My mom is known for attributing all things wonky to a planetary shift. "It must be a full moon," she'll say at the first sign of a headache or tantrum-throwing toddler who simply cannot be pacified. Of course, she's not totally off the mark. In fact, a full moon can cause a shift in human behavior and even send a pregnant woman into labor. But what about the first day of spring, better known as the vernal or spring equinox? If you're curious how the first day of spring will affect your pregnancy, then it turns out experts — and science — have answers.
“The spring equinox is when the hours of light and dark are equal. It is also the start of the astrological year," Taanaz Chubb, author of My Pocket Mantras and founder of Forever Conscious, tells Romper in an email interview. "This all brings a distinct energy shift and the start of a new cycle."
Chubb explains that during the weeks leading up to the first day of spring, many people begin to feel the energy that comes with a new cycle. "On an emotional level, this may cause us to bring up old wounds from the past so they can be cleared once and for all," she says. "We may also start thinking about what's next or how we can move our lives in the direction that we desire."
Of course, if you are pregnant, then you probably already have a clue or two about where your future is headed. But Chubb says Mother Nature gives us clues here on how we should be expending our energy — whether you are pregnant or not.
"Just like the flowers are in bloom, we too are encouraged to bloom and to bring our ideas out into the world," she says. "The spring equinox is the perfect time to plant seeds for the future and to make 'fertile' ground for all that we desire. There may be a feeling of renewed optimism and a feeling of wanting to get your ideas out of hibernation and into the world.”
Of course, on less of a cosmic level there is always the barometric pressure to consider, which will shift as spring makes an appearance and might have an affect on your pregnancy, according to BabyMed.
"While associating the pressure of the atmosphere and pregnancy conditions seems irrational, it’s actually easy to imagine when you think about other physical symptoms people have because of it," Jaclyn Stewart wrote for BabyMed. "Many people say that they get migraines more easily when the air is 'heavy,' especially those with conditions that make them prone to migraines."
Because of this, the website said an increase in barometric pressure could cause a woman who is full term to go into labor. "Other studies suggest barometric pressure affects the nervous system, which could have an affect on labor pain," BabyMed noted. "Depending on the body’s reaction, you could either be in less pain or more pain based on the increased pressure." On the other hand, if you have achy joints as a result of pregnancy, then a change in barometric pressure may cause changes in your level of pain as well.
But no matter the obvious changes the spring equinox may bring to your pregnancy, it's important to at least use the shift as a time to celebrate new beginnings, says Athena Perrakis, founder and CEO of Sage Goddess.
“We also take this time to pause and pay our respects to the departing winter, and the solitude, self-reflection, and wisdom that its darkness so powerfully offered us," she says. "Use this day to cleanse, heal, and balance your spirit, to sow new seeds, and to regenerate within the powerful energy of this sacred time of year.”
And what tired mama doesn't need fresh energy, am I right?
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.