doubt see posts from mums posting about how happy they are and how much of a joy their pregnancy is.
Give me a break.
This constant expectation that some mommas feel to “enjoy” and “embrace” their pregnancy often further adds stress to an already stressful situation.
The truth is that while your pregnancy is an incredible point in your life, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.
Today we’re going to look at what you should know about anger during pregnancy, how it affects baby’s health, a few tips to manage your emotions and finally discuss when you might want to discuss it with your doctor.
What To Know About Angriness During Pregnancy
80% of the time, any extremes in emotion that you experience during pregnancy can be put down to hormones. As baby grows and develops, your body tends to flood your system with hormones to help baby grow.
These sudden spikes can lead to extremely intense emotions, mood swings and inner turmoil.
The worst feeling however is stress.
Anger, Stress And Your Baby’s Health
When you’re angry, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol which is responsible for triggering your flight or fight reflex. Over a prolonged period of time, a continuous stress response can cause your nervous system to experience inflammation.
This is worrying as nervous system inflammation has been linked to lower birth weight and premature delivery. It’s also been linked to more difficulties delivering and behavioural issues in childhood.
Being told to “chill out” or “stop stressing” is enough to trigger angriness during pregnancy. It’s one of those things that’s easier said than done.
How To Manage Anger And Emotions During Pregnancy
By using the 5 R’s below, you can hopefully better manage your anger and emotions during pregnancy.
Rest is another one of those things that’s easier said than done.
We all know that we need to rest more, especially during pregnancy but with a household to manage, jobs to do and even other children to care for, resting up is often one of those things we sacrifice.
Throughout the day, you should try to fit in a few periods where you can get off your feet and rest.
Even if you can’t nap, time off your feet will help reduce swelling and back pain that often make you cranky.
Finally, it’s important if you are running about that you get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Your diet can play a huge roll in how you feel.
As your baby grows, you’ll need more and more calories to keep going.
However, you’ll want to make sure that these calories come from healthy sauces and not just from junk food.
Light exercise such as walking or swimming can also help recharge the batteries.
During your pregnancy it can be easy to forget the little stuff like date night with your partner.
While you might not feeling like venturing far, putting some time in with your significant other can make a real difference to your mood and help strengthen the bond.
One thing that really helped me during my pregnancy was massage. Either with your partner or using a back massager take time to unwind and have a little pampering.
Remove As Much Conflict As Possible
Marcus Aurelius once wrote:
“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it because it was within me, in my own perceptions not outside.”
This is fantastic advice for any momma-to-be as it shows that the way we perceive stress lies within us.
By removing those perceived stressful things that cause you anxiety and which don’t matter, you reduce the burden.
The reason that women are generally so much better at dealing with stress and anxiety is that they talk about their problems.
There are a lot of perceived “off-limit” topics that we experience during pregnancy that we bottle up such as is this the right thing to do and will I be a good mum. Once you open up on these you’ll find that the majority of women feel these things too and they’re part of a normal pregnancy.
When Should I Speak To My Doctor?
Some stress, mood swings and outbursts at your partner can be expected during your pregnancy, this is after all probably one of the most difficult times of your life.
Understanding the difference between hormone/pregnancy driven angriness and something more serious is key in determining when you should seek help and advice.
The general rule of thumb is that if over a two week period your anger and mood swings either increase or are a constant presence then you should speak to a healthcare professional as you may need counselling on how to better deal with your emotions during pregnancy.
The Bottom Line
Experiencing angriness during pregnancy is completely normal. Your body is going through a period of rapid change and as your hormones suddenly spike and drop, your bound to find yourself feeling angry. Using the tips above you should be able to manage the symptoms, however, if you do feel that you could do with a little extra help, make sure you book an appointment to speak to your healthcare provider.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.