From Bridezilla to MumZilla!

Written by on Friday 10th of June 2011

The term Bridezilla was first used to describe the monstrous attitude of so many brides-to-be in the run up to their wedding. With so many things to organise and so much pressure, a huge proportion of brides end up taking at least some of their pressures out on their family or their intended and causing a rage which can sometimes last until the day itself. And yes, there have been cases of brides in their wedding cars still shouting down their mobile phones to make sure that they are getting the flowers they want on the pews at the church!

But here at Simply Maternity we would like to coin a new phrase ‘mumzilla’ for all those mums to be who are finding themselves with so much anger and fury inside them that everyone is running in the opposite direction when they see you coming.

When you become pregnant a huge number of new chemicals and hormones start running through your bloodstream and these hormones can cause significant changes to your mood. However the main causes of what we are now calling the Mumzilla effect are not from these hormones themselves but from other, more controllable sources, that exacerbate the effects of these hormones.

The first of these sources is the fluctuations in blood sugar that occur during pregnancy. As your growing body and growing baby need more energy, you are more prone to lapses of blood sugar than at almost any other time of your life. Lack of blood sugar not only leads to tiredness and the onset of morning sickness but can also lead to depression, anxiety and aggression. By snacking on healthy and nutritious snacks throughout the day between meals you can ensure that don’t fall hungry and experience dips in your blood sugar level that can cause these outbursts. But beware sugary snacks are not the solution. Eating too much sugar will create a very short term sugar spikes, but when the sugar has gone, you will be left feeling worse than you did before.

Tiredness can always be a contributor to a woman’s bad mood and this is only made worse during pregnancy when you can’t find a comfortable position to sleep and then when you do, usually it is time for another toilet trip. Use a pregnancy pillow throughout your pregnancy to give you the support you need to find a position that will suit you when you sleep and maternity nightwear to keep you comfortable and warm. Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may even need to sleep sat up, but with a V shaped pillow it is possible to get a few quality hours sleep during the night. Human bodies love routine so even when you are not sleeping, ensure that you are encouraging your body to sleep as much as you can by staying in a sleeping environment even when you can’t actually sleep. Try to avoid putting on a light or getting out of bed unless you really have to  and keep the room dark and quiet even when you need to visit the loo so that you can quickly return to bed and get as much rest as you can. Though you may not be fully asleep during a lot of the night, your body can still rest and repair during times of calm rest, so take refuge in the fact that your body is benefiting from you lying in your bed even when you are frustrated that you can’t actually get to sleep. And when sleeping is a problem during the night try to encourage your body to take ‘power naps’ during the day so that it can rest and recuperate and keep your temper to a minimum.

The final factor that causes irritability during pregnancy is stress. Stress causes a great deal of problems in pregnancy and can lead to medical complications if it isn’t controlled properly. Identifiable stress that is caused by a known reason needs to be addressed as much as you can. There are often a number of factors during pregnancy that lead to stressful situations but keep in the back of your mind that these issues are short term and that stress itself can cause problems for you and your baby. Try to keep as calm as possible using yoga or breathing techniques to calm your body and make you feel more relaxed, even when there is madness all around you. If you can, try to take yourself away from any stressful situation, even if it is only for fifteen minutes per day. If you are able to do this at the same time each day then you will have a time to look forward to where you know your stress will be relieved. Following this pattern can actually decrease your stress levels over the entire day as you will look forward to the ‘stress free time’ and eventually remember how you feel during this time and will be able to apply it to any time of the day.

If your stress is unidentifiable firstly try to get help from your partner or those around you to identify and address what is making you stressed. If this is not possible then it may be an option to seek external help to address your condition. This can be in the form of a doctor, midwife, therapist or lifestyle consultant that could help you identify and resolve the issues surrounding you.

So as you can see, there many ways that we can address the new found ‘Momzilla’ condition to ensure that we don’t turn into complete animals. But for those of us that remember our own Bridezilla moments, take head in the fact that these personality changes are not permanent and that in a few weeks, or a few months, everything should return to the status quo.

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