Emotions during pregnancy and how to manage negative emotions

Your emotions might not necessarily only revolve around excitement when you’re pregnant.

Find out why this happens and how to manage emotions in pregnancy.

Hormonal changes in pregnancy along with your own personal circumstances can lead to strong emotions and moods. While partners don’t experience hormonal changes they can have strong emotions to deal with during pregnancy too.

Here we explain how the hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your emotions and how you can enhance your wellbeing.

Hormonal changes in pregnancy

As soon as a woman becomes pregnant, their body begins to prepare for safeguarding and maintaining the pregnancy.

This increases levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone in their blood.

Higher levels of progesterone and oestrogen are important for a healthy pregnancy, but are often the cause of some common unwanted side effects. This is especially true in the first trimester.

 Apart from sickness and irritation, it’s common to have mood swings and feel tearful or easily irritated.

Once the body has adapted to the higher levels of these hormones, the symptoms usually wear off.

However, some women will experience them throughout their pregnancy.

Emotions in pregnancy

Aside from emotional ups and downs caused by rising hormone levels in the first three months, the feeling of growing a new life can be exciting and awe-inspiring. It is also common to feel anxious, vulnerable and overwhelmed by the big changes that pregnancy and a new baby will bring. This can be particularly true for parents who are pregnant after previous loss or following fertility treatment.

There will be many things for mom to worry about :

  • What if I do something accidentally to harm the baby, like eating or drinking something I shouldn’t?
  • Should I stop having sex while pregnant?
  • What will the birth be like?
  • Will my life go back to normal afterwards, for example can I return to work?

Partners also experience similar concerns during pregnancy .

Coping with emotions during pregnancy

It can be hard to think clearly or feel positive when you are feeling worried and tired.

Taking good physical care of yourself, especially getting plenty of rest and sleep, may help to keep troubling emotions in proportion.

It can be helpful to eat several small, healthy meals a day and try to avoid sugary foods and fizzy drinks.

Gentle to moderate exercise can help to improve mood and general fitness in pregnancy, helping you prepare for labour and avoid some complications of pregnancy.


Finding out about benefit entitlements, midwife appointments, how you can eat healthily in pregnancy and what you might prepare for your baby can feel overwhelming.

Talk it out

Bottling up concerns could increase your anxiety. Discussing your feelings and worries with someone who makes you feel comfortable can help you regulate your emotions and limit worry and anxiety.
Talking to other expectant parents may also reveal that you are not alone in your experiences, as well as providing peer support. Joining an NCT antenatal course, a pregnancy yoga class.

Live in the moment

It may help to give yourself a rest, focus on your unborn baby and take time to enjoy the pregnancy. Or it might help to spend some time thinking about and doing things that aren’t related to the pregnancy. Maybe that includes indulging in your favourite hobby, catching up with friends or watching the new box office hit at the cinema

Calming techniques

Some people find listening to music and singing helpful in calming emotions and enhancing wellbeing in pregnancy. Writing about your emotions and noting down how you feel about stressful events can also be a good tool for managing stress and anxiety.

Research shows that for some pregnant women, massage can be good for reducing anxiety and boosting mood.

When you might need more support with your emotions

It is important to recognise that there is a difference between regular pregnancy emotions and a mental health issue. Pregnancy can be a time when parents experience mental health issues for the first time.

Around one in eight women experience depression or anxiety when they’re pregnant. And around one in ten dads experience antenatal depression. 

To reduce the emotions of mothers, please pay more attention to your mother during pregnancy.

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