Today we’re going to know about surprising effects of pregnancy.
Muscles and joints changes and jostle. The rapid rhythm of the heart increases speed. Blood seeps through the arteries and veins.
During pregnancy, every part of the body changes. Ignited by a series of hormones, these changes begin as soon as pregnancy begins.
A few days after fertilization, the fetus lies in the lining of the uterus. Because its DNA does not exactly match that of mothers, the immune system should theoretically identify it as an attacker, attack, and destroy it, such as bacteria or other harmful microbes.
• This is the challenge: the mother’s immune system needs to protect both her and the fetus, but it usually does not.
What happens is not as simple as reducing the immune response. Rather, it is a complex interaction that we are just beginning to understand, including many types of immune cells — some of which appear to protect the fetus from attack by other immune cells.
The body also produces an antibacterial plug made of mucus on the cervix, which keeps germs away and sealed until labor.
As the pregnancy progresses, the uterus expands upward and outward with the growing fetus. To make room, progesterone and relaxin signal hormones to loosen muscles.
The muscles that circulate food and waste through the digestive system also become relaxed, causing them to become sluggish, causing constipation and slowing the passage.
Loose muscles at the top of the stomach can allow the acid to escape into the esophagus and throat, causing heartburn and reflux.
These changes can worsen morning sickness, which is caused by the hormone hCG — and can also occur at other times of the day.
As the uterus grows, it pushes on the diaphragm, the muscle that stretches the chest and shrinks with each breath. This limits the range of the diaphragm.
To compensate, the hormone progesterone acts as a respiratory stimulant, allowing the pregnant woman to breathe faster, so that both her and the baby get enough oxygen with reduced lung capacity.
All this can make a pregnant woman feel short of breath. Meanwhile, the kidneys make huge amount of erythropoietin(a hormone that increases red blood cell production).
The kidneys keep excess water and salt in the urine instead of filtering to make the blood volume.
A pregnant woman’s blood volume increases by 50% or more. But it is a bit thin because it only has 25% more red blood cells.
Generally, our body makes blood cells using iron from our food. But during pregnancy, the fetus is also building its blood supply from the nutrients in the mother’s food — leaving less iron and other nutrients for the mother.
So The heart has to work very hard to push all this blood through the body and placenta.
A pregnant woman’s heart rate increases, but we do not fully understand how blood pressure changes in a healthy pregnancy — an important area of research, as some of the most serious complications are related to heart and blood pressure.
The expanding uterus may press on the veins — causing fluid buildup in the legs and feet. If it presses on a large vein called the inferior vena cava, it can interfere with the blood returning to the heart, causing dizziness in blood pressure after standing for too long.
Some of these changes begin to reverse before birth. Shortly before delivery, the fetus falls down, the pressure on the diaphragm decreases and the pregnant woman is allowed to breathe deeply.
During childbirth and birth, excess fluid in the body is lost when water breaks down. The uterus shrinks in the weeks following birth.
Like the rest of the body, pregnancy affects the brain – but here its effects are least understood.
Recent studies show differences in brain scans after pregnancy and early upbringing and suggest that these changes are adaptive. This means that they can help with parenting skills, such as an increased ability to read facial cues because children cannot talk.
The lack of information about the effects of pregnancy on the brain exposes a general truth: historically, almost all research around pregnancy has focused on the fetus rather than pregnant women.
Pregnancy experiences vary widely, both within the range of healthy pregnancies and because of complex health conditions — new research will help us understand why, and where necessary, develop effective treatments. Meanwhile, every pregnancy is different, and it is important to consult a doctor with any specific questions.
Today, we are turning an exciting corner, as more research is devoted to the shocking biology of pregnancy.
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