As women we become aware of our own hormones from probably around 12 or 13 years old. Whether through mood swings, periods or general emotional changes women are aware of the chemicals running through our blood stream that seem to be directing both our bodies and our minds (not necessarily at our own will either)! The journey to practical motherhood, which includes conception and pregnancy, is overwhelmed with hormones. Your body is building another person and this takes enormous effort. Whilst there is a definite awareness of hormones we are naturally quite confused as to what exactly they do. With enough to worry about we thought it would be a cool idea to break down exactly what hormones are running through your body when but also how to stabilise these sometimes pesky friends!
Hormones during pregnancy are used to regulate your body’s functions so that your baby can be born safely!
The hormones that dominate the body during pregnancy are the following:
1.Oestrogen = this hormone often considered a defining female hormone and it plays its turn in hormone development of the child. The Oestrogen encourages hormone production in the foetus’s adrenal gland itself! Furthermore the oestrogen allows for the uterus to respond to oxytocin!
2.Progesterone = The corpus luteum produces progesterone for about the first 10 weeks of pregnancy but then the production is taken over by the placenta (the mother ship of the womb). Progesterone is as essential as milk on cereal; it keeps the uterus muscles relaxed and helps the immune system tolerate foreign DNA, which is in fact the foetus itself.
3.Oxytocin = Despite its somewhat terrifying name Oxytocin is the hormone that doesn’t induce labour but it is what the uterus responds to and allows the cervix to stretch and encourages the nipples to produce milk
4.Prolactin = If you’ve got milk its down to this beautiful hormone. It is often nick named the milk producing hormone and it increases 10 to 20 times during pregnancy; it also has a tranquilizing effect! But it definitely prepares breast tissues for lactation and the release of milk.
5.Relaxin = Relaxin does to an extent indeed relax! The role of this lazy hazy hormone is to loosen the muscles that bind the pelvic bones and to relax the uterus muscles so that during labour the child easily passes through the birth canal
6.HCG = this hormone ultimately manifests to become the placenta. It essentially alerts the body to the fact it is growing another being so the bodily functions can alter to suit the demands of pregnancy. It also stops further egg release. The release of HCG peaks at 60-90 days but then levels off. HCG is the hormone used to detect pregnancy and also what has been speculated to cause morning sickness
After birth your hormones plummet back to reality and this often causes some very unsettling feelings for mothers and with the pressure of a newborn this can often lead to potentially debilitating emotions. The baby blues often begin to rear their head after 2 -4 days. Getting over these blues and fully enjoying your new one can be difficult and post natal depression or struggles are not something that should ever be brushed over. There are however some little tricks and tips that can be used to get you back to feeling your best and here they are:
1.As advised by Dr Christiane Northup avoids white foods!
2.Exercise for the release of positive endorphins
3.Avoid unpolysaturated fats
5.Try not to be on an oral contraceptive
6.Avoid toxins (that’s why our packaging is BPA free!)
8.Grab your Vitamin D
9.Eat lots of Fibre
10.Cram in coconut oil and avocadoes as these healthy fats are essential for a functioning female endocrine system
11.Fix your leptin levels to get your diet balanced
Hormones with the right care and management can keep your body at its best. Having a well educated awareness of your hormones can give women and men an increased understanding of their bodies so action can be taken to get an keep you in your best shape.