Pregnany Hormones

Having a baby isn’t easy. Although men try to understand it, they just don’t get it. They never get it because the major changes in the body (and the moods!) does not happen to them. It happens to YOU. You can point the blame on pregnancy hormones.

Women, Body Changes, and Having a Baby.

First of all, childbirth or delivery could be one of the most painful experiences of motherhood for some. Secondly, our bodies go through so many changes that it’s questionable if they will ever return to their original form. Thirdly, we are creating another human being inside of us, while still going to work, running errands, preparing for the baby, and dealing with the joys of pregnancy like morning sickness. Give yourself a round of applause and remember you’re not alone.

Women have to deal with hormones starting from our first period. Our body goes through many changes. We all do things that were caused by our cycles that may not have been the most logical decision-making.  When we are pregnant, our pregnancy hormones sky-rocket through the roof causing us to behave … well, not like our usual nice and charming selves.

Let’s take a look at the science behind pregnancy and why our bodies go through what they do when creating life.

Pregnancy Hormones and You

The tissues that create the baby, produce hormones causing levels to rise. These hormones cause us to be a little moody, gassy, constipated, bloated, tired, nauseas, etc (the list goes on) but it’s all worth it in the end. The hormones are necessary for baby’s development and to help you provide a safer delivery and breastfeeding afterwards.

Believe it or not there are many many hormones. Each hormone does something different and also impacts/affects you differently. It’s hard to detect which hormone creates what symptoms for the mother-to-be because they all are circling your body simultaneously. However, it’s known their purposes.

Here are the primary hormones and their roles in pregnancy:

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is the hormone that shows first signs. This hormone can only be found in pregnant women. This is what pregnancy tests determine whether you are pregnant or not, due to the increased levels of this hormone in your bloodstream and urine. It ultimately creates your placenta and is doubling every two days for the first 10 weeks. It also tells the rest of your body you’re creating life thus, shutting down your period. Just beware that sometimes, woman do bleed from pregnancy (even when it’s not a miscarriage).

HPL (Human Placental Lactogen)

HPL (Human Placental Lactogen) affects the placenta in order to help give nutrition to the fetus. It also has an impact on your stomach causing nausea and sometimes slows down your metabolism.


 Progesterone increases in the first trimester and its level decreases slowly after placenta is fully formed. It helps your immune system in defending itself from the new DNA coming from the fetus. Additionally in preparation for birth, it helps breast tissue growth and softens your joints. It also causes hair growth.


Estrogen is a hormone that helps grow and create organs in the fetus along with other development. It also takes on a big role in regulating other hormones such as oxytocin.


Oxytocin is produced to help delivery (help with contractions and preparing the uterus). It also helps the body to prepare for breast milk by stimulating the nipples.


Prolactin is the star hormone in producing milk. By impacting your breasts to become bigger and helping your body to produce the milk.


Relaxin is just like what it sounds. It’s there to relax your body (muscles, ligaments, bones, etc. ) to prepare for the delivery.

In conclusion, there’s an upside and a downside to hormones during pregnancy. We create life but we must also endure the fun symptoms whether it’s physical like nausea, weight gain, hair growth, or emotional like mood swings, fatigue, or irritability.


Pregnancy Hormones Stories

Here’s some stories other moms shared with us:

My husband and I went out for a walk one sunny afternoon. He said something that really set me off. I immediately turned around to go the way back home raging with anger. I didn’t even want to talk to him. I snuck into my own house and grabbed my purse and took off. A couple hours later he found me sitting and crying by the water fountain at the park.

I was hit with a crazy craving for some tomato and avocado sandwiches. To my surprise we were out of bread. So I asked my husband to grab some from the store on his way home. Later when he returned with the wrong kind of bread, I kicked him out of the house. He told me they were out of the kind I like, and I told him he was a liar and to get out. I was so crazy. He left just to let me cool down. He called me later on to say that I had been acting a little crazy and this of course just made me even more furious. The next morning I went on my own to the store and sure enough they were out of my favourite bread.”
— Annaka

“It was 10pm and I had a mass craving for Arby’s. So I sent my partner to go get me some. But by the time he had returned, I wasn’t hungry anymore and couldn’t eat.”

“Pickles for breakfast. Pickles for lunch. Pickles for dinner. This went on for about week or so. Then with a flick of switch, I suddenly couldn’t stand the taste of it, the smell of it, and even the sight of it!!”
— Miranda

“One time I threw my remote at the wall because my significant other went to watch TV in the living room instead of our own room. Wow, I just realized how crazy that sounds. In that moment, I felt like I was completely fair in my actions.”
— Leila

“I craved soap. Literally to the point where I would eat it and love the taste. This occurred more with my older daughter and less with my second. But i did take a bite twice, I mean that’s just how much I craved it.”
— Alexander

Share Your Pregnancy Hormones Story

UC Baby invites you to share your story of the craziest thing you did during pregnancy. It could be about an odd craving or a memorable episode of yelling at your partner for something that never needed to go that far. We want women all over to share their stories so we can all together look back and laugh at the crazy trip that mother nature puts us through.

Here are some of the stories from our Facebook followers:

« I had cravings for spicy food, pickles and chocolate this pregnancy. Which is not like me at all since I cant even eat a full chocolate bar normally. So one night as the cravings hit (funny it was just after halloween) I stole some of my kid’s chocolate and was eating while watching a movie. And my husband was in the kitchen making himself a shawarma type wrap and I heard the fork hitting the rim of the pickle jar. Needless to say I ended up sitting at the table with the jar of pickles right after finishing munching on my kids’s Oh Henrys and such. Husband couldn’t help but laugh because I instantly stopped watching my movie when I heard the pickle jar. Oh pregnancy, what a beautiful time!
— Elsa Falace

I loved ketchup chips with peanut butter.
— Reanne Ross

When I was pregnant I was clearing out the freezer after a day of groceries to fit everything in. Well I didn’t realize I took out my box of icecream sandwiches which were my biggest craving and left them on the table. An hour later I went to get one and realized my error and spent the next hour ugly crying into my boyfriend because I was so upset. He just tried not to laugh and put them in the freezer so they would just refreeze but at the time everything was over and I couldn’t breathe from being so worked up I ended up napping my sorrow away hahah
— Jessica Hogan

Pizza pops stuffed with BBQ chips , and pickles I don’t like pickles but all of a sudden I do now…. ??
— Nicole Kendra

Pickles, dim sum and macaroni and cheese haha. Oh and cilantro which I used to love haha...???
— Carolina Kennedy

I worked in the meat department at work and the only smell that ever bothered me was if there was blood in the boxes the meat came in or rotted meat. Even when I found out I was pregnant there weren’t any new smells at work that bothered me. My sense of smell was definitely heightened though. I’ll never forget before I found out I was pregnant I kept telling my mom her perfume smelled like cat pee. Every single day I would tell her. It never smelled that way to me before so I had a feeling something was going on. My mom was so offended but once she found out why, she forgave me (after her 10 minutes of shocked-anger). ?
— Caila Seeley

When I was pregnant I was scrolling through facebook and saw a video of a peanut butter and pickle sandwich… I hate pickles but watched this video about 5X and then told my husband I needed to have one and it was delicious lol The same day I started craving Chinese food (fried rice and chow mein) on top of pizza :p My baby boy was born August 18, 2017 🙂 Were in Halifax NS
— Shelley Landry

Haha Pickles and Guacamole for the first few weeks.
— Sharlyn Vanderhoek