Does Pregnancy Change Your Voice?

Posted in: New Articles,Voice News  |  August 28, 2013 
Does Pregnancy Change Your Voice?

From a growing “baby bump” to swollen feet, plenty of changes happen in the body during pregnancy. But could a changing voice be linked to pregnancy, too? For some women, the answer is yes.

Actress Kristen Bell recently told the media that she noticed her voice was deeper when she was extremely pregnant — so much so that she had to re-record certain parts of the animated movie Frozen, according to People.

Although this phenomenon doesn’t happen to every woman, it’s not uncommon. During pregnancy, extra mucous can change the quality and length of the vocal cords. (It’s that same extra mucous that will cause some women to notice changes in taste and smell.) Also, the vocal cords can swell when progesterone and estrogen increase, just as circulation decreases. Some are so sensitive that they notice changes in their voice around the time of their menstrual period as well.

From our own Dr. Robert Pincus:

“Reflux (acid coming up from the stomach) is typically worse during pregnancy–think baby pushing up on your stomach. Acid can come up as high as the throat and irritate the vocal cords adding to vocal change during pregnancy.”

If you use your voice professionally, then you’ll want to take extra care to keep it in good shape. Consider these tips, which can help you maintain a healthy voice overall.

  • Rest up. When you’re refreshed and energized, the voice — along with many other things — can stay in better shape. Stick to that bedtime!
  • Keep moving (if your physician says it’s OK). Cardio exercise can help keep your circulation going and also prevent swelling. Just be sure to clear any exercises with your physician, who can offer you customized advice about what’s right for your body and your pregnancy.
  • Say no to caffeine. It isn’t recommended during pregnancy anyway, but caffeine can alter the quality of the voice. Stick to caffeine-free drinks.
  • Eat right. Try to avoid overly fatty or spicy foods, which can trigger acid reflux and (you guessed it) impact the voice.

The good news is, most body changes that happen during pregnancy are only temporary — and that includes changes in the voice. If you’re concerned about keeping your voice in top shape, or you’re noticing that the vocal changes of pregnancy seem to be lingering, then be sure to give us a call. We’ll be here for a consultation when you need us.