Mood swings, bloating, and blemishes are just a few of the many side effects pregnancy hormones cause. Most pregnant women hope to be the woman who glows, who gains only weight in her stomach, and the woman who is so happy about being pregnant she smiles all the time. In reality, most pregnant women’s hormones cause you to feel a little out of sorts. With so many hormones coursing through your body during pregnancy, it’s important to know what the pregnancy hormone is and why it makes you feel the way you feel.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
This hormone is more commonly referred to as hCG, or the pregnancy hormone. This hormone is the one your home pregnancy test is looking for in your urine. This particular hormone is one of the first ones you will notice when you become pregnant. Once your egg meets your partner’s sperm and fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg enters your fallopian tubes and begins its journey to your uterus. Once the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus, which is referred to as implantation, you are officially pregnant. Now your body will begin to produce hCG. It takes a few days for your hCG levels to become noticeable after your fertilized egg implants. Typically, the level of your hCG doubles every 48 to 72 hours. For this reason, pregnant women are encouraged to wait a few days before taking a subsequent pregnancy test if your first test has a negative result.
Morning sickness is caused by pregnancy hormones. If you’ve ever spoken to a mom or expectant mother, you know that morning sickness is not necessarily something you experience only in the morning. Some pregnant women feel sick all day, in the afternoon, at night, or every so often. However, it’s caused by hCG. The reason for this is the rapid pace at which your body produces this hormone. Pregnancy hormones cause your immune system to slow down, your bladder to feel full more frequently, and it causes nausea. Fortunately, most women notice that morning sickness subsides around the beginning of the second trimester, which is typically when hCG production slows.
This pregnancy hormone is one your body produces very early in pregnancy. Its primary function is to help your immune system accept the growing baby inside your body. Since your immune system’s job is to attack foreign DNA, your levels of progesterone help your body understand that the baby is supposed to be there so that your immune system does not attack the fetus. Unfortunately, progesterone also causes gas, acid reflux, dizziness, constipation, vomiting, and even hair growth. While having lush, thick, faster growing hair is rarely an issue for any woman, having unwanted hair growing on your breasts and stomach is an issue. If you experience any of these symptoms while you are expecting, be sure to talk to your doctor before you take any sort of over-the-counter medication to help ease the pain. Many medications are not safe for women who are expecting a child. Your doctor should provide you with a list of safe to use medications at your first prenatal appointment.
This very feminine hormone has an important part in your pregnancy. It helps your baby develop. It helps your baby’s adrenal gland develop, enhances your uterus, and it helps your baby’s major organs develop. The downside to the increased levels of this hormone during pregnancy is that it can have a negative effect on the look and feel of your skin, it can increase your appetite, and it can cause spider veins. While the female body produces estrogen regularly, the amount produced while you are pregnant is significantly higher than any other time in your life.
This is the hormone you will want coursing through your body as you begin to near your due date. At the end of your pregnancy, oxytocin is the hormone that will prepare your cervix for labor. It stretches your cervix to prepare it for childbirth, and it helps your body produce breast milk. There is no real downside to oxytocin. Pitocin is the medication doctors use to induce labor in women, and it is the synthetic form of the oxytocin your body produces naturally when you are preparing for labor.
The hormones your body produces during pregnancy can cause a lot of new and unusual symptoms. You might be happy with symptoms such as increased hair growth and your pregnancy glow. However, you probably won’t be so happy with symptoms such as morning sickness, veins, and blemishes. It is important to remember, however, that all your pregnancy hormones are doing an important job. No matter how many mood swings or bouts of morning sickness you experience, it’s all so that your baby will develop at a healthy rate.