Changes In Maternal Functions

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Changes in Maternal Function Essential during Pregnancy and How Maternal-Fetal Interaction Affect Outcome

Changes in Maternal Function Essential during Pregnancy and How Maternal-Fetal Interaction Affect Outcome


This paper will be discussing the changes in Maternal Function Essential during Pregnancy in different organs of the body. In the second part of the paper we will discuss how Maternal-Fetal Interaction Affect Outcome in different organs. Pregnancy and giving birth to a child are "Physiological events" for a woman but are also real physical and psychological tests. Pregnancy and postpartum are times of reorganization and fragility in a psychological continuum. The relationship of the mother with her ??baby after delivery is more or less aligned with that of pregnancy despite the separation from birth (Zhuang &Li, 1991: 1092).

Changes in Maternal Function Essential during Pregnancy

This section of the paper will be discussing the changes in maternal function essential during pregnancy. For discussing the changes in maternal function, we will be discussing Hormonal, Musculoskeletal, Physical, Breast size, Cardiovascular, Hematology, Metabolic, Nutrition, Renal, and Gastrointestinal. 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.


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 (ß-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 (Tees & Mohammadi, 1999: 226).

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.


The body's posture changes as the pregnancy progresses. The pelvis tilts and the back arches to help keep balance. Poor posture occurs naturally from the stretching of the woman's abdominal muscles as the fetus grows. These muscles are less able to contract and keep the lower back in proper alignment. The pregnant woman has a different pattern of gait. The step lengthens as the pregnancy progresses, due to weight gain and changes in posture (Poppe & Velkeniers, 2007: 309). On average, a woman's foot can grow by a half size or more during pregnancy. In addition, the increased body weight of pregnancy, fluid retention, and weight gain lowers the arches of the foot, further adding to the foot's length and width. The influences of increased hormones such as estrogen and relaxin initiate the remodeling of soft tissues, ...
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