If you’re pregnant, you may notice that tears come more easily to you. One of my pregnant friends started crying as she watched a Flintstones cartoon rerun of Pebbles and Bam-Bam as they got married. Another girlfriend burst into tears while watching a pet adoption commercial! You may find that you cry much more easily at events or situations that previously would never have made you shed a tear.
What causes the extra tears?
Your changing hormones.
From the time you conceive, the hormones estrogen and progesterone start rising. This increase in your hormones causes changes in the chemicals that send signals to your brain to regulate your mood. You may find yourself crying more often or becoming irritated easily. These mood swings are a normal part of pregnancy, especially in the first trimester.
New responsibilities and impending life changes.
A lot is happening in preparation for your newest addition and your to-do list just got longer, especially if you are pregnant around the holidays. The change may be welcomed, but it can also make you feel stressed. The realization that your baby will be entirely dependent on you soon can seem overwhelming.
Ways to cope
- Join our online community Share Your Story. You may find it helpful to connect and talk with other women going through a similar experience – you may even find someone getting teary eyed at the same rerun episode.
- Try to get a good night’s sleep every day or take cat naps. Getting enough Zzzs will help you handle any irritation or stress that comes your way.
- Eat healthy meals and snacks.
- Try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation. Or squeeze a walk into your afternoon – even ten minutes of brisk walking can reduce stress!
- Chat with your prenatal care provider. Often, just voicing your concerns and listening to a trusted professional can be enormously calming.
Fortunately, many women find their moods become more manageable in the second trimester. But, if you find you are feeling down or have symptoms of depression that last more than two weeks, or are feeling overly stressed, speak with your prenatal provider. There is much that can be done to help you feel better.
Have questions? Text or email AskUs@marchofdimes.org.