Emotional symptoms in pregnancy: which ones can occur?

During pregnancy, a series of changes occur in the woman – the most evident is the growth of the belly. However, emotional symptoms often occur as well.

Therefore, knowing more about what can happen in pregnancy is important to better deal with it and to enjoy this period full of changes.


Is it normal to have emotional symptoms in pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be accompanied by several emotional symptoms, such as stress and irritation.

Yes, it is perfectly normal to have emotional symptoms during pregnancy. This occurs for several reasons, from hormonal changes to changes in identity and self-image, which can lead to a whirlwind of emotions.

During pregnancy, female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone ) undergo major changes in their levels, which can cause a range of physical and even emotional symptoms.

It is similar to the process that occurs in PMS, in which women are more emotional due to hormonal fluctuation. These symptoms are more prominent in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Some of the most common emotional symptoms during pregnancy are:

Irritability and sensitivity

In the first trimester of pregnancy, it is common for women to show greater sensitivity to situations, as well as greater irritability.

This means that she may be offended by small things, or irritated by small things that would not normally irritate her.

This is mainly a consequence of hormonal fluctuations.

Emotional instability

Like irritability and sensitivity, emotional instability is also the result of hormonal fluctuations. The emotional of the pregnant woman becomes very unstable, and she can go from euphoria to sadness within a few minutes.

It is pertinent to emphasize that the emotional is not only affected by hormones, but also by the whole situation: having to take care of your own body properly, anxiety and preparations for the arrival of the baby, concern for your health, among others factors that can weigh heavily on the emotional.


Melancholy is a feeling of lasting sadness, often related to loss. Although the new mom is about to “win” a baby, melancholy can arise in response to a series of “losses” that she experiences during this period.

When pregnant and becoming a mother, the woman undergoes changes of identity and self-image, which is not bad, but the whole process deeply affects her emotions.

Changes always bring with them a kind of ” mourning “, so it is possible that the woman feels a mourning for the life she had before becoming pregnant.

This does not mean that she does not want to have the baby or that she regrets having become pregnant, it is just a normal emotional reaction when faced with a new reality.


Too much expectation about the pregnancy process and the baby’s arrival can generate a lot of anxiety in pregnant women.

She may worry too much about taking care of her own body, she may spend a lot of time thinking and wondering if the baby will come healthy, or even questions about the baby’s sex can make the future mom very worried and upset.

Distraction and forgetfulness

They are not emotional symptoms, but they are psychological symptoms that arise during pregnancy and can also worsen the mood swings of the pregnant woman.

Sleep patterns are often greatly affected by pregnancy, which impairs both the ability to concentrate and the ability to store new memories.

When can emotional symptoms in pregnancy be of concern?

The emotional symptoms can be so intense that the person may even appear to have changed his personality. However, this does not necessarily mean that the symptoms are worrying. Most of these symptoms are completely normal.

However, it is necessary to pay attention to some signs that may indicate that the emotional is not well beyond pregnancy. Some of them are:

  • Debilitating sadness most days;
  • Neglect of their own care;
  • Frequently irritability, which can result in physical aggression;
  • Frequent acute anxiety attacks;
  • Anxiety that causes panic attacks.

What can pregnancy stress do to your baby?

Stress can affect the proper development of pregnancy.

The stress during pregnancy can be harmful to the baby, as is the release of cortisol and inflammatory cytokines, which crosses the placenta and reaches the baby, which can cause changes in development.

Some of these changes are:

  • Increased chances of developing allergies;
  • Low weight at birth;
  • Premature birth;
  • Greater insulin resistance;
  • Tendency to obesity;
  • Higher chances of having infections (respiratory, ear, among others);
  • Increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease;
  • Development delay;
  • Brain changes that can lead to problems such as learning difficulties, hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, among others.

Because of these possible sequelae, it is extremely important that the pregnant woman be able to manage her stress well. For this, it is necessary the support of all those close to you, as well as trying to maintain a more peaceful routine.

I’m pregnant and I keep thinking bad things: is it normal?

Yes, it is perfectly normal to have bad thoughts during pregnancy.

Such thoughts can be of the most varied, such as “I’m not sure I want to have a baby”, “I don’t feel ready to be a mother”, “I won’t be able to bear it until the end”, even “I want my body back”, as if the baby was stealing the mother’s body.

It is also common for doubts to arise about what the mother thinks she should be feeling and what she is really feeling. In other words, many future mothers feel that they do not love their children yet and are afraid that they will not be able to love them when they are born.

However, it is worth noting that the mother is not always able to establish an affective relationship with the baby while the baby is still in the womb – several times, this only really happens when the baby is born.

However, this does not mean that she loves her child less or that she did not want to have him or anything. Some people just need to know their children before they love them, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Some women may feel hatred or contempt for pregnancy, and also feel guilty for having this kind of feeling about their children’s pregnancy.

However, it is pertinent to remember that the pregnancy is temporary and does not define how the mother will feel about the child for the rest of her life. Therefore, feeling uncomfortable with pregnancy should not be considered a problem.

To deal with these thoughts, some recommendations are:

  • Meditation;
  • To be distracted by some leisure and entertainment activities;
  • Express your fears and afflictions with a trusted person;
  • Trying to talk to the baby while he is still in the womb, trying to establish a positive bond since before he arrived in the world.