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Voice, Speech, and Clinical Aspects During Pregnancy: A Longitudinal Study

  • Leila Rechenberg
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Leila Rechenberg, n° 2492/3° andar, CEP 90035-003, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
    Affiliations
    Graduate Program of Health Science: Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Undergraduate Program of Speech and Language Therapy, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Department of Social and Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Eliséa Maria Meurer
    Affiliations
    Graduate Program of Health Science: Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Monica Melos
    Affiliations
    Graduate Program of Health Science: Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Undergraduate Program of Speech and Language Therapy, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Otto Henrique Nienov
    Affiliations
    Graduate Program of Health Science: Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Helena von Eye Corleta
    Affiliations
    Graduate Program of Health Science: Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Edison Capp
    Affiliations
    Graduate Program of Health Science: Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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      Summary

      Background

      Pregnancy involves anatomical, physiological, and metabolic changes in a woman's body. However, the effects of these changes on the voice remains unclear, particularly regarding the clinical characteristics.

      Objectives

      We aimed to evaluate changes in vocal and speech acoustic measures and the relationship between them and clinical aspects in women during pregnancy.

      Method

      A prospective, longitudinal study was carried out with 41 low risk, adult, pregnant women, followed for prenatal care. Demographic and anthropometric data as well as lifestyle habits and health conditions were collected. Voice recordings of sustained vowels, and automatic and spontaneous speech were held over each trimester and analyzed by PRAAT®to evaluate acoustic, aerodynamic, and articulatory measures.

      Results

      There were no changes in fundamental frequency, jitter, shimmer, and harmony to noise ratio during pregnancy. Maximum phonation time (MPT), pause rate, and pause duration reduced at the end of pregnancy. MPT was lower in sedentary pregnant women. The fundamental frequency peak rate was higher in eutrophic participants and lower in the third trimester in women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2. Pause rate was higher in pregnant women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2. There was no relationship between sleep quality, reflux, and vocal symptoms and acoustic and aerodynamic measures.

      Conclusions

      Differences were shown in MPT and temporal pause measurements during pregnancy. Acoustic measurements did not change. There was a relationship between acoustic and aerodynamic measures and clinical variables (BMI, physical activity, and body mass gain).

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