Pregnancy represents a unique part of every woman’s life. It is regarded as one of most sacred and most rewarding processes which women can perform for their family. In order to facilitate baby, many things change in woman’s biological system prior to the birth to a baby. Besides the outer appearance of the body, numerous inner processes change. For example, levels of estrogen and progesterone rise immensely during this period. Other hormones also change in their level and functionality. Together with estrogen and progesterone, level of oxytocin, which is very important for bonding, rises as well in order to prepare for motherhood.
Oxytocin hormone is extremely influential for the maternal processes. It is referred to as “bonding hormone” which it precisely does in this case. This hormone is important for all the social processes in human, our first contact with other people and trust factor. During pregnancy, it establishes a bond between mother and her child. It is important to be mentioned that oxytocin works as a hormone which creates the bond, it doesn’t sustain it. Besides this important social component, oxytocin also has influence on feeding. It is creates letdown reflex which enables children to suck on their mother’s milk. It also prepares fetal neurons for delivery of the baby. It silences the brain of the baby, making it less vulnerable. All of these make it very important hormone during pregnancy. In some cases, mothers are given oxytocin in a form of oxytocin sublingual drops or oxytocin nasal spray. This way, the level of oxytocin gets in normal and all the processes are performed smoothly.
Naturally, it is hard to exclude estrogen and progesterone when we talk about pregnancy. They are the most important hormones during this process. Interesting fact is that the quantity of estrogen peaks during pregnancy. In that sense, women produce more of it during pregnancy than during rest of their lives. Similarly to oxytocin hormone, which is important for mental functions of both baby and mother, estrogen is important for physical characteristics and development of the baby. They are important for placenta and uterus because they enable them to transfer nutrients to the baby, as well as for vascularization. Furthermore, estrogen is important for entire development of fetus and its maturity. Besides all of that, estrogen influences all the other things which happen to mother which is bearing the baby. They improve lactation and they are connected to nausea which appears during first month of the pregnancy.
In a normal, healthy woman body, there is a constant balance between estrogen and progesterone. It is only normal, that during pregnancy, when estrogen in female body peaks, progesterone rises together with it. During pregnancy, this sharp change leads to loosening of ligaments and joints. Also, some parts of the body, which are important for birth increase. This is reflected by increase of uterus and ureters. Similarly to oxytocin, estrogen and progesterone hormone levels need to be on appropriate level so future mothers need to sustain it properly.
This is a guest article by NICK STOKES.
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