What hormonal changes can you expect during pregnancy? You’re about to find out!
Pregnancy makes a plethora of changes to the body, remarkable changes! They can differ from common and presumed differences, such as swelling and fluid retention, to less familiar ones such as vision changes. The hormonal and physiological changes that come with pregnancy are unique.
From emotions that change on a dime to a whole range of stomach troubles, your hormones during pregnancy can take you for a rollercoaster ride. Here, we explain what’s going on with the hormones while you’re expecting.
HCG, which refers to Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is the key hormone during pregnancy. HCG levels increase eight days after ovulation, zenith at 60 to 90 days, and then lowers slightly, levelling off for the remains of the pregnancy. During the first 10 weeks of your pregnancy, HCG levels double every two days. It flows through the body and is expelled in the urine.
Prolactin is the hormone that tells the body to make breast milk when a person is pregnant or breast-feeding. It is the milk-producing hormone that has a tranquillizing effect. Prolactin prepares breast tissues for lactation and the release of milk.
- Estrogen and Progesterone:
Pregnant women undergo an abrupt and dramatic increase in estrogen and progesterone. They also encounter changes in the amount and function of several other hormones. These differences don’t just affect mood.
Once you’ve reached the end of the first trimester, your body has higher levels of circulating estrogen. High estrogen levels prompt spider veins, nausea, increased appetite, and skin changes. Some women are, however, fortunate enough to experience the upside of a pregnancy ‘glow,’ which is largely attributed to estrogen levels. It significantly aids in the development of the fetus, alters the physical impact of exercise and physical activity on the body.
In the first trimester, levels of progesterone multiply exponentially, and then they plateau. Progesterone does pretty necessary jobs along the way. It keeps the uterus muscle relaxed and helps the body’s immune system endure foreign DNA that is the fetus.
Relaxin is considered to be responsible for loosening the ligaments that hold the pelvic bones together and for relaxing the uterine muscle. This fits your body for the baby’s passage through the birth canal. This pregnancy hormone relaxes the arteries, so they can manage pregnancy’s elevated blood volume without sending your blood pressure through the roof.
Oxytocin is also the hormone that opens the cervix and incites the nipples to produce milk. During delivery, tremendous outbursts of oxytocin run through the brain. After delivery, when a woman holds her newborn, she develops a chemical reaction that happens when a baby’s pheromones stimulate the production of additional oxytocin thus increases the mother-baby bond.
While these hormones might take you for a ride, you must focus on getting the right nutrition, sleep well, stay hydrated, watch-out for the red-flags and enjoy all the stages of your pregnancy. These 9 months will change your life forever, and the hormones are just a part of it. So ladies, gear up for your delivery and get everything in place to enjoy this journey.
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