What The Heck is Relaxin?

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  • Post category:Health

Did you guys make that up?

We have recently been celebrating all the Mums’ at Complete Health Chiropractic in the lead up to Mother’s Day.  Part of this was a chance to win a lovely mother’s day hamper. Each entry required people to answer the following multiple choice question;

“What is the name of the hormone that is produced by mothers in pregnancy that lets the spine and pelvis change and adapt to accommodate the growing baby”?

  1. Testosterone
  2. Cortisol
  3. Relaxin
  4. Adrenalin

Now, we knew this was going to be a bit of a test and that the answer might not be such common knowledge so we made it a multiple choice style question, however we were surprised when a lot of people commented “Is relaxin even a hormone or just a made up word?, it seems too obvious to be the answer’ when in actual fact Relaxin is correct! So we thought what a great opportunity to share a little information on how cool the human body is!

So, what the heck is Relaxin?

The human body is marvellous and capable of so many incredible things! One example is the changes we see happening to a mother’s body during pregnancy! 

Relaxin is a hormone secreted by the ovaries and the placenta during pregnancy, it is detectable from around 7- 10 weeks and continues to be produced throughout pregnancy. Relaxin relaxes the mother’s muscles, joints and ligaments to make room for the growing baby.

The effects of relaxin are most concentrated around the pelvis, softening the joints and allowing more movement in preparation for child birth. relaxin will remain in a new mother’s body for up to 5 months after their baby is born.  Relaxin is one way the body prepares it’s self for birth.

Some studies have reported higher levels of relaxin during pregnancy for women who experience pelvic joint instability, pelvic girdle pain syndrome and pelvic floor dysfunction compared with control groups, while other studies did not. Study design and methodological differences may account for some of the conflicting data.

Chiropractic is a helpful tool for mum’s to be when it comes to navigating pregnancy, child birth preparation and postpartum changes that growing a human entails. Ask our friendly team when you are next in the office how considering chiro when pregnant could help you or someone you love when they are about to become or have recently become a Mum.

References

F Dehghan, B. S. (2014). The effect of relaxin on the musculoskeletal system. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, e220–e229.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4282454/

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