We know hormones change when you're expecting a baby. Here's how they can affect you during pregnancy
Here are the hormones that will affect you during your pregnancy, labour and birth...
To relax the smooth muscle in your womb and stimulate breast tissue growth.
Pretty much everything! It’s the main cause of tiredness, and can cause bloating, acid reflux, breast tenderness and hip pain.
At the start of pregnancy, peaking before birth.
Your energy levels should return by the second trimester.
To maintain levels of oestrogen and progesterone.
Your tummy. It causes morning sickness and makes you need to wee more.
Straight away, and rises in first 12 weeks.
Usually peaks around weeks 8 to 10, after which you should feel that pregnancy ‘bloom’.
To help the foetus and milk glands develop.
Everything. It gives you that flushed glow, magnifies your emotions and also increases your sense of smell.
It’s produced by the placenta throughout pregnancy.
Symptoms will lessen in the second trimester, and levels fall immediately after birth.
To start contractions, start milk production, and induce bonding with your newborn.
Contractions and your milk flow.
During labour itself.
Oxytocin levels fall directly after birth.
Prepares your body for breastfeeding.
Your breasts and milk production.
It’s present throughout the entire pregnancy.
Levels remain high for 2 weeks after birth, and breastfeeding further stimulates prolactin production, enabling you to lactate.
When you are experiencing morning sickness, try alternative therapies such as aromatherapy and reflexology, or get a hypnotherapy CD.
Dr Rana Conway, nutritionist
To soften the cervix and ligaments, so as to accommodate growth.
Just after ovulation, peaking during the first trimester.
Effects will stay with you until after the birth itself.
“Having miraculously avoided morning sickness, I felt great through most of my pregnancy. I tend to get a bad back and even this wasn’t so bad in pregnancy, I think because the hormonal changes can affect you either way.
"However, bang on the 16-week mark, I got a snuffly nose. For about a week I thought I was coming down with a cold and then I read that it can be down to hormonal changes! I had it right up until I had Lucas, which was so weird. It wasn’t really uncomfortable, just odd to know that my body was affected like that!”
Della, 34, mum to Lucas, 14 months
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