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by Jessica Denay

Related: pregnancy, mood swings, emotions, hormones, how to, control, tame, soothe, stress, tips, advice,

Pregnancy can be an emotional rollercoaster. Learn how to soothe stress and other negative emotions with these tips from Jessica Denay, author of "The Hot Mom to Be Handbook." You can use these soothing methods to relax your baby when the time comes, too.

pregnant woman listening to music on the couch

It's not only other people who may get under your skin during pregnancy; remember how you would blame PMS for all of your emotional or angry moments? Well, now you can blame pregnancy hormones - the supersized version of PMS. Sure, it's natural to have a crying fit at Pottery Barn because the new colors are just so beautiful and the next minute laugh hysterically at the bobble heads in the gift store next door. Sure. As you may know by now, mood swings are common during pregnancy. They are especially strong in the first trimester, but continue throughout. These ups and downs are all a natural part of the hormonal tidal flows surging through your body - those bursts of chemicals that are helping your baby grow, but that are not the norm for your metabolism (or your spouse's). These surges are also amplified by uncomfortable sensations in your body, worries about your pregnancy, and the emotional revolution in your lifestyle. Talk about learning to surf on the big waves.

There are several different suggestions for maintaining a more even keel - pregnancy vitamins, particularly B6; reducing sugar intake; regular sleep - all of which are extremely helpful. But there is one thing I know for sure: Trying to stop a mood swing in progress is like trying to stop an erupting volcano. In the moment, it's hard to believe that your emotions aren't real or rational. But if you can activate a small bit of awareness and a sense of humor right when you feel an overwhelming urge to gush, cry, scream, or laugh (beyond your norm), sometimes you can stop the Vesuvius Condition! Learning to soothe yourself now when you feel anxious, stressed, or emotional will certainly help you as you are raising your kids, and many of these techniques work well in relaxing your little ones as well.


Some tips on taming your mom-to-be mood swings:


Make music your best friend.

Create a CD or a play list of songs guaranteed to make you smile or calm you down any time you start feeling emotional.


Breathe deeply.

Listen to yourself inhale and exhale. (I use this with my son when he is on the verge of a meltdown. Having him focus on breathing in and out really distracts him.)


Count it down.

Taking a minute to count to 10 and back down again before you react tends to take a little of the edge off. This tip not only works for me today, but I have taught my son to count to 10 and back again when he is about to get worked up about something. It is amazing what a difference in reaction that little bit of time and shift of focus can make.


Excerpted from The Hot Mom to Be Handbook: Look and Feel Great from Bump to Baby by Jessica Denay.


Also see: Pre-Natal Yoga Centers in the New York Metro Area

How to Manage Back Pain During Pregnancy

Just for Moms: How to Manage Morning Sickness


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