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Crying easily early sign pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms, and Ectopic Pregnancy


Early signs of pregnancy – Kiwi Families

…could I be, pregnant? You might have asked yourself this little question in the quiet recesses of your mind. Our instincts are still a little understood factor in pregnancy prediction. But that first little question may in fact itself be an early sign of pregnancy. Perhaps you’ve been on high alert for the slightest changes. Or it could be that even the idea of it is a surprise! For some women, intuition tells them before their body ever does. However you are alerted to it, there is no doubt that if you are pregnant, things will change quite a lot in that body you know so well.

I just knew. Having lost three pregnancies before, I picked it up very early on. Plus I was watching like a hawk! I also dreamt I was having twins the day before I had a scan at 8 weeks, and it was true! Poor husband nearly fell off his chair though! -Pip

Early signs of Pregnancy

  • Tiredness
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Heightened sense of smell
  • Metallic Taste in mouth
  • Breast changes
  • Unexplained emotional outbursts

Early signs of pregnancy: The Crash

I just had tiredness like I had never felt before. I was like a zombie! My partner had to help me off the sofa and into bed each night. It wasn’t until we knew I was pregnant, that the tiredness made sense -Jess

You might find that you are suddenly exhausted. Unplanned lunch hour kips? Face-planted and drooling on the couch at 7pm? Going to the gym might be harder work than last week. And when you wake from your naps, you might feel like you haven’t slept at all. If you are really tired, listen to your body and nap as much as you can!

Early signs of pregnancy: The Dash

“I was going to the loo what felt like every five minutes and getting up at least twice every night. It’s one way to get you used to sleep deprivation!” -Kylie

Very early on, your body will surge with hormones. HCG, a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropic, begins to proliferate in your system. HCG is the reason you might feel the need to pee far more often than normal, but it is also the hormone that identifies pregnancy on that little test strip. Needing to pee more often is a normal early sign of pregnancy. It doesn’t mean there is anything different about your bladder, you’re just getting signals to pee more frequently from the changing hormones. Many women report frequent urination as one of their earliest pregnancy signs, so, if you are you suddenly finding yourself getting up at night to pee… you might be “up the duff”!

Early signs of pregnancy: The Retch

 I became very nauseous pretty much from the day after conception. Both times I went to my GP and said I think I’m pregnant. Both times my GP said I had gastro. Both times I was right. -Sara

Nausea can be one of the early signs of pregnancy, but is far more common after six weeks. This is because, for the first six weeks after baby nestles in, all of the nutrition s/he needs is provided by the sac that surrounds the embryo. After that and for the entire first trimester, your body is working overtime making a placenta to take over the job of feeding your growing baby. Building a placenta is a massive job for your body and will draw on your own nutritional resources. You might feel nauseous in the mornings only, but some women report nausea at all times of the day and night. Small, nutritious meals and snacks might help. Here are some other pregnancy nausea remedies that might help you if you are not one of the lucky mums to escape this early sign of pregnancy.

Early signs of pregnancy: The Stretch

It was trying to do up my work pants but the fastener wouldn’t meet the other side! That made me think twice. I racked my brains to see if I could remember when I had my last period, and that is when it began to dawn on me. -Nina

It might not seem possible that this could be such an early pregnancy sign, maybe you’ve only been pregnant for what seems like five minutes, but you can’t do up your pants! What is going on? That little bean in your tummy is minuscule, so why do you feel so suddenly …huge? When your pregnancy begins, your body might slow down the transit of food through your gastrointestinal system, allowing more time for the nutrients to be absorbed. Slower transit can mean more gas production and bloating after meals. You can try smaller more frequent meals, but this uncomfortable early sign of pregnancy might just be your body telling you, you’re “preggers”. It is never too early to find clothes that will stretch to fit. Being comfortable can make a big difference to how you manage early pregnancy. See our guide to maternity clothing. Might be time to find some stretchy relief!

Early signs of pregnancy: The Smell

I was in Nepal, and one day everything smelt ok (well, ok for Nepal) and the next I was dry retching. My husband just laughed and said “You’re pregnant -Clare

Have you suddenly “gone off” foods you loved? Do you notice that your sense of smell and/or taste has become highly sensitive? Were you an avid coffee drinker and now, just the smell of it makes you retch? Can you smell the kitchen rubbish contents from your bedroom? Changes in these senses are also a common early sign of pregnancy. Your body is on high alert for things to avoid that might be a threat to your system. Eating well during pregnancy is essential for your wellbeing, and the baby’s. Want to know what to eat for both of you?

Early signs of pregnancy: The Taste

I was hoping I was pregnant just before my period was due and got a negative pregnancy test result, so I decided to have a drink to cheer myself up… THANKFULLY, for some strange reason, the bubbles didn’t taste any good! I got a positive test as soon as my period was late. -Julie

This early sign of pregnancy is very common. A strange taste in the mouth that won’t go away, described by some as a ‘metallic’ taste; this early warning sign can actually be noticed within days of conception, long before anything shows up on a pregnancy test strip. Have you noticed a different taste in your mouth that won’t go away when you eat or drink? Might be an early sign that you are expecting.

Early signs of pregnancy: The Boobs

My nipples resembled small tea cups from about the day after. By the second pregnancy, my husband just noticed and said, ‘Well, last night obviously worked!. -Sarah

The hormone storm that is racing around your body might have an immediate effect on your breasts. They will have a very important role to play down the track, so mother nature wastes no time making the adjustments that will be needed; while these changes are happening your boobs might ache, become sensitive to the touch, and the areola often becomes darker as your breast tissue enlarges. Sometimes even within days of conception, your nipples might become swollen and sensitive to the touch.

Early signs of pregnancy: The Tears

I burst into tears for absolutely no reason a few days after conception. I remember crying and saying, I don’t know why I’m crying, I’m not even sad! -Dawn 

With so much going on inside that body of yours; hormones and tiredness and nausea and all the biological changes, becoming extremely emotional is more rational that it seems. However, if you are pregnant and don’t know it, your tearfulness might make no sense to you and those around you. Are you dissolving into tears during the news or adverts on TV? Do you sometimes cry without being able to put your finger on why that is? Congratulations mum. Might be an early sign that you have a “bun in the oven.”

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Early signs of pregnancy | AfterThird

We all know that so-called “morning sickness” is a common early sign of pregnancy, but it is just one of the many possible changes that your body may experience to alert you that you are pregnant. In fact, 96% of women report that they experience at least three different physical signs of pregnancy that indicate that the time has come.

Not all women experience the same first signs of pregnancy, and some might not experience any. It is important to remember that all women and all bodies are different, and therefore it is important that the range of possibilities are more understood.

So, what else might you expect to see as early signs of pregnancy?

Possible First Signs of Pregnancy

  • Tender or swollen breasts: This is the most common early sign of pregnancy, with 23% of women surveyed reporting this as their first symptom.
  • Missed period: This may or may not be a first indicator, as many women experience light bleeding after the attachment of the egg to the uterine wall. Many women report other signs prior to the first missed period.
  • Nausea: An upset stomach and vomiting are common during pregnancy, with 70-80% of women reporting it is as a symptom.
  • Feeling extra tired: Hormone changes, increased blood production, and rapid physical changes can lead to fatigue.
  • Mood swings and crying spells: As hormones increase and the reality of the big life change sets in, a woman may find herself easily teary or feeling “out of sorts.” Some also report increased feelings of stress.
  • Mild tummy cramps: These cramps may seem very similar to menstrual cramping and take place due to the growth of your uterus.
  • Bloating: While weight gain in an of itself is not typical during the first trimester, because of the growth of the uterus and changes in hormones some women may experience feelings of heaviness or bloating in the abdomen.
  • Heartburn: One of the less-recognized signs of early pregnancy; heartburn can occur as hormones cause the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to relax. While it is possible to experience in early pregnancy, it more commonly occurs later in the cycle.
  • Food craving and food aversion: While this is one of the more well-known symptoms of pregnancy, the cause is unknown but might be related to the body lacking in some nutrients and being overloaded with others.
  • Lower back pain: Some 50-70% of women will experience back pain during their pregnancy. In early pregnancy, it is likely related to the same factors that cause cramps, ie the sudden growth of the uterus.
  • Headaches and dizziness: While more likely to occur later in pregnancy, headaches and an overall dizzy feeling can occur as the body works to increase blood flow to the fetus.

Time to test?

Remember, the above list is just a list of possible early signs of pregnancy. You may experience some of the above symptoms without being pregnant and you may be pregnant without experiencing any. If you suspect you may be pregnant, it is important that you seek out confirmation through a pregnancy test.

Let us support you!

Whether this is your first pregnancy or not, it will be a lot of fun preparing for the next nine months. Let us help design a custom pregnancy and birth plan for you! Contact us today for individualized referrals and support.

For further reading:

Preparing for birth: How a doula can help

Expert tips: Getting ready for the transition into parenthood

Becoming a parent: Stories from our providers


Emotions during pregnancy | NCT

Your emotions might not necessarily only revolve around excitement when you’re pregnant. So you’re not alone if you’re feeling strong moods and emotions. Find out why this happens and how to manage mood swings in pregnancy.

Normal hormonal changes in pregnancy

As soon as you become pregnant, your body begins to prepare for safeguarding and maintaining the pregnancy. This increases your levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone in your blood. Read more about what these hormones do in your body in our article about pregnancy hormones.

High levels of progesterone and oestrogen are important for a healthy pregnancy, but are often the cause of some common unwanted side effects. This is especially true in the first trimester. 

Apart from the morning sickness and tiredness, you might have mood swings and feel tearful or easily irritated (Society for Endicrinology, 2018). Once your body has adapted to the higher levels of these hormones, the symptoms usually wear off. But some women will experience them throughout their pregnancy. 

Normal emotional changes in pregnancy

Aside from emotional ups and downs caused by rising hormone levels in the first three months, the feeling of growing a new life can be exciting and awe-inspiring (Healthtalk.org, 2019). It is also common for women to feel anxious, vulnerable and overwhelmed by the big changes that pregnancy and a new baby will bring (NHS Inform, 2019).  

Even if you feel excited by your pregnancy, you will undoubtedly have some unsettling thoughts. Perhaps there will also be some difficult decisions to make. Most women have many questions that they ask of themselves. They might doubt their ability as a mother, how their relationship might change or how they will manage financially (Tommy’s, 2019a). Other normal worries include:

If you experienced problems with a pregnancy before, you might also worry about it happening again (Tommy’s, 2019a).

Managing emotions during pregnancy

It’s hard to think clearly or feel positive when you are feeling unwell and tired. Taking good physical care of yourself, especially getting plenty of rest and sleep, will help to keep troubling emotions in proportion (MIND, 2019).

It’s also important to eat several small healthy meals a day and try to avoid sugary foods, alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks (NHS, 2019; NHS Start4life, 2019).


Gentle to moderate exercise can help to improve mood and general fitness, and benefits your growing baby and your labour (Tommy’s, 2019b). Try to build in some activity every day. Avoid contact sports or any strenuous exercise, particularly if you weren’t active before your pregnancy (NHS, 2019).

Reduce other sources of stress if you can, and find ways to boost your emotional wellbeing. Try to deal with worries one at a time, rather than feeling swamped by them (Tommy’s, 2019b).

Finding out about benefit entitlements, midwife appointments, what you should eat and what you need for your baby can feel overwhelming. So starting a to do list can help you get these things organised. This NHS one has lots of useful information.

Talk it out

Bottling up your concerns will only increase your anxiety (Tommy’s, 2019). Discuss your feelings and worries with whoever you feel comfortable with. That might be your partner, friends, wider family, or your midwife.

Talking to other women or couples may also reveal that you are not alone in your experiences. Joining an antenatal course like those from NCT, a pregnancy yoga class, or a ‘bumps and babies’ group can give you an instant support network.  

Live in the moment

Try to limit the time you spend mulling over your concerns, and give yourself a rest from being future-oriented. Instead, focus on your unborn baby and take time to enjoy being pregnant.

Many expectant mums find it helpful to practise mindfulness techniques or do something they enjoy (MIND, 2019). Using mindfulness can give your brain a rest from worrying, which will improve your mood and may help you to see things more clearly and in perspective (Dunn et al, 2012).

Listening to music can be helpful in calming emotions and enhancing wellbeing in pregnancy (Nwebube et al, 2017). Some mums also like to keep photos or diaries to remind them of better times on days when they’re feeling down. Writing about your emotions and noting down how you feel about stressful events can also be a good tool for managing stress and anxiety (Ulrich and Lutgendorf, 2002).

When you might need more support with your emotions

It is important to recognise that there is a difference between normal pregnancy emotions and a mental health issue. Pregnancy can be a time when women experience mental health issues for the first time (NHS, 2019).

More than one in eight women experience depression or anxiety when they’re pregnant, or sometimes both (NICE, 2014). Always see your GP or your midwife if you:

  • have prolonged feelings of sadness
  • have intrusive thoughts that you can’t control
  • have lost interest in things you normally enjoy
  • find yourself engaging in repetitive patterns of behavior, like repeatedly washing your hands or checking social media
  • feel worthless
  • feel unable to concentrate or make decisions
  • have difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • have lost your appetite
  • are having panic attacks
  • feel morbidly fearful of giving birth
  • have thoughts about suicide.

(Tommy’s, 2019b; MIND, 2019)

If you have had depression or anxiety or any other mental health diagnosis in the past, then talk through this with your midwife early in your pregnancy. A relapse can be possible during pregnancy or after you give birth (NICE, 2014).

This page was last reviewed in January 2019

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

NICE publishes a booklet Mental health problems during pregnancy and after giving birth covering antenatal and postnatal depression.

SANDS is a charity which can help and support parents suffering grief and bereavement following the loss of a baby. 


10 pregnancy symptoms you’ll have before a positive pregnancy test

From sensitive nipples to cramping, here are some of the early signs that suggest you might be pregnant.

The two week wait can be brutal for even the most resilient people. Those two weeks often result in a somewhat obsessive analysing of every little symptom, which let’s face it, can also be signs that your period is coming.

So what signs might you experience in the early days before a pregnancy test is likely to show an accurate result? We’ve put together 10 of the most common early signs of pregnancy.

1. Sensitive nipples 

Many women report experiencing sensitive nipples due to the increase in the hormones, estrogen and progesterone. In early pregnancy, your breasts will begin to gain more fat and milk ducts increase in size, which can also add to the sensitivity. Your areolas will also become darker, but this generally occurs further in than the first few weeks.

One mum described the sensation akin to “razor blades against the nipples” so if this sounds familiar, you may just be about to find out you’re pregnant.

Want to join the family? Sign up to our Kidspot newsletter for more stories like this. 

Ouch! That water can hurt. .. Source: iStock.

For more information about the joys and struggles of pregnancy, visit our birth page.

2. Implantation bleeding

When the blastocyst (ball of cells) implants into the wall of the uterus, some women will experience light bleeding. This is often described as ‘spotting’ and it’s not something every expectant mother will experience. It can sometimes be mistaken for an early period but is usually nothing to be concerned about.

According to The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, “One in four women will bleed in early pregnancy, many of whom go on to have a healthy baby.” The hospital also urges any women experiencing any bleeding during pregnancy to contact a health professional so that they can investigate and treat if necessary. Read more information in the hospital’s Pain and Bleeding in Early Pregnancy fact sheet.

3. Cramping

This is a difficult one, as it can also mean your period is on its way too, but some women experience light cramping in the first weeks or even months of conception. This can be as a result of a number of things such as implantation, the uterus expanding, or a corpus luteum cyst which releases progesterone until the placenta takes over at around 12 weeks. Again, if you’re even concerned, contact your general practitioner or obstetrician.

The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne advise patients to head to their local emergency department if: their bleeding is heavy enough to soak through two pads per hour, they are passing golf ball-sized clots, are experiencing severe abdominal pain or shoulder pain, they have fever or chills, are experiencing dizziness or fainting, or have unusual smelling vaginal discharge.

4. Extreme tiredness

Many a woman has tweaked that they are pregnant after falling asleep sitting up at 3pm. If you’ve had a few too many late nights then disregard this one, but if you’re otherwise well-rested yet still find yourself battling the nods before dinner time, this may be an early sign that you’re pregnant.

NSW Health advises pregnant women to sleep on their side to avoid stillbirth following evidence which showed “sleep position can halve the risk of a late-pregnancy stillbirth.”

Falling asleep at your desk could either mean you’re just tired, or pregnant. Source: iStock.

5. Nausea

This wouldn’t be a symptoms list without morning sickness. Some experience nausea in the very early days of pregnancy, either in the form of subtle weakness and unease in the stomach, or in the more extreme cases, actual vomiting. This is often worse in the morning on an empty stomach, so if you experience pregnancy nausea, try snacking on a few crackers to help settle the tummy.

6. Nighttime bathroom visits

When you’re in the final stages of pregnancy, your unborn baby will most likely put pressure on your bladder, causing the urge to pee to become more frequent. But did you know this could also be an early symptom of pregnancy too? Right from conception, your body will begin to expand to accommodate the tiny human it’s about to start growing, and this, along with the pregnancy hormones creating more blood flow, can often result in those 2am wake-ups to empty the bladder.

7. Constipation

The hormone progesterone has been known to slow down the bowels, and can become a problem for pregnant women as their body produces more of the hormone. If you’re taking a preconception vitamin that contains iron, this can also compound the problem. If this is you, keep up your water intake!

The Australian Government Department of Health suggests the following steps to help reduce constipation:

  • Increasing fluid intake
  • Supplementing with dietary fiber
  • Discuss the use of laxatives with your healthcare provider if the above two options don’t work.

Progesterone can slow down the bowels and cause constipation. Source: iStock.

8. Change in taste

Some women report their tastes altering from very early on during pregnancy. Some report having a metallic taste in their mouths, while others experience a change in tastes or even an increase in saliva. Some even report bleeding gums when brushing their teeth, which is also related to changes in the mouth.

So if you notice you’re suddenly averse to your usual late-night chocolate binge, or no longer appreciate the smell of a fresh coffee in the morning, then perhaps you might be about to come into some exciting news.

9. Feeling light-headed or dizzy

Dizziness and/or headaches can also be a result of morning sickness, but even if you’re not feeling nauseous, feeling light-headed or dizzy could be a sign that you’re pregnant. This is thought to be related to the increased blood supply and changes in the circulatory system, or even possibly low blood sugar in the early stages of pregnancy.

Eating small but more frequent meals and dressing in non-restrictive clothing is a good idea if you’re prone to dizzy spells, and if you feel faint, lie down or sit with your head between your legs then seek medical attention.

10. Mood swings

Many women experience mood swings in early pregnancy. Again, the change in hormone levels is to blame for the fact that you’re crying over Friday night football or getting angry over a TV cooking show.

Of course, many of these symptoms are considered ‘normal’ for many women, but if you’re experiencing multiple, you might want to do a test when you can.

A test is the best way to find out if you’re pregnant. Source: iStock.

To help you on your journey to conceiving, you can take prenatal vitamins and supplements that will keep you in good health and ease some of the less-than-pleasant side effects of pregnancy.

Depression in pregnancy | Tommy’s

What is antenatal depression?

Antenatal depression is when you feel sad all the time for weeks or months during your pregnancy. The condition can vary from mild to severe and can affect women in different ways.

Some women have depression after having a baby. This is called postnatal depression. 

Pregnancy can be a very emotional experience and it can sometimes be difficult to know whether your feelings are manageable or a sign of something more serious. Pregnancy hormones can affect your emotions, you may also have difficulty sleeping and you may be feeling sick. This can all make you feel low.

Trust yourself. You are the best judge of whether your feelings are normal for you. Talk to your midwife or GP if you think you have any symptoms of depression and they last for more than two weeks.

Depression is a mental health condition and not a sign of weakness, something that will go away on its own or that you should just ‘snap out of. Depression can be treated with the right care and support.

What are the symptoms of antenatal depression?

“Pregnancy is meant to be such a happy time but because we don’t talk about mental health in pregnancy women don’t know that it can be a very different story.”

Abby, mum of one. Read more…

Typical signs of depression include if you:

  • feel generally down most of the time
  • can’t be bothered with things
  • can’t concentrate or make decisions
  • don’t enjoy life
  • feel tearful
  • feel irritable and don’t want to be with other people
  • feel restless and agitated
  • lose your self-confidence
  • feel worthless
  • feel guilty
  • think about harming yourself or suicide.

You may not have all these symptoms and they may come on gradually or you may suddenly start to feel very low.

If you feel like you want to harm yourself or feel like you want to die, it’s important to tell someone. This could be a family member, friend, your GP or midwife. Help is available now if you need it. You can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

“I wasn’t sleeping well and I’d wake up with that horrible feeling of doom starting every day. I’d cry at the drop of a hat about things that wouldn’t normally make me cry.” 

Stephanie, mum of two. Read more…

How common is it?

Depression in pregnancy is very common. Around one in every ten pregnant women has antenatal depression.

“I just started feeling snappy, not my usual self at all – I shrugged it off at first and thought it was just my hormones playing up. However, it started to get worse. I knew I really wanted the baby, but I didn’t feel like I wanted it. ” 

Clare, mum of one

What causes depression?

You may be more likely to get antenatal depression if you:

  • have had depression before
  • have anxiety
  • are going through a very difficult life event, such as a bereavement or divorce
  • don’t have support from family or friends
  • are having an unplanned pregnancy
  • have experienced domestic abuse or violence.

But anyone can get depression in pregnancy, even if they have no experience of anything in this list. It can happen out of the blue and affects women from all walks of life. You are not alone. 

What should I do?

Tell your midwife or doctor how you feel.  Some women feel very distressed or guilty at feeling low at a time when everyone expects them to be happy. Remember that healthcare professionals won’t judge you. They understand that depression is a mental health condition. It is not your fault, or something that you just need to ‘get over’ or move on from. They will focus on helping you find the right treatment and support so you can take care of yourself and your baby.  

If you find it difficult to talk about your thoughts and feelings, you could write down what you want to say first, or you may want to have someone with you. The important thing is to let someone know so that you can get the right help as soon as possible. 

It’s important to tell the midwife or doctor if you have had depression in the past because you may be more likely to get depression in this pregnancy or after you give birth. They can then give you the best support to reduce the chances of you getting depression again.  

“I felt very tired, every time I sat down I’d just doze off to sleep. I never seemed to feel that glowing period that everybody talks about.”

Emily, mum of three. 

What is the treatment for depression?

Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies (such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy and medicines.

Everyone is different, so treatments that may work for some people may not work for others. Your doctor will help you decide what’s best for you. You will probably also be referred to a perinatal mental health specialist and will be monitored more closely during and after your pregnancy.

The treatment you have will be your decision. Your healthcare professional can help you by talking to you about what you’d like to do and explaining the risks and benefits of all options.

They will also talk to you about:

  • what’s best for your stage of pregnancy
  • any risks medication may pose to your baby
  • the risk that you might become unwell again without medication
  • how bad your symptoms are
  • whether you have had the condition before
  • how well the medication has worked for you so far, if you are already taking it.

If the recommended treatment is antidepressants, your doctor will discuss the risks of the treatment to your baby, including:

  • what is known about their safety during pregnancy
  • whether the baby may have some mild symptoms when born and whether breastfeeding may reduce the possibility of these occurring.

If you would like to stop medication when you are pregnant, but medication is the best treatment for your depression, your doctor should talk to you about your reasons for wanting to stop medication and about the risks, if any, to you and your baby.

If you understand the risks to you and your baby and still decide to stop medication, your doctor should talk to you about other ways to manage your symptoms. For example, they may suggest talking therapies.

How can I help myself?

Depression can make you want to hide away from the world and you may feel like you don’t want to do anything. But it is important to make sure you take care of yourself. Start with little activities, take things at your own pace and most importantly, ask for help if you need it. Here are a few ideas for what you can do. 

  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings, such as your partner, family or a friend.
  • Try not to feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed. These feelings are not your fault.
  • Try some of our top tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing.
  • Exercise  as much as you can. Keeping active will release some feel-good endorphins.
  • Eat well even if you don’t have much appetite.
  • Avoid alcohol  and smoking. This can harm your baby and make you feel worse.
  • Don’t take St John’s Wort (although it can help with depression when you aren’t pregnant, we do not know if it is safe for pregnancy).
  • Read about planning for emotional changes after birth.

10 Things That Might Surprise You About Being Pregnant (for Parents)

Pregnancy info is everywhere. At your first prenatal visit, your doctor will likely give you armfuls of pamphlets that cover every test and trimester.

Despite all this information, here are 10 common surprises that pregnancy can bring.

1. The Nesting Instinct

Many pregnant women feel the nesting instinct, a powerful urge to prepare their home for the baby by cleaning and decorating.

As your due date draws closer, you may find yourself cleaning cupboards or washing walls — things you never would have imagined doing in your ninth month of pregnancy! This desire to prepare your home can be useful — you’ll have fewer to-do items after the birth. But be careful not to overdo it.

2. Problems With Concentration

In the first trimester, tiredness and morning sickness can make many women feel worn out and mentally fuzzy. But even well-rested pregnant women may have trouble concentrating and periods of forgetfulness.

Thinking about the baby plays a role, as do hormonal changes. Everything — including work, bills, and doctor appointments — may seem less important than the baby and the coming birth. Making lists can help you remember dates and appointments.

3. Mood Swings

Premenstrual syndrome and pregnancy are alike in many ways. Your breasts swell and become tender, your hormones go up and down, and you may feel moody. If you have PMS, you’re likely to have more severe mood swings during pregnancy. They can make you go from being happy one minute to feeling like crying the next.

Mood swings are very common during pregnancy. They tend to happen more in the first trimester and toward the end of the third trimester.

Many pregnant women have depression during pregnancy. If you have symptoms such as sleep problems, changes in eating habits, and mood swings for longer than 2 weeks, talk to your health care provider.

4. Bra Size

An increase in breast size is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Breast growth in the first trimester is due to higher levels of the hormones

estrogen and progesterone . That growth in the first trimester might not be the end, either — your breasts can continue to grow throughout your pregnancy!

Your bra size also can be affected by your ribcage. When you’re pregnant, your lung capacity increases so you can take in extra oxygen, which may lead to a bigger chest size. You may need to replace your bras several times during your pregnancy.

5. Skin Changes

Do your friends say you have that pregnancy glow? It’s one of many effects that can come from hormonal changes and your skin stretching.

Pregnant women have increased blood volume to provide extra blood flow to the uterus and  other organs, especially the kidneys. The greater volume brings more blood to the vessels and increases oil gland secretion.

Some women develop brownish or yellowish patches called chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,” on their faces. And some will notice a dark line on the midline of the lower abdomen, known as the linea nigra (or linea negra). They can also have hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) of the nipples, external genitalia, and anal region. That’s because pregnancy hormones cause the body to make more pigment.

This increased pigment might not be even, so the darkened skin may appear as splotches of color. Chloasma can’t be prevented, but wearing sunscreen and avoiding UV light can minimize its effects.

Acne is common during pregnancy because the skin’s sebaceous glands make more oil. And moles or freckles that you had before pregnancy may get bigger and darker. Most of these skin changes should go away after you give birth.

Many pregnant women also get heat rash, caused by dampness and sweating. In general, pregnancy can be an itchy time for a woman. Skin stretching over the abdomen may cause itchiness and flaking. Your doctor can recommend creams to soothe dry or itchy skin.

6. Hair and Nails

Many women have changes in hair texture and growth during pregnancy. Hormones can make your hair grow faster and fall out less. But these hair changes usually aren’t permanent. Many women lose some hair in the postpartum period or after they stop breastfeeding.

Some women find that they grow hair in unwanted places, such as on the face or belly or around the nipples. Changes in hair texture can make hair drier or oilier. Some women even find their hair changing color.

Nails, like hair, can change during pregnancy. Extra hormones can make them grow faster and become stronger. Some women, though, find that their nails split and break more easily during pregnancy. Like the changes in hair, nail changes aren’t permanent. If your nails split and tear more easily when you’re pregnant, keep them trimmed and avoid the chemicals in nail polish and nail polish remover.

7. Shoe Size

Even though you can’t fit into any of your pre-pregnancy clothes, you still have your shoes, right? Maybe — but maybe not. Extra fluid in their pregnant bodies mean that many women have swollen feet and need to wear a larger shoe size. Wearing slip-on shoes in a larger size can be more comfortable, especially in the summer months.

8. Joint Mobility

During pregnancy, your body makes the hormone relaxin, which is believed to help prepare the pubic area and the cervix for the birth. Relaxin loosens the ligaments in your body, making you less stable and more at risk for injury. It’s easy to overstretch or strain yourself, especially the joints in your pelvis, lower back, and knees. When exercising or lifting objects, go slowly and avoid sudden, jerking movements.

9. Varicose Veins, Hemorrhoids, and Constipation

Varicose veins, usually found in the legs and genital area, happen when blood pools in veins enlarged by pregnancy hormones. Varicose veins often go away after pregnancy. To help prevent them:

  • avoid standing or sitting for long periods
  • wear loose-fitting clothing
  • wear support hose
  • raise your feet when you sit

Hemorrhoids — varicose veins in the rectum — are common during pregnancy as well. Your blood volume has increased and your uterus puts pressure on your pelvis. So the veins in your rectum may enlarge into grape-like clusters. Hemorrhoids can be very painful, and can bleed, itch, or sting, especially during or after a bowel movement (BM).

Constipation is another common pregnancy woe. It happens because pregnancy hormones slow the passing of food through the gastrointestinal tract. During the later stages of pregnancy, your uterus may push against your large intestine, making it hard for you to have a BM. And constipation can contribute to hemorrhoids because straining to go may enlarge the veins of the rectum.

The best way to deal with constipation and hemorrhoids is to prevent them. Eating a fiber-rich diet, drinking plenty of liquids daily, and exercising regularly can help keep BMs regular. Stool softeners (not laxatives) may also help. If you do have hemorrhoids, talk to your health care provider about a cream or ointment that can shrink them.

10. Things That Come Out of Your Body During Labor

So you’ve survived the mood swings and the hemorrhoids, and you think your surprises are over. But the day you give birth will probably hold the biggest surprises of all.

During pregnancy, fluid surrounds your baby in the amniotic sac. This sac breaks (or “ruptures”) at the start of or during labor — a moment usually referred to as your water breaking. For most women in labor, contractions start before their water breaks. Sometimes the doctor has to rupture the amniotic sac (if the cervix is already dilated).

How much water can you expect? For a full-term baby, there are about 2 to 3 cups of amniotic fluid. Some women may feel an intense urge to pee that leads to a gush of fluid when their water breaks. Others may only feel a trickling down their leg because the baby’s head acts like a stopper to prevent most of the fluid from leaking out.

Amniotic fluid is generally sweet-smelling and pale or colorless. It’s replaced by your body every 3 hours, so don’t be surprised if you continue to leak fluid, about a cup an hour, until delivery.

Other, unexpected things may come out of your body during labor. Some women have nausea and vomiting. Others have diarrhea before or during labor, and passing gas is also common. During the pushing phase of labor, you may lose control of your bladder or bowels.

A birth plan can help communicate your wishes to your health care providers about how to handle these and other aspects of labor and delivery.

Lots of surprises are in store for you when you’re pregnant — but none sweeter than the way you’ll feel once your newborn is in your arms!

11 Pregnancy Emotions You May Have When You’re Expecting

Everyone says it, and it’s true: Pregnancy emotions are a wild roller coaster ride if there ever was one. One minute you’re on top of the world, a gestating goddess incarnate. The next, you simultaneously feel like crying and yelling at every single person you see. 

Does it seem like every day you’re experiencing new feelings you didn’t even know existed? You’re not alone. Here are 11 pregnancy emotions you may go through. Hey, at least you get a baby in the end!

1. Yay, I’m pregnant! “Yee haw, I’m having a baby!” you may think after seeing that blessed double line on your pregnancy test. In that moment, you’re still basically feeling like yourself (aka morning sickness hasn’t kicked in yet), so it’s likely your head is quickly filled with visions of your baby and the type of pregnant woman you’re going to be. “I’m totally going to be one of those glowing pregnant women who takes artsy maternity photos in a field of flowers,” you may think. Yeah, okay.

2. Yikes, I’m really pregnant! Quickly following the excitement of a positive pregnancy test may be the worry and fear that can accompany a positive pregnancy test. “A baby?!” you may think as you envision yourself rocking and burping a small crying human at 4 a.m. Your heart is suddenly pounding and your mouth feels dry. Um, yay?

3. No joke, I literally might be dying (googles “has anyone ever died from morning sickness?”). Your plans of being a super healthy, all-natural earth mama may be dashed in the first trimester if and when morning sickness hits. Didn’t think it was possible to sustain on Saltines, ginger ale and peppermints for 12 weeks? Surprise!

4. I’m so tired, I want to go back to sleep three minutes after opening my eyes in the morning. Oh, the pregnancy exhaustion! How are you supposed to live this way? Go to work? Hold a conversation? How have pregnant women of the past gone on walking around and doing normal things when they’re this sleepy? How?!

5. This (sniff) Kia commercial (sniff) is so touching (sob). Making the pregnancy fatigue and nausea all the more fun is the fact that mood swings have made you super emotional at the same time. There comes a point in pregnancy when you can barely turn on the TV because everything — literally everything — makes you want to cry your little pregnant eyes out. Thanks a bunch, hormones. 

6. Have I always wanted to lash out at everyone this much? Who knew you could feel so sentimental and ragey all at once? Why do the sight of your husband’s dirty clothes on the floor and the snippy woman in the grocery store aisle make you seethe this way? Pregnancy emotions. They’re a beautiful thing (not!).

7. What is this? Is my energy actually returning? It’s a miracle! I’m actually feeling peppy again! Most women report  experiencing less fatigue and more spunk at some point in the second trimester. See ya, crackers and afternoon naps on the couch. Pass the burgers and my day planner!

8. I finally get what people mean when they say “glowing.” My hair! My skin! My nails! I’m a freaking baby-creating goddess! While you may have been feeling more “feeble chic” during the first trimester, the second trimester is when you may really come alive. Long, silky hair; radiant, Instagram-filtered-looking skin; healthy, pretty nails. All that along with an adorable baby bump, renewed energy and all-around positive thoughts. It’s happening. And it’s glorious.

9. Annnnd now I’m uncomfortable again. Where did my pregnancy glow go? Sometime in the third trimester (often in that last month or two), things can get really uncomfy again. Your tummy has gotten pretty darn big, for one thing. Also? Your organs feel squished, you’re frequently short of breath doing simple things like walking up the stairs, and you have to pee roughly 2,654 a day. Baby, you coming out soon?

10. If alphabetizing my spice rack and washing all my couch cushion covers fall into the category of “nesting,” then yeah, I’m nesting. Organizing (and reorganizing and re-reorganizing) is insanely satisfying while you’re waiting for your baby’s arrival. As is cleaning everything in sight. Hooray for nesting!

11. Welp, this is it! No looking back now. Towards the end of your pregnancy, you just surrender. Surrender to the whole array of pregnancy emotions coming your way. Surrender to the idea that the discomfort you’re feeling isn’t permanent. Surrender to the fact that your life is about to be forever changed (for the better). Once you do let go, it’s a beautiful thing. Why didn’t you do this all along?

Weirdest Pregnancy Symptoms

90,000 What do babies learn in the womb?

  • Leslie Evans Ogden
  • BBC Earth

Photo author, Thinkstock

communicating with parents. Training undoubtedly begins before birth, says the BBC Earth columnist.

When I was expecting my first child, like most expectant mothers, I received a bunch of unsolicited advice.

“Don’t eat spicy foods, especially garlic, especially when you feed.” But as a terrible fan of spicy food, I didn’t really listen. Cuisines differ markedly from culture to culture. Therefore, children who are born in the world’s spice capitals learn to taste the spice with their mother’s milk.

On my part, this was a pure guesswork, but given my tiny test subject’s excellent appetite, it seemed to me that he was not at all against the Thai curry and garlic dishes that he tasted through breast milk.

Photo Credit, EdelmannScience Photo Library

Pidpis to Photo,

Babies learn about mother’s culinary tastes before birth

Recent scientific research confirms that children learn about mother’s culinary tastes even before birth. But in fact, learning in the womb is not just limited to the taste of food. And it is also not unique to human babies. Experiments show that all kinds of animals, from small to large, begin to explore the world even before they are born.Babies closely observe the tastes, smells, sounds and even images available in the womb.

Can a baby learn to recognize the taste of garlic in a mother’s belly? Peter Gepper from the University of Belfast decided to find out this issue. He observed 33 children whose mothers preferred garlic dishes during pregnancy or did not eat garlic at all.

Author of the photo, Thinkstock

Pidpis to photo,

Children are sensitive to different tastes of breast milk

The scientist found that the culinary tastes of children persisted even years later, because those of them whose mothers consumed garlic during pregnancy happily ate potatoes with garlic even at 8 or 9 years old.

But how can human babies taste food in the womb? One theory, Gepper explains, is that the flavors get into the amniotic fluid, and when the fetus swallows it — from about the tenth week of pregnancy — “he tastes it.

Tastes can also enter the fetal blood directly through the mother’s blood. Garlic, for example, lingers in our body systems for several hours after eating. This explains why you can smell it at close range even the next day after eating.

Photo author, Thinkstock

Pidpis do photo,

Garlic and chili peppers have a very strong taste

Researchers have shown that not only strong tastes, but also, for example, carrots, can affect the culinary preferences of the fruit.

If these findings are unscientific to you, consider that for mammalian babies, taste and smell are important factors in triggering the sucking process.

“When a baby lays on the breast, he feels the same taste in his mother’s milk that he got used to in 30 weeks in the womb, and therefore he takes it well,” explains the scientist.“Feeding may become more problematic if it tastes differently.”

So it is not surprising that prenatal taste perception is widespread in mammals such as rabbits, rats, dogs and cats.

This mechanism has evolved to protect newborns from dangerous food, as well as so that they can recognize their mother. “This makes sense, because it is very important to be able to recognize someone who by nature is programmed to take care of us,” says Gepper.

This is especially important for animals that can be exploited other species, giving them their offspring for feeding.

While observing the behavior of the bird Malurus cyaneus (the nettle family), Australian scientists accidentally noticed that the females, while incubating their eggs, make special sounds that are very similar to the calls of their hungry chicks after they hatch from the eggs.

It is possible that in this way the mother teaches her unborn children special signals that they will call her after hatching. Scientists have tested this hypothesis and found that chicks who call their parents differently are fed less.Moreover, even very insignificant differences in signals affect the behavior of adult birds.

Photo author, David Tiplingnaturepl.com

Sign up to photo,

Malurus cyaneus

Other studies have shown that chicks and ducks teach singing.

Scientists Christopher Garsh and Robert Lickliter from Indiana conducted an experiment that resembles the tale of the ugly duckling. Experiments have shown that the chicks of the northern partridge give preference to the call of the Japanese quail, and not to representatives of their own species, if before birth in the incubator they played recordings of its singing to them.

What about human embryos? Are they able to learn sounds in the womb? Experiments by psychologist Athena Voulumanos of New York University have shown that babies give more priority to human speech than other sounds, as well as the language of their parents over other languages.

Interestingly, they learn their mother tongue not only from their mothers, but from other speakers as well. And the children of bilingual mothers, as a colleague Woolumanos from the University of British Columbia found out, reacted equally actively to both mothers’ mother tongues.

Photo by David Wellingnaturepl.com

Signs to photo,

Northern partridge (Colinus virginianus)

Can babies in the womb also learn to recognize musical melodies?

In one experiment by Finnish scientists, a group of late-stage pregnant women listened to the baby’s lullaby “The Little Star Flickers” almost daily. After the birth of the babies, using an encephalogram, the scientists tested the children’s reaction to small changes in the melody of the song.

The brains of babies who listened to it in the womb reacted much more actively to both versions of the melody (correct and incorrect) than the brains of those to whom the lullaby was not played. This suggests that the children recognized and remembered the melody.

One important consequence of this discovery is the need to pay particular attention to the sound environment of premature babies. If there is a lot of mechanical noise in the neonatal ward, children may memorize these sounds through speech sounds and subsequently have difficulty learning the language.

Author of the photo, Thinkstock

Signs to the photo,

Playing music to the stomach will probably not give results

However, scientists are skeptical about artificial modeling of the sounds that the fetus can hear. And the popularity of devices that play music directly to babies in the womb and are attached to the stomach or even have vaginal speakers is considered a commercial move.

It turns out, however, that babies of different animals in the womb are able to perceive not only tastes, smells and sounds.

An unexpected discovery was made by researchers observing sea cuttlefish – animals that, according to zoologists, have one of the richest behavioral repertoires in the world. Researcher Ludovic Dickel of the University of Cannes in Lower Normandy in France found that once the visual system of a cuttlefish begins to function, about three weeks before hatching from an egg, the animal begins to learn through sight.

In one experiment, Dickel and his colleagues showed cuttlefish embryos an image of crabs, which normally could not affect the embryos’ sense of taste or smell because they did not release chemicals.After hatching, cuttlefish that were shown crabs had a markedly higher preference for prey of the crustacean family than their peers, who did not receive visual cues before birth.

Photo author, David Fleethamnaturepl.com

Signals to the photo,

Eggs of the cuttlefish-pharaoh (Sepia pharaonis)

As the team of Ludovic Dickel found out, cuttlefish began to learn even earlier, four weeks before hatching. They sensed touches and chemical cues such as the scent of a predator, the European seabass.

The ability to quickly recognize the smell of danger is also inherent in salamanders and frogs.

Knowledge of the dangers of the environment in which an animal is born is an important survival method for amphibians. Many of them develop in a predatory environment, and 90-99% of the young may die before they develop from a tadpole to an adult.

Sometimes water bodies become safe, which allows active movement and search for food, however, in other periods the number of predators increases markedly, and in order to survive, animals are forced to be very careful.They learn about this from the many chemicals that surround them in the water and contain a lot of information about the environment.

Alicia Mathis, Missouri, is trying to use these early chemistry lessons to conserve the rare and endangered salamander, the Allegamian burrow.

Photo author, Visuals Unlimitednaturepl.com

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Ringed salamander (Ambystoma annulatum)

To increase the population of this species, the salamander is bred in captivity.And the scientist is trying to “familiarize” youngsters with the real-world dangers they might face when released into the wild.

This type of captive breeding is called “start”. Research has shown that what we learn about before birth can give us significantly greater benefits than previously thought.

90,000 Breastfeeding in the first month: what to expect

Not sure how to achieve lactation and increase milk production? If you need help, support, or just want to know what to expect, read our First Month Breastfeeding Guide

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The first weeks of breastfeeding are very stressful.If at times you feel that you cannot cope, know: you are not alone. Feeding your baby all day long is perfectly natural, and it promotes breast milk production, but can be quite tiring at times. Be patient, think about yourself and remember: after the first month, when milk production stabilizes, it will become easier.

How often should a baby breastfeed?

Babies are born with a small stomach, which grows rapidly along with an increase in milk production: in the first week it is no larger than an apricot, and after two weeks it is already the size of a large chicken egg. 1.2 Let the child eat as much as he wants, and when he wants. This will help him quickly regain the weight lost after birth and grow and develop further.

“Be prepared to feed every two to three hours throughout the day. At night, the intervals between feedings can be longer: three to four or even five hours, – says Katie Garbin, a recognized international expert on breastfeeding, – But there is no day to day, besides, all children are different. Some eat quickly and are full in 15 minutes, while others need an hour to feed.Don’t compare your breastfeeding regimen to that of other mothers – it is very likely that they will not find anything in common. ”

At each feed, give the baby a full meal from one breast and then offer the other, but do not worry if the baby does not take it. When the baby is full, he lets go of the breast and looks relaxed and satisfied – so much so that he can fall asleep immediately. Start on the other breast the next time you feed. You can monitor the order of the mammary glands during feeding using a special application.

Why does the baby ask for a breast all the time?

Breastfeeding is usually the most difficult during the first month. But do not think that since the baby is constantly hungry and asks for breast almost every 45 minutes, then you do not have enough milk.

In the first month, the baby must eat often in order to start and
stimulate mom’s milk production. This lays the foundations
for a stable milk supply in the future. 3

In addition, we must not forget that the child needs almost constant contact with the mother.The bright light and noise of the surrounding world at first frighten the baby, and only by hugging his mother, he can calm down.

Sarah, a UK mother of three, confirms: “Crying is not always a sign of hunger. Sometimes my children just wanted me to be there and asked for breasts to calm down. Use a sling. Place the cradle next to your bed. Don’t look at your watch. Take every opportunity to relax. Forget cleaning. Let the people around you take care of you. And not three days, but six weeks at least! Hug your child, enjoy the comfort – and trust your body. “

Should the baby be fed on a schedule?

Your baby is too young for a strict daily routine, so
forget about breastfeeding schedules and focus on his needs.

“Volumes have been written on how to feed a baby on a schedule, but babies don’t read or understand books,” says Katie. – All children are different. Some may eat on a schedule, but most may not. More often than not, over time, the child develops his own schedule. “

Some mums report that their babies’ scheduled feeding was great – but most likely these are just the few babies who would have eaten every four hours anyway. Adults rarely eat and drink the same foods at the same time of day – so why do we expect this from toddlers?

Offer your baby the breast at the first sign of hunger. Crying is already the last stage, so be careful for early signs: the baby licks his lips, opens his mouth, sucks on his fist, turns his head with his mouth open – looking for a breast. 4

What is Milk Rush?

At the beginning of each feeding, the hungry baby actively sucks the nipple,
thus stimulating the reflex of milk inflow – the movement of milk along the milk ducts. 5

“Stimulation of the nipples triggers the production of the hormone oxytocin,” explains Katy. “Oxytocin spreads throughout the body and causes muscle contraction around the milk-producing glands and dilation of the milk ducts. This stimulates the flow of milk.

If the tide reflex does not work, milk will not flow. This is a hormonal response, and under stress it may not work at all or work poorly. That is why it is so important that you feel comfortable and calm while feeding ”.

“Research shows that every mother has a different hot flush rhythm during one feed,” continues Katie. “Oxytocin is a short-acting hormone that breaks down in just 30-40 seconds after formation. Milk begins to flow, the baby eats, the effect of oxytocin ends, but then a new rush of milk occurs, the baby continues to suckle at the breast, and this process is repeated cyclically.That is why, during feeding, the child periodically stops and rests – as nature intended. ”

Milk flow can be accompanied by a strong sensation of movement or tingling in the breast, although 21% of mums, according to surveys, do not feel anything at all. 5 Katie explains: “Many women only feel the first rush of milk. If you do not feel hot flashes, do not worry: since the child eats normally, most likely, you simply do not understand that it is them. ”

How do you know if a baby is getting enough milk?

Since it is impossible to track how much milk a baby eats while breastfeeding, mothers sometimes worry that the baby is malnourished.Trust your child and your body.

After the milk flow, the baby will usually suckle more slowly. Some mothers clearly hear how the baby swallows, others do not notice it. But one way or another, the child himself will show when he is full – just watch carefully. Many babies do two or three approaches to the breast in one feed. 6

“When the child is full, it is noticeable almost immediately: a kind of“ milk intoxication ”sets in. The baby is relaxed and with his whole body makes it clear that he is completely full, – says Katie, – Diapers are another great way to assess whether the baby has enough milk.During this period, a breastfed baby should have at least five wet diapers a day and at least two servings of soft yellow feces, and more often more. ”

From one month of age to the start of complementary feeding at six months of age, the baby’s feces (if he feeds exclusively on breast milk) should look the same every day: yellow, grainy, loose and watery.

When is the child’s birth weight restored?

Most newborns lose weight in the first few days of life.This is normal and should not be a cause for concern. Typically, weight is reduced by 5-7%, although some may lose up to 10%. One way or another, by 10-14 days, almost all newborns regain the weight recorded at birth. In the first three to four months, the minimum expected weight gain is an average of 150 g per week. But one week the child can gain weight faster, and the other – more slowly, so it is necessary that the attending physician monitors the health and growth of the baby constantly. 7.8

At the slightest doubt or signs of dehydration, such as
dark urine, absence of stool for more than 24 hours, retraction of the fontanelle (soft spot on the head), yellowing of the skin, drowsiness, lethargy, lack of appetite (ability to manage for four to six hours without feeding), you should immediately consult a doctor. 7

What is cluster feeding?

When a baby often asks for breast for several hours, this is called cluster feeding. 6 Peak often occurs in the evenings between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm – just when many babies are particularly anxious and need close contact with their mother. Most often, mothers complain about this in the period from two to nine weeks after giving birth. This is completely normal and common behavior as long as the baby is otherwise healthy, eating well, gaining weight normally, and looking content throughout the day. 9

Cluster feeding can be caused by a sharp leap in the development of the body – during this period, the baby especially needs love, comfort and a sense of security.A child’s growing brain is so excited that it can be difficult for him to shut down, or it just scares the baby. 9 When a child is overworked, it is often difficult for him to calm down on his own and needs help from an adult. And breastfeeding is the best way to calm your baby, because breast milk is not only food, but also a pain reliever and a source of happiness hormones. 10

“Nobody told me about cluster feeding, so in the first 10 days I was just going crazy with anxiety – I was sure that my milk was not enough for the baby,” recalls Camilla, a mother from Australia. “It was a very difficult period.I was advised to express and supplement until I finally contacted the Australian Breastfeeding Association. There they explained to me what was happening: it turned out that it was not milk at all.

Remember, this is temporary. Try to prepare yourself a supper in advance during the day, when your baby is sound asleep, so that in the evening, when he begins to feed on the breast often, you can quickly warm up food and have a snack. If you are not alone, agree to carry and rock the child in turn so that you have the opportunity to rest.If you have no one to turn to for help and you feel that your strength is leaving you, put the baby in the crib and rest for a few minutes, and then pick it up again.

Ask a partner, family, and friends to help you with household chores, cooking, and caring for older children, if you have any. If possible, hire an au pair. Get as much rest as possible, eat well, and drink a lot.

“My daughter slept a lot during the day, but from 23:00 to 5:00 the cluster feeding period began, which was very tiring,” recalls Jenel, a mother from the United States, “My husband did his best to make my life easier – he washed, cleaned, cooked , changed diapers, let me sleep at every opportunity and never tired of assuring me that we were doing well. “

If you are concerned about the frequency of breastfeeding, it is worth contacting a specialist. “Check with a breastfeeding counselor or doctor to see if this is a problem,” Katie recommends. “Resist the temptation to feed your baby with formula (unless recommended by your doctor) until you find the cause. This may not be about limited milk production – perhaps the baby is not sucking it efficiently. ”

When will breastfeeding be easier?

This early phase is very special and does not last long.Although at times it seems that there will be no end to it, rest assured: it will soon become easier! By the end of the first month, breast milk production will stabilize, and the baby will become stronger and learn to breastfeed better. 2.3 Any problems with breast latching by this time will most likely have been resolved, and the body will produce milk more efficiently, so inflammation and milk leakage will begin to disappear.

“The first four to six weeks are the most difficult, but then things start to get better,” says Katie. “And by three months breastfeeding becomes very easy — much easier than sterilizing bottles and making formula.You just have to go through it! ”

The longer you breastfeed, the more benefits it comes from – from saving on formula and improving sleep 11-13 to strengthening your baby’s immunity 14 and reducing your risk of certain cancers. 15

“When you feel like you’re on the edge, try to keep from feeding to feeding and day to day,” advises Hannah, a UK mom. – I was sure that I would not make it to eight weeks.And now I’ve been feeding for almost 17 weeks now, and I dare say it’s very easy. ”

For what to expect in the next breastfeeding phase, read the resource Breastfeeding after the first month: What to expect



1 Naveed M et al. An autopsy study of relationship between perinatal stomach capacity and birth weight. Indian J Gastroenterol .1992; 11 (4): 156-158. – Navid M. et al. Relationship Between Prenatal Stomach Volume and Birth Weight Autopsy. Indian J Gastroenterol. 1992; 11 (4): 156-158.

2 Neville MC et al. Studies in human lactation: milk volumes in lactating women during the onset of lactation and full lactation. Am J Clinl Nutr . 1988; 48 (6): 1375-1386. – Neville M.S. et al. Female Lactation Study: Milk Amount in Lactating Women at Early and Peak Lactation. Am J Wedge Nutr. 1988; 48 (6): 1375-1386.

3 Kent JC et al. Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production. J Obstet , Gynecol , & Neonatal Nurs . 2012; 41 (1): 114-121. – Kent, JS et al. Principles for Maintaining and Increasing Milk Production.J Obsttet Ginecol Neoneital Nurse. 2012; 41 (1): 114-121.

4 Australian Breastfeeding Association [ Internet ]. Feeding cues ; 2017 Sep [ cited 2018 Feb ]. – Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], Feeding Ready Signals; September 2017[cited 2018 Feb] 90,245 90,011

5 Kent JC et al. Response of breasts to different stimulation patterns of an electric breast pump. J Human Lact . 2003; 19 (2): 179-186. – Kent J.S. et al, Breast Response to Different Types of Electric Breast Pump Stimulation. J Human Lact (Journal of the International Association of Lactation Consultants). 2003; 19 (2): 179-186.

6) Kent JC et al . Volume and frequency of breastfeedings and fat content of breast milk throughout the day. Pediatrics. 2006; 117 (3): e 387-395. – Kent, JS et al., Breastfeeding Volume and Frequency and Breast Milk Fat During the Day. Pediatrics (Pediatrics). 2006; 117 (3): e387-95.

7 Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding: A guide for the medical profession. 7th ed. Maryland Heights MO, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. 1128 p . – Lawrence R.A., Lawrence R.M., Breastfeeding: A Guide for Health Care Providers. Seventh edition. Maryland Heights , Missouri, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. p. 1128.

8 World Health Organization. [Internet]. Child growth standards; 2018 [cited 2018 Feb] – World Health Organization. [Internet]. Child Growth Standards 2018 [cited Feb 2018].

9 Australian Breastfeeding Association . [ Internet ]. Cluster feeding and fussing babies ; Dec 2017 [ cited 2018 Feb ] – Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], “Cluster feeding and cry babies”; Dec 2017 [cited Feb 2018].

10 Moberg KU, Prime DK. Oxytocin effects in mothers and infants during breastfeeding. Infant . 2013; 9 (6): 201-206.- Moberg K, Prime DK Effects of oxytocin on mother and baby during breastfeeding. Infant. 2013; 9 (6): 201-206.

11 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services [Internet]. Surgeon General Breastfeeding factsheet; 2011 Jan 20 [cited 2017 Feb] – Department of Health and Human Services [Internet], “Breastfeeding Facts from the Chief Health Officer,” January 20, 2011.[cited 2017 Feb] 90,245 90,011

12 Kendall-Tackett K et al. The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression. Clinical Lactation. 2011; 1; 2 (2): 22-26. – Kendall-Tuckett, K. et al. Influence of feeding pattern on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and development of postpartum depression. Clinical Lactation. 2011; 2 (2): 22-26.

13 Brown A, Harries V. Infant sleep and night feeding patterns during later infancy: Association with breastfeeding frequency, daytime complementary food intake, and infant weight. Breast Med . 2015; 10 (5): 246-252. – Brown A., Harris W., “Night feedings and infant sleep in the first year of life and their relationship with the frequency of feedings, daytime supplementation and weight of the child.” Brest Med (Breastfeeding medicine). 2015; 10 (5): 246-252.

14 Hassiotou F et al. Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk. Clin Transl immunology. 2013; 2 (4). – Hassiotu F. et al, “Infectious diseases of mother and child stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breast milk.” Wedge Translated Immunology. 2013; 2 (4): e3.

15 Li DP et al. Breastfeeding and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 40 epidemiological studies. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev .2014; 15 (12): 4829-4837. – Lee D.P. and co-authors, Breastfeeding and Ovarian Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 40 Epidemiological Studies. Action Pass J Canser Prev. 2014; 15 (12): 4829-4837.

90,000 Mood swings 9,0001


The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication. In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests.For a diagnosis and correct treatment, you should contact your doctor.

Mood is usually called a stable emotional state of a person, which determines his perception of reality.

A stable positive attitude serves as the basis for health, and frequent mood swings disrupt not only mental, but also physiological human activity.

Human emotions are diverse, and their occurrence is regulated by several hormones:

  • serotonin, or the hormone of pleasure, is responsible for good mood, increases optimism and revives hope;
  • Dopamine, or the hormone of motivation and joy, promotes feelings of pleasure;
  • adrenaline, a stress hormone, causes rage, anger, tension and fear;
  • endorphins – hormones of joy and euphoria;
  • phenylethylamine is responsible for falling in love and romantic experiences;
  • for confidence in victory – testosterone;
  • Oxytocin, a hormone of trust and tenderness, which plays an important role in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, causes a tender affection in the heart of a person for loved ones.

The production and metabolism of hormones entails a chain of complex sequential reactions that enable a person to make certain decisions. A number of hormones have a profound effect on the functioning of the brain.

Any disruption in the hormone-brain circuit can lead to uncontrollable mood swings and unmotivated behavior.

Possible Causes

Abrupt and unreasonable mood swings can be caused by physiological and pathological factors.

Physiological causes. If hormonal fluctuations are considered as the causes of mood swings, then a person is exposed to them throughout his life: during growth, maturation, in the reproductive and post-reproductive periods. These are physiological developmental cycles, and the body independently copes with hormonal changes.

The first period of powerful hormonal changes becomes adolescence . At this moment, the production of sex hormones increases sharply, which can cause unjustified aggression in boys, a desire to lead and prove the right to their own opinion.In girls, the production of estrogens, which affects mood swings, occurs cyclically and may be associated with irregular menstruation during puberty. Psychological factors affecting the mood of adolescents are associated with difficulties to adequately perceive their body: a changed figure can cause irritation, despondency, and shame. This reaction is typical of girls. Changes in testosterone levels in adolescents of both sexes contribute to the development of unmotivated feelings of protest, increased demands on others, emotional overexcitation and reduced criticism of their own actions.

It is very important during this period not to miss the signs of latent depression, which is difficult to diagnose due to the variety of its forms and symptoms.

When diagnosing depressive conditions, somatic symptoms come to the fore, that is, complaints about a disorder of well-being, problems from the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, as well as a sharp change in mood. Sometimes mood swings get out of hand and cause an overreaction.

After the establishment of a regular menstrual cycle, monthly fluctuations in hormonal levels can cause premenstrual syndrome , manifested by a deterioration in well-being and a sharp change in mood.

A pronounced premenstrual syndrome negatively affects a woman’s daily activities, causes physical and emotional problems, and reduces the quality of life.

The main manifestations of premenstrual syndrome include fluid retention in the body and swelling due to increased prolactin levels, mood swings, irritability, tearfulness, and fatigue due to impaired serotonin metabolism.The increased production of prostaglandins leads to headaches, swelling and swelling of the mammary glands.

During pregnancy , especially in the first trimester, a woman’s mood and health are directly dependent on hormonal balance. During this period, the main complaints are irritability, resentment, mood swings. After the fourth month of pregnancy, the woman’s emotional background stabilizes.

Big troubles are brought by postpartum depression , which can be accompanied not only by a depressed emotional state, but also by suicidal attacks.

If mood swings worried a woman in the first trimester of pregnancy, the likelihood of postpartum depression increases significantly.

is another emotional period in a woman’s life, when mood can be determined by changes in hormonal levels. Vegetovascular manifestations (hot flashes, sweating, surges in blood pressure) can be associated with endocrine diseases (metabolic syndrome, thyroid diseases) and emotional and mental disorders (sudden mood swings, tearfulness, irritability, fatigue).

In men, age-related hormonal changes can also be accompanied by emotional instability: they become more irritable and aggressive. Mood swings in men are generally less pronounced.

Pathological causes . Hormonal imbalance, which causes sudden mood swings, can occur with thyroid diseases , most often with thyrotoxicosis. In this case, an excess of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine (T4 and T3) leads to malfunctions in the body.Diseases that cause increased production of thyroid hormones include diffuse toxic goiter, multinodular toxic goiter, etc. The instability of the emotional background in pathologies of the thyroid gland is accompanied by symptoms of cardiovascular diseases (arrhythmias, increased blood pressure), pathologies of the musculoskeletal system (muscle atrophy , osteoporosis), impaired functioning of the nervous system.

Along with increased excitability and anxiety, patients with hyperthyroidism complain of emotional instability, rapid mood swings, irritability and tearfulness.

Sleep disturbances can be both a cause and a consequence of mood swings and psychological instability.

Mental disorders are often accompanied by emotional instability. A prime example is bipolar disorder .

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings ranging from intense arousal to depression.

The causes of this disease are not fully understood, but experts prefer the genetic theory.With age, the mental disorder worsens, the duration of periods of depression increases.

Unmotivated mood swings can occur in people with psychopathy (most often hysterical) and in people with borderline personality disorder . In these cases, a sharp change in mood is accompanied by other signs of altered behavior (theatricality, a tendency to lie, exaggeration).

Drug dependence on taken hormones and psychoactive substances is another cause of sudden mood swings.

With the regular use of alcohol and drugs, the joy and excitement after using them are suddenly replaced by depression or anger.

Unmotivated mood swings can be observed with hormone therapy for cancer and .

Which doctors should I contact

Mood swings due to physiological reasons do not require medical intervention. If the depressive state is prolonged or accompanied by other symptoms, you should first consult with
a therapist who will determine the diagnostic search plan.

If the cause of emotional instability is associated with hormonal changes in the female body, consultation is recommended
a gynecologist-endocrinologist, and if a man experiences these symptoms –
urologist-andrologist. If you suspect a thyroid disease, you should visit
endocrinologist. If the patient’s hormonal balance is not disturbed, consultation is necessary
neurologist or neuropsychiatrist.

Diagnostics and examination

It is rather difficult to identify the cause of sudden mood swings.