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Pregnancy's Emotional Roller Coaster

Pregnancy's Emotional Rollercoaster

WebMD Feature

C'mon, admit it. You have some "Pleasantville"-like images of pregnancy. We all do. You know, cheeks and hearts glowing (even if our stomachs aren't). Reveling in the months, and inches, of our ever-expanding bellies without a worry or doubt. Invariably you even know somebody who seems to fit the bill.

The truth is, women often experience a range of emotions during pregnancy, even if they and their partners are excited about the baby and planned it from the get-go. They might have mood swings. They might be worried about their babies' health, uncertain about the changes in their bodies, their relationships, their abilities to be mothers -- the list goes on and on.

How could that be, if you're apparently so happy about that tiny life growing inside you? Duh, experts say (although they won't be that blunt). It's because moms-to-be are teetering on the brink of something really big.

"Motherhood is such a permanent transformation," says Deborah Issokson, a licensed psychologist in Boston who specializes in perinatal mental health. "I don't know any life event so permanent and transforming that wouldn't come with some anxiety, worry, regret, ambivalence or wondering. It's the nature of the beast, the enormity of the journey you're on."