9 Unexpected Emotions That Come With Pregnancy and How to Navigate Them

You’re not crazy. Your pregnancy emotions are a real thing, caused by hormonal changes in the body, particularly elevated levels of progesterone and estrogen. And depending on how your body reacts to these hormones, some are more sensitive than others, leading to bigger emotions and sometimes, weeping at TV commercials.

These emotions, though annoying and somewhat frustrating, serve a purpose. They are beneficial to the baby and help prepare you for the work of motherhood

The emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy is a ride through all three trimesters. Read on to find 9 pregnancy emotions you might unexpectedly find.


Pregnancy is broken into three trimesters or periods that allow doctors to track the growth of your baby. Each trimester carries its own set of ups and downs.

First Trimester

The first trimester is weeks 1-14 in pregnancy. A surge of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, hits an all-time high in this trimester. High levels of hCG are encouraging because it means the pregnancy progressing, but it lends itself to some heavy mood swings and symptoms, such as nausea and fatigue.

The enormous fatigue and nausea can take its toll, so be sure to get plenty of rest when you can. Your body is working hard even though you can’t see it!

Second Trimester

Weeks 15-26 are the second trimester. Usually, at this point, a woman is feeling better, more energetic, some even have that pregnancy ‘glow’. The hCG hormone has dropped, causing most nausea symptoms to taper off, while progesterone and estrogen are rising.

The second trimester is where a very exciting event can occur – feeling the baby kick for the first time.

Third Trimester

Homestretch! The third trimester is weeks 27-40. The due date is on the horizon, but you are often feeling very tired, very huge and uncomfortable. Estrogen and progesterone are flowing and preparing your body to give birth. During this trimester, mood swings are a given.

9 Unexpected Pregnancy Emotions

With such a rich variety of emotions coursing through you, it’s helpful to understand what they are and how to handle them.

Here are 9 pregnancy emotions and what to do when you face them.


It’s true. There’s so much information about pregnancy and a woman is fast to become overwhelmed. You want to do the right thing: eat the right foods, make the right career choices, choose the right hospital, doctor, and delivery method. And when you feel like you can’t live up to your standards, guilt sets in.

But remember, there’s no ‘right’ way for everyone. If you’re doing the best you can, pat yourself on the back and take a nap!


Feeling empathetic is an unexpected pregnancy emotion. You might be watching TV, and suddenly find yourself weeping at a commercial or movie, that might otherwise have zero effect on you. “Why am I so emotional?” you ask yourself. It’s ok, the hormones are responsible for this phenomenon.

It’s very common for mothers-to-be to experience extreme empathy in any trimester. Keep a box of tissues close, and blame your rise in estrogen.


Think of a mama bird burrowing herself in her nest to keep her eggs warm.

That’s exactly what nesting is to a pregnant woman. It’s preparing for the coming arrival and may include setting up the nursery, folding and washing clothes and linens, storing diapers and so forth.

This feeling of a nesting instinct will typically occur between the second and third trimesters when you’re farther along. In some ways, it focuses your mind on things you can control, and off of the birthing process.

Take nesting slow. The second and third trimesters are times of growth for mom and baby, so don’t wear yourself out. Many women tend to feel overwhelmed by all the options – nursery themes, names, parenting methods, furniture – and become frazzled easily.

Prioritize your desires and tackle those before your due date if you can. Delegate other duties to friends and family who may be eager to help.


Pregnancy can make you one angry mama.

Swollen ankles, changing body, morning sickness, and other complications are frustrating. It’s ok to feel angry sometimes.

A healthy outlet for anger is vital and talking about it with a trusted friend or a counselor can help alleviate it and help you frustrations make sense. Don’t feel guilty about being angry!


Anxiety can strike at any trimester. There’s a laundry list of fears: certain foods, birth defects, finances, toxins, being a first-time mother, and others.

There’s a purpose behind the anxiety of pregnancy. Anxiety and fear prepare the mother’s brain to protect the child.

However, if anxiety becomes too intense, or you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder already, talk to your doctor about ways to help you manage your concerns.


Of course, having a baby is exciting and wonderful, but some women are in a pure state of bliss. They may simply not share the same worries or fears other women have and are merely euphoric about meeting their little one.

Brain Fog

Most likely to take place in the third trimester, brain fog, or forgetfulness, causes women to forget simple things like missing appointments or misplacing items.

The hormone progesterone is the culprit. Progesterone is high in the third trimester, and has a calming effect, but can also cause forgetfulness.

No one expects a pregnant woman to be perfect. if there’s something important you must remember, enlist your spouse, partner, or another family member to help you.


Not every woman is overjoyed when she sees that positive pregnancy test. Conflicting feelings can arise and cause confusion. Ambivalence is a natural feeling, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned.

Navigating this feeling can require you to talk openly about your feelings with someone you trust, like a family member or therapist. Holding back these feelings can cause guilt and resentment, so tackle these feelings steadily and soon.


Thoughts of, “Who am I to possibly have a baby and be a mother?” are sure to plague first-time moms. Add in changes to your body, stretch marks, and possibly limited tasks and you’re overcome with insecurities.

Surround yourself with people who can encourage you, or who have been there. Share what you’re thinking and feeling, while gaining insight and ideas to ward off insecurities.

Don’t Worry, Baby

Whether you are staring at a positive pregnancy test or 6 months pregnant, pregnancy emotions can take their toll on your journey to motherhood.

Understanding the relationship between these emotions and the hormonal changes in your body and when they’re taking place can make them more manageable, and help you feel prepared when they surface.

Expecting a baby or thinking about conceiving? Visit the experts here to learn more information about all the ups and downs of pregnancy.





This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Stephanie McClane About Author

Stephanie McClane is a mother of three and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gathered throughout her pregnancies. After approaching her last two pregnancies from a more holistic prespective and having two natural births, she was inspired to share her experiences with other moms-to-be.

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