The complaints I hear the most about from the significant other is the pregnant woman’s draining emotions… that with the new increase in appetite causing the significant other to gain “sympathy weight”. I like to believe that the dramatized emotions are there to help the to be mom and to be dad deepen and grow in their relationship in preparation of the stresses that come when adding a new member to their family. Take advantage of this uncomfortable time by learning healthier ways to communicate and problem solve, try to look at it as a challenge and not hopeless situation.
Feeling a loss of control of emotions creates new emotions in of itself, it’s a good idea to remind yourself that these emotions are due to the hormones your body is creating to keep baby in a healthy environment! It is also important to recognize these emotions are also influenced by external circumstances, some that you may control. These include the amount of sleep and rest you obtain, the foods you decide to eat, the people you surround yourself with, and the amount of extra responsibilities you accept. Keeping good physical care of your self and looking to the people you love for support helps to keep your emotions stable.
It is normal for a pregnant or postpartum woman to feel impatient, irritable, or just feel like crying. These emotions generally come and go quickly, this may be referred to as the baby blues. When a pregnant or postpartum woman has feelings of being guilty or worthless, or hopeless without relief, or has uncontrollable crying spells, lack of interest in the baby, or thoughts of harming the baby or themselves they need to seek medical attention right away. This is referred to as “perinatal mood and anxiety disorders” or if after birth “postpartum depression”. These are real conditions that need to be treated.
A tip: I encourage my patients to make and write an emergency plan regardless if they have ever experienced any type of depression before. This emergency plan includes five written names of people you feel you can trust and rely on as well as their phone numbers. It also includes your doctor’s telephone number and hospital’s phone number. If you ever experience these symptoms you may know exactly who to call to keep yourself and baby protected.
Moran E. D., Kallam G. B., (2013). In A new beginning: your personal guide to postpartum care. Arlington, TX: Customized Communications, Inc.
NCT (2012). Emotions during pregnancy. Retrieved from: http://www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/emotions-during-pregnancy