Relaxin Hormone During Pregnancy – Everything You Need To Know

Relaxin Hormone During Pregnancy

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As your due date is fast approaching, you are probably panicking about the impending labor. And, if you are worried about being able to push your baby out with ease, well if it helps, you are not alone. But, don’t worry too much, because a little bit of relaxin can ease the process. Here Momjunction has some pertinent information about the relaxin hormone during pregnancy. So, read our post below.

What Is The Relaxin Hormone?

Relaxin is a hormone that the body produces during pregnancy. Relaxin production usually begins after ovulation. The hormone’s levels rise during the first trimester and in the last few weeks of your pregnancy. The main function of the relaxin hormone during pregnancy is to loosen and relax the pelvic muscles for easy vaginal delivery [1].

However, relaxin is also found in both men and non-pregnant women. But during pregnancy, females experience a steep rise in relaxin production. The uterine lining, the placenta and the membranes around the fetus – all produce the relaxin hormone to ease delivery. In the case of non-pregnant women, the corpus luteum, a structure in the ovary that secretes hormones, alone produces the hormone. In men, the prostate gland secretes the relaxin hormone in their bodies.

[ Read: Pregnancy Hormones ]

Role Of Relaxin Hormone During Pregnancy:

Relaxin hormone serves various body functions during pregnancy. Some of them include:

  • The role of relaxin during pregnancy is, it widens the pelvic muscles to prepare the body for birth. The ease with which you can push your baby out during the natural birth process depends on the flexibility of your pelvic muscles. Relaxin also relaxes the pelvic muscles.
  • Relaxin helps stretch the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. This is an important function as your abdominal muscles need to stretch continuously to accommodate your growing baby. The presence of Relaxin in pregnancy also stretches the rib cage so that the body can better adjust to the pressure on the diaphragm from your growing uterus. Relaxin affects other ligaments as well. The increased production of the hormone during pregnancy makes most tendons and ligaments more flexible than normal.
  • Relaxin inhibits uterine contractions during the early stages of the pregnancy, which prevents premature births [2].

[ Read: Progesterone Level During Pregnancy ]

Other Effects Of Relaxin Hormone During Pregnancy:

So you see, the relaxin hormone is quite helpful during pregnancy. But it can trigger some other effects, which can lead to minor discomforts or health issues. So, you need to learn all about these effects of relaxin during pregnancy, which often include:

  • Relaxin during pregnancy also affects the spinal ligaments, which can lead to pain and instability. So, you need to pay careful attention to your posture during pregnancy as you are more susceptible to back problems [3].
  • If you are pregnant, you can suffer from pelvic girdle pain (PGP). Pelvic girdle refers to the bone structure that supports legs, hip joints, and other surrounding joints. Anyone can experience PGP. But when you are pregnant, the cause of PGP often is the changes in pelvic girdle structure due to effects of the relaxin hormone. Relaxin and other hormones can make the pelvic girdle ligaments loose, which can cause pain in the pelvic joints [4].
  • During pregnancy, when your muscles are loose due to the effects of hormones such as relaxin, you are at a greater risk of injuries. You can overstretch your muscles and even risk a fall. For instance, you can be working on yoga postures or stretching exercises that promote flexibility but due to your lose ligaments, you can risk over-stretching your various joints and muscles. Therefore, it is best to stick to exercises that promote stability as per your doctor’s recommendations [5].

The relaxin hormone can make you wobbly or unsteady during pregnancy. But it is essential to make the birth process easier. So, take extra care of your posture during pregnancy, especially during the first and the third trimesters, when relaxin is at its peak in your body.

Did you experience any serious back or posture problems during your pregnancy?

[ Read: Pelvic Girdle Pain During Pregnancy ]

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