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2. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, progesterone stimulates the medulla oblongata, the primary respiratory control center. This hormone sensitizes the medulla to carbon dioxide as the pregnant woman’s lungs and diaphragm expand and shift for increased respiration and oxygen use. The increased ventilation rate of expectant mothers increases hydrogen ion concentration in the body and makes the blood more alkaline.

Medulla oblongata pregnancy progesterone TolikoffPhotography / Getty Images
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