Crying During Pregnancy – Does It Affect the Unborn Baby and Tips to Cope

6 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

woman crying during pregnancy

Being emotional is what makes us human. So there is no shame in expressing our emotions. And the most common expression of our emotion is the tears in our eyes. Whenever happiness or sadness gets beyond our control, we dedicate some tears to it. Sometimes crying a bit makes your heart feel light and relaxed. But, pregnancy is the time when you may see a lot of tears in your eyes. Both your mental as well as biological conditions can be responsible for this. Is frequent crying normal during pregnancy? 

Since our bodily hormones balance our emotions, the sudden surge in their levels creates turmoil in our emotions. The situation gets serious when this physical condition gets mixed up with your mental condition. If you are mentally stressed, depressed, anxious, or unhappy for some reason already then pregnancy can be a difficult period for you and the baby. So let’s understand what sorts of crying are normal during pregnancy and when you should get alarmed.

In This Article

Is Crying Normal During Pregnancy?

Yes, crying during pregnancy is quite a normal thing. Pregnancy is the time when you go through a lot of mood swings. This is the time when you feel the most vulnerable. You feel happy and anxious at the same time. Moreover, pregnancy hormones have their roles to play in making your mood unpredictable.

So it is alright if you are feeling more sensitive and emotional to things than ever before unless and until it is causing any emotional damage to your mental state.

Causes of Crying During Pregnancy

pregnant woman crying sitting on sofa

There can be multiple reasons why you are crying during pregnancy. Here are the reasons behind crying during different phrases of pregnancy

First Trimester

Higher levels of pregnancy hormones i.e. estrogen and progesterone mainly cause crying spells in women during their first trimester. Fatigue, nausea, weakness, and change in metabolism can also make you emotionally vulnerable during this time.

That is why the first trimester is the time in your pregnancy when you can see comparatively more tears than in the second and third trimesters.

[Read : Morning Sickness During Pregnancy]

Second Trimester

Crying spells can occur in the second trimester due to the rapid changes in your body. Getting acne and stretch marks, disturbance in sleep due to frequent urination, exhaustion, etc can add to the reasons for your cries in the second trimester.

Watching yourself not getting fit in your regular clothes and switching to not so appealing maternity clothes can also induce some tears.

Third Trimester

The third trimester has reasons like the approaching date of delivery, fear of labor pain and childbirth, weight gain, financial stress about hospital charges, etc. to induce crying spells in women. Besides the remarks of people about your changing appearance, about how everything will be changed after pregnancy, about the shifts of priorities, etc. can raise tears of concern in your eyes.

[Read : Tokophobia: The Fear Of Delivery]

When is Crying During Pregnancy a Serious Problem?

Occasional crying during pregnancy should not be a cause for concern. But a persistent feeling of crying during pregnancy can indicate more serious issues like perinatal depression. Perinatal depression or depression during pregnancy is getting more common with almost one in seven women affected ratio.

Here are the signs of perinatal depression that you should get alarmed 

  • The prevailing feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Excessive crying or feeling of crying all the time
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling guilty and restless
  • Sleeplessness and loss of appetite
  • Loss of enthusiasm at work or in doing anything
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Feeling anxious to face other people or getting unsocial
  • Having negative and suicidal thoughts

These are the signs that your condition is serious and you need the help of the experts to combat your overpowering feeling of depression.

[Read : Depression During Pregnancy]

Can Crying During Pregnancy Affect My Unborn Baby?

sad pregnant woman covering her face

Occasional crying due to some emotional outbreak is generally harmless to your baby but persistent crying and a sad mental state can harm the growth of the baby inside you.

Your baby can feel your emotions and hear your words after 22 weeks. According to NCBI, whatever the baby experiences in the womb can leave a lifelong impact on his/her characteristics.

That is why doctors advise staying happy and active during pregnancy. Also, a depressed mother cannot look after her health and nutrition which is necessary during pregnancy.

Possible Risks of Crying During Pregnancy

Persistent feelings of stress and depression can adversely affect the health of your baby and your pregnancy. Here are the risks that can occur due to depression during pregnancy

  • Risk of getting a miscarriage due to stress
  • Slow development in fetus compared to its gestational age
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight of the baby
  • Chances of having a crybaby
  • Low immunity in the baby if the mother did not focus on her nutrition during pregnancy
  • Signs of irritation, lack of facial expressions, lack of activity and attention in the baby
  • Behavioral issues, development problems, and learning difficulties in the baby
  • Possibility of the baby getting emotionally volatile in the future

Top 5 Tips To Cope With Crying Spells During Pregnancy

depressed pregnant woman talking with partner

Now that you know the evil effects of crying during pregnancy you must try to avoid it. Here are some tips for you to cope with your crying spells during pregnancy

1. Engage Yourself

Engage your mind in different activities all the time. Indulge in doing mild household chores, gardening, mild walking, and swimming to divert your mind. These physical activities will exhaust your body which is a good thing as you will get a peaceful sleep as a result.

2. Get a Good Sleep

Get at least 6-8 hours of sound sleep as sleep is important for the growth of your baby. Listen to soothing music before bedtime to calm your mind. You can also hear podcasts on mental well-being or audiobooks of stories.

3. Talk to Friends And Family

Talk to your friends and family. Talk to fellow pregnant mothers to know how they are coping with the changes in their health and emotions. This will make you feel not alienated and you will get the confidence to control your emotions. You can easily reach out to fellow mothers through your clinic and online groups.

4. Don’t Exert

Do not stress yourself with excessive duties and workloads. Take a step back if you feel your work life is harming your pregnancy. There is nothing to prove to anyone. Do what best suits you.

5. Stay Positive

Use affirmations during pregnancy to feel strong and positive from inside. Having constant positive thoughts are strongly capable of influencing your baby’s behavior.

So crying during pregnancy is not at all abnormal and is mainly caused due to ongoing hormonal changes in you. Other generic reasons such as the concern for the baby, the fear of labor and added responsibilities, changes in the body along with weight gain can cause some tears in your eyes. But if you are feeling depressed and low for more than two weeks then you must talk to your doctor and get therapy as you cannot ignore the adverse effects of depression during pregnancy.


1. Can Crying Cause Anxiety in Babies?

Yes, the baby in your womb can feel your emotions as it is deeply attached to you. The baby can hear your sounds when you cry and show reactions and the release of stress hormones like cortisol can affect the baby inside.

2. Can Crying Cause Birth Defects?

Yes, hormones released during stress such as cortisol and norepinephrine can lead to fetal abnormalities. Poor mental health can be also associated with preterm births, low birthweights, and infant mortality rates.

Read Also: Top 10 Ways To Stay Active During Pregnancy

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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