Monday March 24 2014

Pregnancy Notes : Mood swings

By Christine Katende

For some, pregnancy is an excitement, but to others, it may be stressful, and most of the time mood swings are part of the package.

Dr Alex Masiko of Kutesa General Clinic, says mood swings can be as a result of physical stresses, fatigue or changes in the body metabolism. There is normally a secretion of estrogen and progesterone hormones. The changes in the hormone levels can affect the level of neurotransmitters which regulate mood. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that communicate information throughout the brain and the body.

Dr Masiko explains that the chemicals are responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells (neurons) and it is what the brain uses to tell the stomach to digest, heart to beat or lungs to breathe. He adds that they can as well affect the concentration, mood or even sleep.

“Pregnancy is good but at the same time a life changing event that is full of physical and emotional changes which will need professional intervention for one to have a positive experience,” he notes. “It might not be the expectant mother but those around her,” he adds, saying that most women experience mood swings during the first trimester between six to 10 weeks, then in the third trimester as the body prepares for birth.

Dr Masiko gives tips on how to manage mood swings;
•Take a break during the day to relax or rest.
•Always have a balanced diet.
•Talk to a counsellor or medical personnel.
•Take a walk.
•Get sufficient sleep.
•Have friends around to engage you.