Hormones are diverse chemical substances which are discharged into the bloodstream and circulated in response to certain stimulus as well as to activate cells. The hormones have varied and powerful functions, with different types working to regulate bodily functions and to carry messages to various parts of the body. When it comes to pregnancy and even birth, there are hormones which are available to help regulate many of the changes which take place to ensure that babies are born safely. The information in this article will help you to understand how hormones change during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, hormones get a very bad rap because they are blamed for every single thing from nausea to mood swings. In most cases, the pregnancy hormones are thought of as a group but this is not really correct as certain hormones peaked at different times in order to fulfill specific purposes.
In the course of a pregnancy that goes full-term, the hormones levels that the placenta and corpus luteum secretes will rise significantly. One of the major reasons why the hormone levels increase in high volumes is because the placenta, which is an endocrine organ, produces hormones and most of them psychoactive. The progesterone and estrogen hormones will decrease quickly after the delivery of the baby and the placenta.
To help you understand more about how hormones change during pregnancy, some of the main ones as well as their functions will be highlighted below:
Oestrogen and Progesterone:
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG is responsible for stimulating the production of progesterone and oestrogen hormones in the ovary. It’s only present during pregnancy and will be released in the very early stage. When the placenta matures enough to control the production of oestrogen and progesterone hormones the production of hCG will decrease. Oestrogen is produced all through pregnancy to help regulate the progesterone levels and prepare the uterus or womb for the baby as well as the breasts for feeding. It will cause the breast to enlarge and become tender. Progesterone will build up the lining to support the placenta as well as prevent the natural contractions and movement of the womb to stop the womb from aborting the fetus spontaneously. This hormone causes women to lose interest in sex throughout pregnancy.
This hormone enables contractions of the womb throughout pregnancy and labor. It also causes contractions during breastfeeding and can be used when inducing labor.
The pituitary gland produces this hormone and its function is to increase the cells which create milk in the breasts. Oestrogen and progesterone will prevent milk production. The levels of those hormones will decrease significantly right after birth to allow prolactin to encourage the initial milk production. In addition, the suckling will control milk production. It’s worth mentioning that the prolactin hormone will help to prevent nursing mothers from getting pregnant.
The prostaglandins might not get a lot of recognition when one is looking at how hormones change during pregnancy because they are tissue hormones which appear to stimulate labor. The synthetic prostaglandins can be used as a method to induce labor in pregnancies which passes forty weeks.
During early pregnancy, this hormone is present and it will help to limit the activities of the womb as well as soften up the cervix to prepare for delivery.
These are natural substances which are similar to heroin and morphine. The body produces them when pain is present and they will work as a natural analgesic. Some evidence shows that a pregnant woman’s body will start to produce a lot of endorphins before labor. It’s one of the natural ways that the body deals with the labor. The increase in endorphins causes women to look tired and sleep in strong labor.
In addition to the above, you should know that progesterone and relaxin hormones combine to allow the uterus muscles to relax and make room for the developing baby. This change might affect some other muscles inside the body, causing joints and back pain as well as have an effect on the pelvic floor. Moreover, the relaxed muscles and the tissues inside the digestive system might trigger symptoms such as nausea, constipation, and heartburn.
Hormone changes can also affect the way you feel during pregnancy. Like most women, you might feel tearful, depressed or easily irritated at times. You might feel like your emotions are all over the place for a while. These symptoms often ease up after the three first months of pregnancy. Bear in mind that the changes in your body can also cause loss of control feelings, but you should worry too much as they all play a part in helping to provide an environment that is healthy for the growing baby and to prevent problems during delivery.
When you understand how hormones change during pregnancy, you are more likely to identify what is normal or not.