Understanding Pregnancy Hormones
During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes a surge of hormonal changes to support the growing baby. These hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). They play crucial roles in maintaining the pregnancy and preparing the body for childbirth. Here's a breakdown of the key players:
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG): This hormone, commonly known as the pregnancy hormone, surges after conception and plays a vital role in supporting the early stages of pregnancy.
- Progesterone: It is responsible for maintaining the uterine lining and preventing contractions that could lead to early labour, progesterone levels rise steadily throughout pregnancy as compared to their entire life.
- Estrogen: This hormone increases significantly during pregnancy and is crucial for the development of your baby's organs and tissues. A very high level of this hormone can loosen the ligaments and joints throughout your body.
- Human Placental Lactogen (hPL): Also known as chorionic somatomammotropin, hPL provides nutrition to the baby and stimulates milk glands for breastfeeding. It is made from placenta
Coping Strategies for Moms-to-Be
By implementing simple everyday techniques along with a healthy diet and exercise plan, you can cope with the hormonal imbalance and ease your pregnancy. The below tips and tricks will help you cope with the changes and maintain a good environment for you and your baby.
Prioritise Self-Care Practise self-love activities that centre you such as meditation and yoga. They will help calm your mind as you spend some quality time with yourself. Visiting your favourite spa for a massage will also keep you in a good mood.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices Choosing the right food to eat, ensuring proper rest and performing regular exercises are some healthy lifestyle choices that will not only help you physically but mentally as well. When deciding what to eat, pick items rich in nutrients and vitamins that will nourish yours and the little one’s bodies. Also stay hydrated at all times by carrying a water bottle around wherever you go.
Expectant mothers are also recommended to perform at least 30 minutes worth of physical activity each day. Something as simple as walking for half an hour will help with blood circulation and keep your muscles active. Finally, ensure you get 7-8 hours of sleep everyday to regulate your hormone levels. Short naps throughout the day will also help you with managing fatigue.
- Communication and Support Maintaining open communication with your partner, family, and friends will help you with mood swings and anxiety attacks. By speaking to a seasoned parent about your problems and concerns will help you gain perspective and calm your nerves. Joining support groups is another way to stay connected with fellow mothers-to-be and share your experience and lessons you have learned along the way.
If you are a first-time parent, joining prenatal classes with your partner will teach you the basics of newborn care, how to manage possible complications, how to cope with contractions and options for pain relief. This newfound knowledge will ease your nerves for the big day by better preparing yourself for it.
- Get Supplements
Even after maintaining a healthy diet if you are not able to consume enough or all nutrients due to a dietary restriction, try supplements such as Vitamin D3, magnesium and Vitamin B. These are important to maintain a baby's healthy growth and might help regulate your hormones. Speak to your doctor or midwife before starting the course to ensure you are taking the right ones.