Pregnancy causes a variety of changes to the body. They can range from common to rather expected changes, like swelling and fluid retention, to less familiar ones such as vision changes.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy
The hormonal and physiological changes that come with pregnancy are unique. Pregnant women experience sudden and dramatic increases in estrogen and progesterone. They also experience changes in the amount and function of a number of other hormones. These changes don’t just affect mood. They also cause;
- The “glow” of pregnancy
- Development of fetus
- Alters physical impact of exercise on the body
Estrogen and progesterone changes
Estrogen and progesterone are the key pregnancy hormones. A woman will produce more estrogen during one pregnancy than throughout her entire life when not pregnant. The increase in estrogen during pregnancy enables the uterus and placenta to:
- improve formation of blood vessels
- transfer nutrients to the baby
- support the developing baby and their health
Estrogen also plays an important role in helping the fetus develop and mature. Estrogen levels increase during pregnancy and reach their peak in the third trimester. The rapid increase in estrogen levels during the first trimester may cause some of the nausea associated with pregnancy. During the second trimester, it plays a major role in the milk duct development that enlarges the breasts.
Progesterone levels also are extraordinarily high during pregnancy. The changes in progesterone cause loosening of ligaments and joints throughout the body.
There are a whole host of changes that happens in the woman of a pregnant mother due to the roller coaster of hormonal changes and many of these can be disconcerting. You just need to make sure that you get the right rest and nutrition and speak to your doctor if anything seems too far from the norm.