Hormones in pregnancy, do you have a lot of problems? I get that. They can cause many discomforts as swollen feet and ankles, painful breasts, mood swings and so on. But in the first instance, those hormones are there to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy and smooth delivery. Read more about the 7 pregnancy hormones and their behavior in the blog.
Hormones in pregnancy are not for nothing!
Pregnancy hormones prepare your body for childbirth and ensure that your body adapts to pregnancy. There are different pregnancy hormones that all have their own function and side effects. Those additional complaints are different for every woman.
I was lucky that I had almost no problems. Except for very painful breasts in the first three months. That helped me to discover that I might be pregnant! But I did not have any problems with mood swings. Until Ezra was born! The maternity week was very emotional. And that too is a certain type of female hormones.
I made a list of the 7 most famous pregnancy hormones, with their behavior and their infamous pregnancy symptoms.
The pregnancy hormone HCG
HCG stands for Human Chorion Gonadotropin and is produced as soon as a fertilized egg settles in your uterus. A pregnancy test measures the HCG values. HCG can be seen as the messenger that your body collects about your pregnancy. This will make your belly grow!
Do you know and do not realize that you are pregnant, so you make this hormone less. That is why some women who discover their pregnancy relatively late, sometimes have not developed a stomach at all.
HCG is accused of being the culprit of nausea but that has not been proven. What I think is very suspicious is that it is precisely in those first 10 weeks that the nauseous seems to be the worst. Plus that women whose HCG value is higher than the average suffer more from nausea. Then explain that to me. But there is no hard evidence for this.
What has been proven is that in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy the HCG values double every few days. This will decrease after 12 weeks.
When the HCG level drops, it rises from progesterone, also called the relax hormone. Thanks to progesterone you endure the strange DNA of your baby in your body. The hormone can provide extra hair growth but is especially for relaxing all kinds of muscles, blood vessels and glands. Your blood pressure goes down and you can get light in your head. If you have naturally low blood pressure, like me, a high percentage of progesterone can cause problems. Make sure you always have something to eat with you. Dried fruit or crackers.
MSH is a pigment maker. Do your birthmarks and nipple gorges darken? That's because of the MSH hormone. That streak on your stomach is also the fault of this remarkable woman hormone. Less strange if you know what my maternity nurse said: 'I have never seen a dark woman whose breastfeeding did not go well immediately'. Extra pigment is a good preparation, especially if you are breastfeeding!
We all know this. When talking about hormones in pregnancy, estrogen is often mentioned first. And that is not surprising because estrogen is absolutely indispensable in your baby's development.
It is responsible for the following pregnancy symptoms: varicose veins, appetite, skin change and nausea. It is also in charge of managing the development of your baby's organs. Very important! Like HCG, estrogen rises in the first semester and then decreases again.
Estrogen has the crazy characteristic of enhancing the side effects of other pregnancy hormones. Why? During delivery the estrogen level in your body is at its highest and also much higher than all other hormone values. The hormone would therefore have a childbirth preparatory function. That is why it strengthens all other hormone effects. Just to prepare you for what is going to happen.
Prolactin is soothing and organizes the production of breast milk. It prepares the breasts during pregnancy.
Relaxine is thought to be there to loosen muscles in the pelvic region. This creates space for the baby. Whether it helps the birth starts is not clear.
Oxytocin is a hormone that regulates the contraction of muscles. This is the contraction of the uterus during childbirth and the milk channels during breastfeeding. Tip! If you relax well during the delivery, you make extra oxytocin. That brings about better contractions.
If your contractions do not start well you can get oxytocin in an infusion. Crazy fact: in Sweden they do that with nasal spray!
I hope that you now have a little more insight into the different hormones in pregnancy and the behavior of pregnancy hormones and their function. A nice pregnancy!