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Did you know:

Maternal physiological changes in pregnancy (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Maternal physiological changes in pregnancy are the normal adaptations that a woman undergoes during pregnancy to better accommodate the embryo or fetus. They are physiological changes, that is, they are entirely normal, and include cardiovascular, hematologic, metabolic, renal and respiratory changes that become very important in the event of complications. The body must change its physiological and homeostatic mechanisms in pregnancy to ensure the fetus is provided for. Increases in blood sugar, breathing and cardiac output are all required. Levels of progesterone and estrogens rise continually throughout pregnancy, suppressing the hypothalamic axis and subsequently the menstrual cycle. The woman and the placenta also produce many hormones.
The body must change its physiological and homeostatic mechanisms in pregnancy to ensure the fetus grows properly and receives adequate nutrition. Increases in blood sugar, breathing and cardiac output are all required.

Hormonal:
Pregnant women experience adjustments in their endocrine system.
Levels of progesterone and estrogens rise continually throughout pregnancy, suppressing the hypothalamic axis and subsequently the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is mainly produced by the placenta and is associated with fetal well–being. Women also experience increased human chorionic gonadotropin (?-hCG); which is produced by the placenta. This maintains progesterone production by the corpus luteum. The increased progesterone production, first by corpus luteum and later by the placenta, mainly functions to relax smooth muscle.
Prolactin levels increase due to maternal pituitary gland enlargement by 50%. This mediates a change in the structure of the mammary gland from ductal to lobular-alveolar. Parathyroid hormone is increased which leads to increases of calcium uptake in the gut and reabsorption by the kidney. Adrenal hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone also increase.
Human placental lactogen (hPL) is produced by the placenta and stimulates lipolysis and fatty acid metabolism by the woman, conserving blood glucose for use by the fetus. It can also decrease maternal tissue sensitivity to insulin, resulting in gestational diabetes.

Physical:
One of the most noticeable alterations in pregnancy is the gain in weight. The enlarging uterus, the growing fetus, the placenta and liquor amnii, the acquisition of fat and water retention, all contribute to this increase in weight. The weight gain varies from person to person and can be anywhere from 5 pounds (2.3 kg) to over 100 pounds (45 kg). In America, the doctor-recommended weight gain range is 25 pounds (11 kg) to 35 pounds (16 kg), less if the woman is overweight, more (up to 40 pounds (18 kg)) if the woman is underweight.

Source: Maternal physiological changes in pregnancy. (2013, September 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:31, October 6, 2013.