Return of the pregnancy mood swings
Don’t worry, as you enter the last few days (yes days) of pregnancy not only is your baby nearly ready to share itself with the world, but your partner’s pregnancy mood swings are very nearly at the end; however, not before they gather in intensity to make a last minute sprint finish.
That’s right, mood swings are a common feature of late pregnancy. They are understandable from so many perspectives – not only is your partner nearing the end of an intensely taxing physical transformation, she is also about to undergo the most significant experience in the human spectrum: giving birth. So, you should brace yourself, accept that your partner’s head is not yet quite ready to stop turning 360, and try to enjoy what’s left of the pregnancy ride.
At this stage there is of course the possibility that she is calm and collected, coolly waiting for the big day to arrive. But it is more likely that she is lurching between elation and excitement which then quickly turns to anxiety and despair. All you can do at this stage is stay strong, keep steady, and don’t say or do anything drastic.
There are perhaps two things you should strive to ensure above all else:
- Make sure that you don’t unload all your pre-birth worries; she’s already coping with her own fears.
- Don’t get involved in any kind of argument. This may require some restraint on your part as her moods may make your partner irrational, unpredictable and frustrating.
Ways you can help
Try to be useful at home. This may mean giving your partner massages and running her warm baths and it may also mean some essential housekeeping; the last thing you and your partner want to be confronted with when bringing your newborn home is a house that resembles a bombsite.
- Take care of the washing (clothes and dishes) so that there is no backlog
- Ensure the fridge is suitably stocked
- Make sure there’s petrol in the car and mobile phones are kept charged
- Do some food shopping, for the things you use regularly
- Do some tidying to free up space, so there’s a feeling of freshness for the arrival of baby
Post pregnancy mood swings
And, sorry to have to break it to you, but pretty much as soon as the pregnancy mood swings end so do the post pregnancy mood swings begin.
There is a dramatic drop in hormonal activity following birth and this can lead to mood swings that may vary in intensity from a relatively mild case of the baby blues to a more serious development of postnatal depression.
Whatever the case, your partner is not alone: roughly 8 in 10 women experience some form of baby-related low after the birth.
Although you are the first and most important system of support, it is important to remember that if she is finding it difficult to cope, she should speak with a doctor: the NHS has a range of specialist support services for new families facing this postpartum challenge.