You may be glowing with happiness to welcome your little bundle of joy into this world. Everyone around you may have loaded you with information about the physical and emotional changes that your body may be undergoing in the next few months. However, did anyone mention that you may be experiencing a change in your voice too? Sounds strange or weird, well, many women may actually experience a difference in their voice during pregnancy. What may be reasons for this phenomenon and when should you feel alarmed, find out all this information in this post.
What Causes Voice Changes in Pregnancy?
From the time you become pregnant and until the birth of your baby, you may experience many changes. Where most of the metabolic, physiological and anatomical changes may subside after you deliver your baby, the same may not hold true for your pregnancy voice change. Here are some causes that may change the pitch, quality, perturbation rate of your voice during pregnancy:
1. Swelling of Your Vocal Chords
You may experience swelling on your arms, legs and face, and sometimes vocal folds tissues may swell up too. The swelling may put pressure on the vocal chores and may change the voice quality.
2. Pregnancy Hormones
You may undergo various changes during pregnancy due to the changing hormonal levels in your body. The surge in estrogen and progesterone hormones in the body may affect a pregnant woman’s body, and this hormonal imbalance affects the voice quality too.
3. More Bodily Fluids
During pregnancy, your body fluids increase by approximately 50 per cent. The increased fluids in the body may alter or deepen your voice because the excess amount of fluid (mucus) may sometimes get collected near the vocal cords, which may reduce the vibration rate. The slower vibrations may deepen your voice.
4. Change in the Lung Capacity
As your little munchkin grows inside your womb, he may push your internal organs upwards, including your diaphragm. This may make you experience breathing issues, vocal fatigue, decreased lung capacity and a changed voice. This may decrease the ability of your voice to sustain high notes.
5. Changed Voice Range
The blood vessels of your entire body dilate during pregnancy to carry the increased supply of the blood to various parts of the body. This may occur in your vocal cord vessels too, which may make your vocal cord muscles fragile and thus more prone to rupturing and tearing. This may cause the voice to change during pregnancy.
6. LPR or Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
Progesterone may affect the functioning oesophagal sphincter, which is responsible for keeping your stomach’s acid and other content from travelling back into your larynx. This may make the stomach acid to move up to the oesophagus and may result in LPR or Laryngopharyngeal reflux. LPR may alter your voice during pregnancy because it may irritate the voice box.
7. Changes in Nasal Resonance
We have discussed in the above section that pregnancy may lead to swelling in various parts of the body and it may occur on your nose too. The swelling on and around your nasal region may cause hindrance in breathing. The decreased nasal resonance may cause a hoarse voice while pregnant.
8. Changed Posture
Your entire support mechanism undergoes a tremendous change during pregnancy, which may make changes in your voice too. As you enter into your final trimester, you may experience noticeable changes in your back, chest and pelvis. These may lead to changed posture and changed voice too.
It is entirely normal to experience any changes in voice during pregnancy. In most cases, your voice may get back to normal after the birth of your baby or in some cases a few months after delivery. However, you may require to feel alarmed or get your alarm bells ringing in certain situations.
When to See a Laryngologist
Your pregnancy hormones may be the culprit in most cases of changed voice issues during pregnancy; however, if you experience any of the following changes, you should see a laryngologist as soon as possible:
- If you experience any loss of voice during pregnancy
- If you experience any sort of discomfort or pain while talking or singing
- If you feel there is a sudden change in your voice quality after your talk or sing or when you sneeze or cough
If you are experiencing any changes in your voice during pregnancy, it is essential for you to understand that it is a very normal phenomenon. Also, you should not make efforts to strain your voice thinking that it may make it better. Sometimes straining the larynx may damage your vocal chords. You should relax, drink ample amounts of water and do some breathing exercises to reduce any swelling. Very soon you may be singing sweet lullabies to your precious little one.
Also Read: Body Changes in Pregnancy