I am now approaching my 19th week of pregnancy and the past two weeks had been really tough for me–emotionally, that is. Physically, the discomforts of the first trimester are long gone but it seems that I got into an emotional roller coaster ride on my second trimester.
While everywhere I read it says that the second trimester is composed of the golden months of pregnancy, I seem to be feeling the opposite. I would get angry at the slightest agitation and shouting feels really nice. I would cry and cry everyday that my eyes are always swollen. I already contacted by OB-Gyn about it and she said that it is just hormonal imbalance and it will pass. But I feel that I am going crazy and am already desiring to take anti-depressants just to improve my mood. I was afraid that my sadness will affect the well-being of my unborn child.
But my mother-in-law advised me against it, because she believes that taking anti-depressants while pregnant may affect the baby. So I researched on ways to alleviate the symptoms of my depression. Here are the things I found out and applied. Thankfully, I have felt much better.
Choose the low sugar, dark chocolate so that you will not gain much weight. And eat only small portions once a day. Photo from the internet.
1. Eat chocolates. I have always heard about chocolates being good for depression, where you are pregnant or not, because it is a feel-good food. My friend who has seen a shrink when she was younger and who has taken tons of anti-depressants has told me in the past that eventually, she realized that all she needed was a bar of chocolate to put off a bad mood. It is said that when you eat chocolate, your chemical serotonin becomes elevated. Serotonin “is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness,” according to Wikipedia.
But since I don’t want to gain much weight and also so that I would get most of the benefits of chocolate, I bought dark chocolate and would eat small pieces every day. I also bought some dark chocolate with almonds because I believe that almonds are also good for my baby’s brain development.
Fish oil is good for both the pregnant mom and her unborn child. Just choose a reliable brand. Photo from the internet.
2. Take fish oil supplements. A few days after I started eating chocolates, I went to GNC and bought one of their fish oil supplements. They didn’t have their triple strength variant that was orange-flavored and prevented fishy burps. I was kinda scared to try their ordinary variant but since I did not have a choice and I was already desperate, I bought a bottle of the GNC Fish Body Oils 1000. I immediately started taking 1 gel capsule a day.
Not only does the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil good for preventing depression and other mood disorders, it is also good for the development of a healthy baby and promotes the overall health of the mother. I think this is a win-win situation.
Just choose a good brand of fish oil supplement because there is always the fear of the presence of mercury in the product if the fish oil has not been processed properly.
3. Increase physical activity. It has always been said that exercise or physical activity increased serotonin levels in the body and influenced our moves. Since I cannot really start an exercise regimen now in my second trimester (as I haven’t had a regimen for the longest time), I resorted to getting off my bum and moving around more. I intentionally picked up things, get my own stuff instead of asking the help, do some minor chores, cook, and water the plants. I also try to make sure to go down our store at least once a day, which is three flights from where we stay. That way, I get to perspire and also get my heart pumping.
4. Pray. I kept praying and praying for God’s comfort and peace. I think that is a very big part. All the rest are just practical things, but I also think that depression is a spiritual battle.
Thankfully, after more than a week of doing these things, my mood and disposition have greatly improved. I have more energy, more joyful, and not prone to crying spiels anymore. If I continue to do this, I think that I will have a more enjoyable pregnancy until my baby comes out.