Weekly Changes due to Pregnancy Hormones

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 27, 2012

Pregnancy causes a lot of hormonal changes in the mother's body and it not only helps her get through the nine months but also in the development and proper growth of the baby. Estrogen and progesterone are the two major hormones present in the woman's body which can also be found in the placenta that holds the baby. The weekly changes caused by these hormones are available in pregnancy charts that you can buy over the counter although they may not be accurate for you. Hormone levels vary according to the mother's health, age, body type and so on.

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Hence, any chart will only give a general picture of the hormonal changes per week and the effects of it on mother and child. These hormone levels fluctuate and rise during pregnancy till the woman gives birth. Progesterone in high levels though is usually the culprit that causes irritation, a runny nose, sniffles, difficulty in bowel movement, heartburn, headaches, trouble seeing things clearly, as well as the increased risk for infections of the kidney.

With all these problems, progesterone is essential for both mother and child as it prevents harmful cells from entering and attacking the placenta. With the help of the hormone estrogen, it aids in the secretion of fluid and in the development of the endometrium. Breast tissue grows gradually over the weeks with the help of both progesterone and estrogen. They prevent the mother from lactating before giving birth while also keeping the uterus from contracting and thus ensuring that the baby remains in the uterus till it is due. The red rashes or blotches on the woman's skin during pregnancy are because of the increased presence of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is essential for the baby to develop and is responsible for both the activation as well as the healthy development of the reproductive organs and system. The flow of blood and fluids within the uterus is regulated by this particular hormone which is additionally responsible for the regulation of the bone density of the baby. There are several other hormones present in the body with their own functions. Corticotrophin-releasing hormone, simply called CRH increases drastically when pregnant and peaks when close to delivery. In the early days of the pregnancy, they prevent the mother's body from fighting off the newly implanted fetus. However, mood swings, the inability to sleep and anxiety can also be caused due to the increased production of this hormone as the weeks move forward.

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