march 2022

Birth partners – all you need to know about pregnancy hormones and how to support your pregnant partner

15 min read Emma Ashworth Recommended Products
Birth partners – all you need to know about pregnancy hormones and how to support your pregnant partner

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If there is one thing we know about pregnancy, is that pregnant women can become somewhat emotional, right? Those pesky pregnancy hormones can really make pregnancy hard going for her – and also, for you, as her partner!

But dig deeper and you’ll find that those hormones are actually performing vital functions to grow your baby and keep your partner’s pregnancy working well. Let’s take a closer look at what they’re doing.


The hormone oestrogen is one that every woman has in her body, but she will create more during just one pregnancy than she will throughout the rest of her life. Oestrogen is vital for many functions in pregnancy from developing blood vessels, which improve blood flow around your partner’s body, to maturing your baby’s organs. This increase in blood flow can cause aching breasts. It’s also thought to be one cause of so-called morning sickness, which can, of course, happen at any time of day or night.

While these changes are necessary for the pregnancy, the symptoms can be anything on a scale from annoying to life-changing, so it’s not surprising that your pregnant partner may be feeling upset, grumpy or irritable.

And, if the above wasn’t enough, oestrogen pulls another punch! It can upset the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. So, not only is she contending with a whole load of physical symptoms, her body may literally be making her to feel less happy, all at the same time.


Progesterone is the second of several vital pregnancy hormones, the levels of which, like oestrogen, soar higher than they ever will at any other time in your partner’s life. Progesterone can cause constipation, which can be painful and add to the feelings of nausea. It develops milk making tissue in the breast which can also make them feel sore and swollen. Progesterone can make a person feel absolutely