Your pregnancy hormones are the reason that you suffer from morning sickness, how your body knows to prepare for birth, and that it's time to produce milk. Some of the hormones responsible for the amazing changes in your body include:
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is the hormone that tells your body that it's pregnant, and that your uterus needs to prepare. Although it courses throughout your body, it's concentrated in your urine, which is why you get to pee on a stick to determine if you're going to have baby. This is also the hormone that makes many women tired and nauseated during their first trimester – so you know what's to blame.
Estrogen directs the growth of certain parts of the fetus and causes changes in the fetus's adrenal gland for proper development.
Progesterone ensures that the muscle wall of the uterus is relaxed and tells your body that it's okay there's a fetus in your body, keeping your immune system under control.
Oxytocin is responsible for contractions.
Prolactin helps your body produce milk and enables you to release your milk when breastfeeding.
Relaxin helps the ligaments relax enough to handle the rigors of labor as you push the baby out. This hormone may also cause your joints to feel a bit loose, so soreness in your hips and knees isn’t uncommon.
Why Do I Feel . . . (Fill in the Blank!)
When pregnant women experience hormonal changes, it can cause:
- Morning sickness
- Mood swings
- Mental fog
- Sensitivity to Certain Smells
It’s very important to remember that this is all normal! Whether your body is just starting preparations for a baby or is getting ready for the baby to make her exit, these hormones all work together so that you can have a healthy (and hopefully happy) pregnancy.