Pregnancy is an amazing journey. Changes in your body, mood swings, change in your attitude, shoe size (really!!) are notable things. Until the time of delivery, there are some changes that you are probably aware of, but there are others which take you by surprise.
Voice change is one of the many. There are many reasons attributed to voice change during the third trimester. It affects the voice by changing the quality and perturbation rates. If you notice that your voice has changed, don’t press the panic button immediately. Especially, if you are a professional singer and your voice turns hoarse, don’t get alarmed.
Get to know the reasons that change your voice during pregnancy.
8 Causes Of Voice Change During Pregnancy
1. Hormonal Changes
Most of the physical and emotional changes during pregnancy are mainly due to the imbalance in the hormones. Yes! another reason to blame those hormones. The profound rise in the progesterone and estrogen levels affect every aspect of the pregnant woman’s body, the vocal cords are no exception. Now do you get the point?
Next time, when you hear your own voice while singing lullabies, don’t set the alarm bells ringing!
2. Posture Changes
Of course every pregnant woman knows about the shift in the pelvis, chest, and the back that occurs. This totally alters the entire support mechanism, especially when you enter the third trimester. Voice generating mechanism could go for a toss too.
Don’t try to push your limits too hard if you are a singer. You might risk getting into bad back support which is very difficult to correct postpartum.
3. Edema/Swelling Of Vocal Folds
Swelling in other parts of your body during pregnancy? That’s normal ladies! Have you heard about the vocal folds swell? Yes it does and the increased mass of your vocal folds can alter the signing range. While top notes might be difficult to reach, you gain the bottom notes easily.
Note to you all, don’t strain to reach high notes – you don’t really want ruptured blood vessels or tear the vocal folds, do you?
4. Vocal Cord Blood Vessel Dilation
Blood vessel dilation is one of the many changes that occur in the pregnant body. It can cause hemorrhoids, spider veins, and vaginal swelling. Even your vocal cord blood vessels dilate, which makes them prone to rupture. Fragility in the vocal cord leads to voice change.
Take it easy expectant moms, don’t try to expand or shift your range.
5. Decreased Lung Capacity
Your little bundle of joy inside the womb is pushing the diaphragm and every other organ up, obviously, this makes it difficult for you to breathe. As you move into later stages of pregnancy, you might notice the vocal fatigue, decreased endurance level, and a decrease in the lung capacity.
Do not strain too much and accept the limitations.
6. Decreased Nasal Or Sinus Resonance
Do you feel that your voice is a tone huskier? You could be right!
A pregnant woman body swells all over, nose is no exception. Rhinitis during pregnancy makes it difficult to breathe through the nose. Sound cannot resonate through your nose and into the sinus. Decreased nasal resonance affects the quality of your voice and makes it husky.
7. Susceptible To Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)
Laryngopharyngeal Reflux or LPR is common during pregnancy. Hormones cause relaxation of the sphincter that keeps food in your stomach and prevents it coming up into your larynx.
By now you would know that your stomach gets full too soon. Stomach is likely to regurgitate acid and the result is heart burn, altered voice, postnasal drip, and excessive throat clearing.
8. Increase In the Body Fluids
Pregnancy increases your blood volume by 50% which in turn increases the body fluid. Chances of mucus or body fluid to get accumulated near the vocal cord are more. If you feel there is a deepening of voice, blame it on the slowing down of the vocal cord.
Most of the time the voice change is temporary. It gets resolved on its own when the hormone levels return to normalcy after delivery. However, if you experience extreme pain, lose voice significantly, or when your voice changes after sneezing or coughing, you need to consult a laryngologist.