During pregnancy, changes are noticed in various organs, body weight, metabolic activities, and functional status of various organ systems. Pregnancy, no doubt is a state of physiological stress, but should not be confused as a disease.
This read is going to give you a peek on what happens inside your body when you become pregnant, so it becomes easy for you to relate to your symptoms you notice outside or seek medical help if needed.
Let’s talk about the wonder liquid that is going to be the channel of transportation between you and your little apple pie.
The blood volume goes up by 50% approximately; this is because plasma (liquid part of the blood) volume increases and blood become dilute known as hemodilution. This is why it is important to have proper prenatal care and iron replacement or the mother may become anemic.
The amount of blood pumped by your heart goes up by 30% in the first trimester itself and then reaches normal in the later stages of pregnancy.
Blood pressure remains normal during the first trimester and may slightly decrease during the second trimester due to the diversion of blood towards the pelvic area.
If not taken proper care, high blood pressure may develop.
This is a high blood pressure disorder also called toxemia of pregnancy which develops usually in the last trimester of pregnancy. Symptoms include:
It is a serious condition of pre-eclampsia showing severe spasms and dangerously high blood pressure. It happens just before, during, or after delivery and leads to death if treatment is not given.
The overall activity of the respiratory system increases as there is increased oxygen demand and waste products are also being produced in larger amounts. Stuffy or runny nose and nosebleeds may happen. The chest becomes barrel-shaped or increases in size from front to back. Upward movement of the diaphragm takes place, that is a large flat muscle used for respiration, located just below the lungs
Blood flow towards kidneys increases resulting in increased urine formation. The urine becomes diluted and increased frequency of urination is observed due to pressure exerted by bladder on the uterus.
During the initial stages, the mother may observe morning sickness that includes vomiting, nausea, and giddiness due to hormonal imbalances. The overall bowel movements decrease for efficient absorption of nutrients which may often lead to constipation. Squishing of the stomach and intestine by uterus also leads to gas, burping, and flatulence.
The size of the gland increases by 50%. LH and FSH decrease due to increased estrogen and progesterone. Prolactin required for milk production increases.
Multiple hormones by the adrenal increase in the amount to move nutrients towards the fetus. Also, it helps in retaining water and sodium in the body.
Increased thyroid activity helps in preparing mammary glands for lactation and overall energy utilization in the body
Its activities increases and parathormone is released in increased amount helping in maintaining calcium levels in the mother’s blood despite the loss of large amount to the fetus.
There is a general excitement of the nervous system during pregnancy leading to mood imbalances, excitement, or depression during the early stages of pregnancy, and later on, the expectant mother becomes excited because of anticipation of the delivery of the baby.
Previously, it was believed that the mother’s immune has to be repressed in order to avoid rejection of the fetus by the mother’s body, But, new studies show that to allow the developing embryo to implant, some of its cells actively invade the womb’s lining. This leads to an inflammatory cascade, similar to the events that occur during wound healing. If inflammation is prevented from occurring, implantation cannot proceed, highlighting the importance of inflammatory molecules and cells in this process.
This pro-inflammatory environment dominates the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. During the following 15 weeks, the developing fetus is in a state of rapid growth and development. Anti-inflammatory cells and molecules prevail.
M. Sc. Gold Medalist