Cortisol levels increase during the last term of pregnancy. Cortisol causes the lung maturation of fetus. Cortisol can also cause the depression in women and could be the cause of post-partum depression.

Gastric motility decreases and the gastric emptying time (time taken for the food to go to the small intestine from the stomach) also increases.

Plasma volume increases by about 50% from 2.5 litres to 3.75 litres during pregnancy in the mother. Cardiac output increases by 30% to supply more blood to the baby. The heart rate of the mother also increases by 20 beats per minute to 80 to 90 beats per minute.

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