When you’ve got your first baby, your uterus may have a difficult time getting enough oxygen and nutrients to keep your body ticking over.
But now there’s a new study that shows how your body can react when your body is suddenly hit with a large load.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne and the University College London analysed the responses of 30 healthy women, ages 20-34, after they had their first baby.
They found that the pregnant women were much more likely to feel anxious and exhausted when they felt their body was at its worst.
“There was a strong link between body-load and a state of anxiety and fatigue,” lead researcher Dr Mark O’Connor said.
“We saw a strong increase in anxiety and feelings of exhaustion when we felt that body load was higher.”
‘It’s the same for every pregnancy’ When the women first got pregnant, they had a normal pregnancy-related response: a rapid increase in heart rate and blood pressure, a rise in blood sugar and other signs of pregnancy.
But that normal response quickly went away.
When the pregnant woman got pregnant again, they experienced a much stronger rise in body-weight and increased blood pressure.
When they had an even bigger baby, it didn’t go away, but the body’s response to the large load of heavy loads became even more extreme.
The researchers say it’s not a case of your body reacting to a sudden increase in load by increasing its own metabolism.
“If you get pregnant again and the load doesn’t go down, then the response to that load is much stronger and more severe,” Dr O’ Connor said.
That’s because your body responds by storing fat and other nutrients to make up for the decreased supply of oxygen and glucose.
But it can also increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
“The response is similar to when your blood sugar is high because the body has been trying to get enough oxygen,” Dr Alastair Edwards, a professor of clinical medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Australian Research Council-funded lead researcher on the study, told AAP.
“You get the same response when you get a big load.”
When you feel that your body isn’t responding appropriately, your immune system will be less able to fight off infection, the study found.
The more your body burns calories, the less likely it is to produce antibodies that protect against the virus.
That could lead to an increased risk of infection, especially for pregnant women who have already had a baby.
The increased risk may be linked to how often your body produces the virus, Dr Edwards said.
A key takeaway: The study found that people who were pregnant for the first time at a higher weight had the highest levels of antibodies in their blood.
That might mean they could be more susceptible to the virus if they’re already infected.
It’s also possible that the increased body weight is a symptom of a disease, which could lead some people to get the virus early.
“I think what’s important to recognise is that it’s the body reacting differently to a load that’s much heavier than what you’re used to,” Dr Edwards told AAP from the University’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.
“This may be a sign that the body is struggling to cope with the strain of pregnancy and we’re seeing an increased number of people with elevated antibody levels.”
Dr O. Connor said there was also evidence that the risk of having a baby at an older age may be increased by a lack of regular exercise.
“In people with older lifestyles, you might get more risk factors that increase your chances of having an infant or developing diabetes,” he said.
If you have a problem with your weight, it’s important you get some exercise and exercise with your partner, as this will reduce your chances, Dr Olin said.
The study was published in the Australian Journal of Epidemiological and Community Health.