During pregnancy, a lot of changes occur inside and of course on the outside too – of a woman’s body. They happen due to a series of hormonal modifications, which are essential for the proper growth of a baby. It is important for a dad-to-be to understand the role of these hormones and their effect on the overall health and emotions of an expecting mom. In this read, you will come to know in detail about the changes that these hormones bring.
What are Pregnancy Hormones Changes?
Hormones circulate in the blood and each one has its own significant role. They are responsible for regulating body functions and sending messages across different parts of the body. During pregnancy, hormonal changes help with the growth and delivery of the baby. Those important hormones are:
Strains and Sprains
Pregnant women are at greater risk of strains and sprains as their ligaments get loose.
Breasts start developing and reach their peak stage during the last trimester.
The sense of balance and center of gravity keeps on changing due to abdominal transformation.
Less Blood Flow
The poor flow of blood and other fluids is experienced due to weight gain and gravitational changes.
Fluid retention is normal after or during the second trimester and that is why salt and caffeine intake is cut down.
During pregnancy, a woman’s sense of smell, taste, and sight will also change.
Cervical changes occur during different stages of pregnancy to support delivery.
Due to increased hormonal activity women experience a significant change in the color and appearance of their skin, nails, and hair. Some even get permanent stretch marks.
Puffing, huffing and feeling dizzy is common for a pregnant woman after doing some vigorous work.
Metabolic rate keeps on increasing after the first trimester and it often leads to low blood pressure levels.
Dehydration will lead to chapped lips and rough hands, as the uterus will always maintain its required supply of essential fluids.
Above stated are the important pregnancy hormonal changes that women experience in different manners during diverse stages of pregnancy. I hope that now, you are also aware of important physical changes that can affect a mom-to-be.
Mood Swings during Changes in Pregnancy Hormones
You need to support a woman during pregnancy, as she will go through intense mood swings. To-be dads need to know that hormonal changes need to be dealt with kindly. They are mostly caused due to excessive production of progesterone and estrogen.
These hormones affect the chemistry of neurotransmitters that regulate mood. Mood swings intensity during the first and third semesters only. During the first trimester, hormonal changes peak due to an evolution of new life and during the third trimester, they again soar due to the body’s preparation for delivery.
Forms of Mood Swings During Pregnancy
- Short-term anxiety
- Short-term depression
- Sleeping disorder
- Eating disorder
- Lack of attention
- Short-term memory loss
Early Pregnancy Hormones and Post Pregnancy Changes
Different hormones play their respective roles during pregnancy and are responsible for heartburn and morning sickness. As its said knowledge is power. Let’s have a look at some significant pregnancy hormones.
1. HCG – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
It’s the chief pregnancy hormone that eventually becomes the placenta. During the first ten weeks of pregnancy, a woman experiences high levels of HCG and any excess is eliminated through urine. For your information, a beta HCG test is carried out from a urine sample to confirm pregnancy. Most doctors link the episodes of morning sickness with HCG. Hence the higher the HCG level, the stronger will be the symptoms of nausea.
Progesterone is produced in the early weeks of pregnancy by the ovary. It remains high during the first trimester and helps in keeping the muscles of the uterus relaxed. Progesterone is also responsible for helping the body, bear development of a fetus. Now you know why women experience low blood pressure, as blood vessels are also relaxed due to the production of this hormone. Heartburn, gas, constipation, vomiting, acid reflux and belching are all not-so-pleasant gifts of this hormone. In some women, hair growth is also experienced due to progesterone.
Estrogen through a fetus is responsible for the development of several organs and bodily systems of a baby. Estrogen levels peak after the first trimester, as the baby starts growing. Due to the high levels of estrogen, several women experience: changes in skin pigmentation, increase in appetite, nausea, and appearance of spider veins. Pregnancy glow also caused due to estrogen is visible after the first trimester.
It doesn’t end here. Post pregnancy hormonal imbalance will lead to a couple of changes too. Let’s have a look at those.
- Postpartum depression
- Baby blues
- Menstrual issues
- Recurring infections
- Sudden loss or thinning of hair
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Lack of proper sleep
All of the above changes will take some time to get away. After the birth of a child, a mother needs to: continue using supplements, adopt healthy eating habits, stay active, have plenty of rest and stay happy.
How to Deal With Pregnancy Hormones?
Pregnancy hormones are not less than a roller coaster rider for an expecting mom. They need to be dealt with compassion and understanding. Let’s have a look at what parents need to do.
For New Moms
1. Manage Changes
Understand that a new life is coming into existence and with that, a lot of changes will occur.
2. Treat Morning Sickness
Manage morning sickness by having ginger tea or candies, whatever is more suitable.
3. Sleep Well
Manage a proper sleeping and resting schedule right from the early days of pregnancy to avoid emotional instability.
4. Quit Alcohol
Cut off smoking, alcohol, and caffeine completely, for the sake of a healthy baby.
5. Manage Weight
Manage healthy weight gain by eating nutritious food.
6. Stay Hydrated
Staying well-hydrated will make sure that you and your baby are getting the right type and quantity of fluids.
7. Take Massage
Go for a full body massage service meant especially for pregnant women.
8. Perform Yoga
Also, register for pregnancy yoga classes.
You can think of anything else too, which is positive and will help in dealing with pregnancy hormones. Make sure you communicate well with your husband and relate all the issues in a friendly manner.
For New Dads
1. Help her Sleep Well
Allow her to have ample rest and proper sleep or even naps during day time.
2. Motivate her for Exercise
Make sure some sort of light physical activity is being done on a daily basis, you can help her or even become her exercise partner, just keep it light.
3. Cater her Cravings
Address food cravings in a healthy manner and bring her the food or drinks she wants at odd hours.
4. Take care of her Nutrition
Nutrition and food intake needs to be managed carefully, you also need to keep an eye that healthy meals and portions are being taken on time.
5. Support her Emotionally
Become a source of emotional support by listening to her late night, a meaningful discussion can relieve a lot of burdens.
6. Take her for a Fresh Walk
Go for a morning or evening walk together to feel relaxed and to get some fresh air
7. Listen To Her
Stay relaxed and focused and don’t lose your cool while listening to her problems and pain, as she might repeat a few things for a couple of times
8. Take her for Regular Checkups
Take her for regular checkups instead of finding an excuse or making poor priorities
There are certainly a lot of other personal issues that you need to take care of. Being a responsible gentleman, you need to make sure that your wife doesn’t suffer at any stage of pregnancy. Be there for her always. It’s your child and hence, deserves all the attention and care that is mandatory.
Hormonal changes are inevitable and they take some time to fade away after a mother gives birth. It is the responsibility of parents to put in their efforts and stay composed. It’s more of an emotional issue that is caused due to internal changes.
I think I have covered all of the essential topics related to hormonal changes during pregnancy. And I hope it will be easier for the dads-to-be, to understand why a mother is behaving or reacting in a certain manner.
In my opinion, you can manage these changes on your own. But in case, if the hormonal changes are taking their toll and leading to some sort of complications do seek medical help. Therapy sessions meant for pregnant women help them, in staying emotionally happy and stable. They are very useful, as they help set an emotional pattern for a mother to follow for the 9 challenging months of pregnancy. I hope you become each other’s therapists and deal with hormonal changes in your own capacity.