If you are or ever have been pregnant, then you would know what it is like to feel cheery one moment and teary the next. While pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life and can promise joy at the end of its course, it has a darker side that is usually characterized by feelings of anger, irritability and anxiety.
While common amongst expectant women, these negative emotions are very real. They not only impact the mental health of mothers, but can also hinder the healthy development of their babies. As such, anger in pregnancy must be taken seriously and promptly dealt with.
Why Women Get so Angry During Pregnancy Time?
There are multiple reasons why women tend to experience anger during pregnancy. Fluctuation of hormones like estrogen and progesterone can result in feelings of anger and irritability. The most major hormonal changes occur during the first and early second trimesters and can result in frequent mood swings.
Furthermore, pregnancy is a life changing phenomenon and the thought of having a baby can be stressful. Their anxiety can be out of fear of labor or having to provide and care for their child in the future. Stress inducing thoughts can negatively impact women and can result in irritability and outbursts of anger during pregnancies.
Lastly, bearing a child is a process that can cause a lot of physical fatigue. Morning sickness, nausea and weakness can take a toll on the emotional well-being of women and make them more sensitive to mood swings during those nine months.
When to Consult with the Doctor?
Anxiety and anger are a part of daily life, even when you aren’t pregnant. Therefore, some instances of anger outbursts are normal during pregnancy and the negative emotions that an expectant woman may be feeling, usually subside on their own.
However, if a woman starts to experience uncontrollable anger during pregnancy more frequently such that it interferes with her daily life, then it is a matter of concern and a doctor or counselor must be consulted. They will help you in managing your anger to protect yourself and your child by prescribing medication or advising anger management therapy.
How Anger during Pregnancy can affect the Baby’s Health?
Research suggests that a major effect of anger during pregnancy can be on the health and development of the fetus. High stress levels in women cause increased secretion of cortisol which causes inflammation. Inflammation is a threat to the baby’s health and can result in lower birth weight and premature delivery.
Moreover, anger and anxiety also trigger the release of adrenaline in a woman’s body which constricts blood vessels and restricts the supply of oxygen to the fetus, thereby impacting proper growth.
The emotional state of women while they are expecting also impacts the emotional state of the fetus. Therefore, if a woman continues to feel angry and irritable during the course of her pregnancy, her baby is more prone to suffering from bad temper and anxiety.
7 Ways to Control Your Anger during Pregnancy?
Here are some ways you can learn how to deal with anger while you are pregnant:
- Eat Healthy
- Make a Journal
- Understand Your Situation and Others Too
- Talk to a Friend
- Enroll into Online Anger Management Class
1 – Rest
Rest is important, especially for women who are expecting. Allowing yourself to take a break from energy consuming activities such as work and getting sufficient sleep is vital to recharge. This reduces the fatigue and discomfort that your body experiences and prevents you from experiencing irritability and anger.
It can be hard to convince yourself to rest, especially if your daily routine involves going out and exerting yourself, or staying up till late in the night. In such cases, it is necessary to remind yourself to sit down and take a breather, nap even if it’s for a little while, and reset your sleep cycle.
2 – Eat Healthy
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet during your pregnancy is not only a requirement for the healthy development of your baby, but also helps you take care of your own mental health. Making sure that you eat well and don’t unnecessarily skip out on meals allows your body to stay energetic. This in turn prevents the fatigue that could result in feelings of anger and irritability.
Foods that you must eat during pregnancy to maintain high energy and nutrition levels should be rich in calcium, proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and fats. As such you must consume sufficient amounts of leafy vegetables, dairy products and meat. Also, remember to stay hydrated.
3 – Make a Journal
Journaling can be a very effective means to let go of your emotions. Managing yourself and keeping your anger in check requires that you channel your negativity and let it out of your system. But this needs to be done the right way, and not through anger outbursts for they not only make you feel worse, but also impact those around you.
During pregnancy, you can deal with your anger by listing down the reasons for the way you feel and then trying to figure out whether these triggers are valid or are bothering you because of your hormones. This can help you better understand your surroundings and also prevent you from hurting someone if your anger outbursts were over something trivial.
4 – Yoga/Meditation
Practicing yoga and meditation are excellent ways to channel negative emotions into positive ones. Both exercises make you feel calm and help you deal with anger, stress and irritability, while also keeping you physically active during your pregnancy. If you choose to meditate, you can look up videos online that can guide you on how to go about the process.
In the case of yoga, it is best that you choose prenatal yoga where the yoga positions are designed especially for expectant ladies. Also, make sure you consult an instructor to help you safely practice the exercise so that you don’t put yourself or your baby at risk.
5 – Understand Your Situation and Make Others Understand Too
Hormones are the reason behind much of the anger and irritability that expectant women face. It is necessary therefore, to recognize the cause behind the negativity that you may be experiencing during pregnancy and forgive yourself rather than beat yourself up for the way you are behaving.
It is also important that you explain your situation to those who may be impacted by your anger outbursts. You must explain to them the changes that your body is going through and the stress that the responsibility of child-bearing brings upon you which makes you prone to negative behavioral patterns. This will allow them to understand and give you the space that you may need.
6 – Talk to a Friend
You may feel anger during pregnancy over how you look, the morning sickness you have to suffer and the general fatigue that those nine months bring upon you. It is possible that your pregnancy rage makes you feel mad at your unborn baby or regret getting pregnant. In such a case, an important way for you to control your negativity is by opening up to a friend.
Rather than letting your frustrations build up and then come out in the form of anger outbursts, you must talk about your concerns to someone close to you who is willing to listen and can comfort you. This is a healthy way of dealing with anger because your friend may help you by giving useful advice or help you see the brighter side of your situation.
7 – Enroll into Online Anger Management Class
One of the best ways in which you can learn how to manage anger during pregnancy is by taking online anger management classes. In these classes, counselors help you understand your situation and cope with the negative emotions that harm your mental health and the health of your baby.
You can choose to take 4 hour , 6 hour, 8 hour or 52 hour courses depending on the intensity of your anger issues while you are expecting. You can rely on trained experts to guide you and give you tips so that you can keep yourself in check and during those nine months.
Anger during pregnancy is a common phenomenon and usually occurs due to fluctuating hormones in the body.
However, if frequent and uncontrollable, this anger needs to be dealt with so that it doesn’t affect the baby. There are 7 ways of managing anger during pregnancy including physical exercise, a healthy diet, channeling negative emotions through yoga and meditation and maintaining a journal, and taking anger management-related courses to learn how to release your anger more healthily.