5-11. CHANGES OF SELECTED GLANDS OF THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM DURING
a. Parathyroid Gland. This gland increases in size slightly. It meets the
increased requirements for calcium needed for fetal growth.
b. Posterior Pituitary. Near the end of term, the posterior pituitary will begin to
secrete oxytocin that was produced in the hypothalamus and stored there. It will serve
to initiate labor.
c. Anterior Pituitary. At birth, the anterior pituitary will begin to secrete
prolactin. This stimulates the production of breast milk.
d. Placenta. The placenta acts as a temporary endocrine gland during
pregnancy. It produces large amounts of estrogen and progesterone by 10 to 12 weeks
of pregnancy. It serves to maintain the growth of the uterus, helps to control uterine
activity, and is responsible for many of the maternal changes in the body.
5-12. CHANGES IN BODY WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY
a. Normal weight gain is about 24 to 30 pounds during pregnancy.
b. Weight gain in pregnancy.
(1) There is a slight loss of pounds during early pregnancy if the patient
experiences much nausea and vomiting.
She then gains 2 to 4 pounds by the end of the first trimester.
A gain of a pound per week is expected during the second and third
(4) Monitoring of weight gain should be done in conjunction with close
monitoring of blood pressure.
(5) A lack of significant weight gain may be an indication of intrauterine
growth retardation (IUGR) of the infant.
(6) Patients with multiple fetuses will require a higher caloric diet and expect
a higher weight gain than a patient with only one fetus.
c. Adequate protein intake should be emphasized to the patient for development
of the healthy fetus and proper diet reviewed at each prenatal visit.