Maternal Physiological Changes in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body changes to make room for the baby. This is called a maternal physiological change. These changes happen in your body and include the brain, heart and blood vessels, breathing, muscles, and bones. When a woman is pregnant, her body goes through changes. These changes make the embryo or fetus grow well. The pregnant woman and the placenta produce many other hormones that have many effects during the pregnancy.

The Maternal physiological changes in pregnancy are normal and usually consistent. This means the woman has them every day of her pregnancy, more or less to the same degree or more or less on a regular basis. In addition to producing hormones for the baby’s growth a woman during pregnancy a lot more blood is produced in her body.

In this condition, the Blood Volume is increased by 40-50% during pregnancy. This may be due to an increase in plasma or a decrease in red blood cells. Women usually have more red blood cells than men, about 15 gm/100ml and this decreases further during the pregnancy eventually reaching 11 gm/100ml which is the value after delivery. This reduction of red blood cells is caused by loss of hemoglobin due to increased haemodilution and destruction of red blood cells which may be due to hemolysis, bone marrow depression, or changes in liver function.

Some major physiological changes during pregnancy condition may be an increase in the size of the uterus due to uterine muscle hypertrophy and the development of the placenta. Involution of the uterus after delivery occurs only partially while breasts enlarge and become tender, nipple pigmentation darkens, veins become more visible on the surface of the breasts.