6 Key Pregnancy Hormones Explained

HCG hormone doubles every 48 hours in early pregnancy, hitting its maximum level at around eight to ten weeks. Its rising levels trigger the body to start preparing for pregnancy and it regulates the production of oestrogen and progesterone. Headaches, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, insomnia, nausea and vomiting (the dreaded ‘morning sickness’) and frequent urination. Oestrogen is produced from pre-pregnancy until about 10 to 12 weeks from the follicle area in the ovary (corpus luteum), where the egg is released from. Progesterone is produced from pre-pregnancy until about 10 to 12 weeks from the follicle area in the ovary (corpus luteum), where the egg is released from. It suppresses the mother’s response to foetal antigens, helping to prevent the mother’s body rejecting the embryo, which can result in miscarriage or premature labour. Gastrointestinal discomfort, including indigestion, heartburn, constipation and bloating; aching hips, pubic bone and back; bleeding gums; and increased sweating. Relaxin helps to prepare the uterine lining for implantation of the embryo, assists uterine growth to accommodate your growing baby, helps to prevent premature labour, assists cervical ripening, important to facilitate labour, relaxes pelvic ligaments in preparation for birth and reduces insulin resistance. It also helps the circulation of the mother increase to meet thedemands of a growing baby by relying blood vessel walls. It can also cause heartburn, as it relaxes the smooth muscle and sphincter of the stomach, enabling acid to flow back up into the food pipe. Sometimes referred to as the ‘love’ hormone, this is also the chemical that helps you bond with your newborn and release milk when the baby suckles, if you are breast feeding. Prolactin is responsible for the enlargement of the mammary glands and milk production, which normally starts when levels of progesterone fall at the end of pregnancy, and a suckling stimulus (your baby!)

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