Pregnancy Hormones- Why Are New Moms So Moody?

Written by Ria Saha • 
Image: IStock

One of the greatest experiences of being a woman is being pregnant, and it is said that motherhood completes womanhood. Besides, the arrival of a new member in your family heralds happiness and satisfaction. But, often the elation and the satisfaction come at a price- typically in the form of hormonal, physical, and psychological changes you experience. But, there’s nothing to worry about, as all you need to do is read this post to learn all about those pregnancy hormones.

Pregnancy Hormones:

There are three key hormones which play a significant role in gestation. Let’s talk about them and make simpler for you:

1. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG):

  • It’s also known as the “the announcer of pregnancy.” The home pregnancy test kit you bought from the drug store. Well, it measures the level of this hormone to confirm your pregnancy.
  • The rate of secretion of hCG is high when your pregnancy starts, and for the first to tenth weeks, the rate nearly doubles every two days.

2. Progesterone:

  • It is the hormone that is most prevalent during your pregnancy. The gland corpus luteum secretes the hormone, and it is present within your ovary after it has released the matured eggs.
  • The two most important functions that this hormone performs is relaxing of your uterus, and helping your immune system adapt to unknown DNA in the fetus.

3. Estrogen:

It is majorly produced by your ovaries, adrenal cortex and also the placenta and the fetus.

Some important functions of estrogen include:

  • Proper control of your menstrual cycle
  • Growth of secondary characters in your body like body hairs
  • Growth of placenta and your breasts
  • Controlling the other pregnancy hormones
  • Controlling the hormonal balance of the fetus etc (1).

Mood Swings Vs. Pregnancy Hormones:

Mood swings are quite common during pregnancy, and the chief reason for them is a hormonal imbalance. This change, in turn, reduces the level of neurotransmitters, better known as the collection of chemicals present in your brains which manage different moods. Depression and anxiety are the two commonest forms of mood swings during pregnancy. Some prevalent factors that lead to mood swings during your pregnancy include:

  • If you have a medical history of depression related problems
  • Mental illness in your family
  • Complications caused during earlier pregnancies
  • Being a mother at young age or single mother
  • Less support from partner, relatives, and friends, etc.

Physical Effects Of Pregnancy Hormones:

Besides the psychological changes, there are several adverse physical effects that occur in your pregnancy hormones. It’ll be helpful for you to know them:

1. Queasiness:

The chief architect (or culprit) behind this problem is hCG. It’s also known as morning sickness, but it can occur anytime during the day. You may mostly experience it during your 8th-10th weeks, and when the 2nd trimester kicks in, this effect tells you goodbye. Besides consulting with your doctor, you can intake herbal teas or tablets containing vitamin B6 to cure this.

2. Frequent Urination:

Another adverse effect of hCG is that increases the amount of blood flowing to your pelvic region. You may have a heightened wish to pee. However, it fades away during your 2nd trimester.

3. Frequent Illness:

You already know that hCG hormone helps your body’s immune system get used to the foreign DNA entering your body. The way which this hormone does this is by making your immune system weaker thus making your body more susceptible to germs and illness. You should immediately consult with your doctor and should never take any medicines unadministered by the doctor. Constipation is also quite common during this time.

4. Fatigue:

An increase in the level of progesterone makes you feel sleepy and tired. This side effect is visible till your 1st trimester.

5. Vaginal discharge:

Vaginal discharge is quite common for a woman. But during your pregnancy, the discharge can be different than what you’ve seen earlier. Sometimes, the discharge is yellowish and slimy whereas at other times it’s a thick whitish fluid. You should not worry or get afraid at all as this is a normal act and is affected by estrogen in your body. Foul smell from your vagina or it starts to itch, get in touch with your doctor.

6. Skin Disorders:

Melasma is a skin disorder where black patches develop on your skin. It is quite common among pregnant women. It occurs due to an increased secretion of estrogen and progesterone and the factor that controls your body color, melanin, is generated more than normal. Your areola may become darker due to hyperpigmentation. But, according to many, this is good as your baby can find the nipple for feeding easily (2).

Simple Tips To Restore Hormonal Balance:

Hormonal imbalance can cause many problems. Let’s look at how you can prevent this imbalance:

  • Exercise: Walking and some light exercises are very helpful, but you should never undergo heavy cardiac exercises.
  • Avoid white food: Gynecologist always suggest avoiding white food such as bread, pasta, milk, rice as much as possible
  • Control your caffeine intake: You should control your wish to intake caffeine as it promotes cortisol levels and also hamper the activities of the thyroid glands.
  • Taking necessary supplements: Before you read this, you should always remember that these supplements should not be randomly taken by you but as per the advice of your doctor. Supplements like evening primrose oil, Omega 3s, maca, chaste berry have an excellent effect on your hormone regulation.
  • Coconut oil: Unsaturated fats and quality cholesterol help your hormonal balance, and this is where coconut oil and avocados play a huge role.
  • Vitamin D: The presence of vitamin D has a significant effect on hormonal stability as it acts as a hormone. Besides enjoying your time in the morning sun (sun rays are prime sources of vitamin D), you can also take supplements prescribed by your doctor.
  • Less stress: Get proper sleep and rest and keep away stress as much as possible. It can keep the cortisol levels in your body under control.
  • Stop taking additional pills: It is a grave mistake dome by many pregnant ladies. You should never take any other medicine during your pregnancy. Consultation with your doctors before taking pills is always the most sensible thing to do.

Did you experience any of the adverse effects of hormonal imbalance during pregnancy? What measures did you adopt? Tell us here.

Was this article helpful?