Pregnancy has by far one of the best times of my life but it has also been one heck of a rollercoaster. From my body changing, my skin breaking out, aversions changing all my eating habits, I have been fine dealing with them all. However, there has been one pregnancy side effect that has been giving me a real run for my money: wonderful pregnancy hormones and the emotions that accompany them. These are the hormones that make you cry your eyes out for not just a minute but for hours on end, on and off. The very hormones that make you cry when a cute commercial comes on, make you feel agitated without warning, and then cause you to break into hysterics for absolutely no reason at all.
I think for many, especially my husband, he would probably say “well what else is new?” but there is indeed a reason this happens to us mamas. Due to raised levels of estrogen and progesterone in our system, our bodies and minds tend to get thrown into bit of a tailspin. These very hormones can cause us to flip the switch from calm to flood gates in the blink of an eye.
However, as I am currently in the throws of this all (Seriously I am writing this post and acting like Diane Keaton’s character from Something’s Gotta Give-–watch here if you don’t know what I am talking about) I have written down a list of tips that I have found to help make this rollercoaster ride a bit more bearable.
Workout, Have Sex, Do Both
Exercise for myself is my version of therapy. It is what I do to unwind and just release any type of stress or tension I may be feeling. Just as Elle Woods pays mention to in the movie Legally Blonde, it is true that exercise provides a body a thing called Endorphins. This hormone is responsible for making you happy. It is the high you get from running or euphoria you receive after having sex. In simplest terms, it is a feel good hormone. So moral of the story, when you are feeling down, go hit the gym and then come home and get your groove thang on. You can tell your significant other that I say “your welcome.”
Treat Yo’ Self
I don’t know about you but when I am feeling down and out, a good piece of chocolate and a movie is all I need. Now I’m not saying you should go buy a gallon of ice-cream and cry it out while shoving your face full but rather. Instead this should be a time where you do something for yourself. Now this can be anything. Take a warm bath, take a yoga class, get a pedicure, massage, cup of vanilla soft serve, go find a puppy to pet…whatever. As long as it isn’t harmful or detrimental in anyway, then do it!
Talk it Out
In the past, well before getting pregnant, I had the tendency to bottle things up only to then explode later down the road. It was passive aggressive and just not affective so I started practicing a very simple practice: talking. Being pregnant is a wonderful but also scary time because for many it is their first time and is unchartered territory. Whether it is your significant other, a family member, friend, hairstylist or therapist, find someone who perhaps knows the ropes and can lend some advice to help ease your pregnancy stresses. Or reach out to me, that is the point of my blog you know—create a community of mamas to support each other.
Remember to Eat As I’ve discussed in one of my previous posts, your body during pregnancy is not only supporting you but also your growing babe. While it is important to remember that we do not need to go overboard with our eating, we do need to remain conscious of the amount and time frame of which we are eating. This is especially important since low blood sugar can be a major cause of the crankies. This can be prevented by carrying small and healthy snacks with you when you are on the go and aiming to eat every 2-4 hours. Trust me, there is nothing worse than being HANGRY….It can be frightening.
Sleep it Off Ever hear the saying “never wake a sleeping dog?” Well same thing applies to us pregnant ladies. Seriously though, our bodies are doing miraculous things every day, helping form our little babe for about 40 weeks. So it should be of no surprise that from time to time get a little tired and in turn, cranky. I, for one, am definitely guilty of this so to help, I aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Sometimes it is more and sometimes it is less, but overall I have found that keeping a goal bedtime has helped significantly. Of course, for you mamas out there who may already have another little one, this may not always be so easy but it is still worth a try.
Influence your Emotions In moments like this, I try and practice the whole “fake it till you make it.” While I would never recommend bottling up your emotions, especially when they important, in cases like me today (when I’ve been a basket case for ZERO reason), sometimes just wearing a smile on your face can help. Today in particular, I put on a funny movie, followed it up with some good tunes and then continued on with my very (cough cough) happy day.
Ask for Help While I personally hate when people treat me like a diseased person because I’m pregnant, it is important to remember that we not over do it. The physical and emotional rigors of pregnancy are hard enough without adding piles of laundry, errands and perhaps for some, other kiddos to the mix. While it can be hard to do for us proud mamas, don’t be afraid to reach out to others in these situations and ask them help where they can. This way you aren’t spreading yourself too thin and some of the stress and pressure is off you.
Be Kind to Yourself
Like most people, I enjoy being happy and impart, making others feel just the same. When I learned I was expecting and the hormones started to slowly creep into existence, I was unsure as to how to handle my newfound crying behavior. I beat myself up for the days where I was feeling down for no reason or for days where I woke up cranky. This led me to then feel guilty and consequentially more emotional. However, what I have come to realize is that there are just somedays where I won’t always feel like a million bucks. I can’t overthink it and make it more than it should be. We all have our days, its basic human nature. Instead, I have learned to put on my waterproof mascara, grab a tissue or two (or 100 in my case) and just embrace it.
As you can see and hopefully relate, pregnancy hormones are for sure not the most pleasant thing to experience but aren’t uncommon either. While I know they can be challenging and annoying to cope with, I like to think of them as serving a purpose. I am going to be a mother now and am about to experience one of my most incredible journeys in my lifetime. Maybe, just maybe, these emotions are my bodies way of preparing my heart for something much bigger,more special and more loving than ever encountered before. Perhaps its a good, but annoying, lesson we will be thankful for.