From weight gain to weird cravings, pregnancy can have various effects on women. Scientists have now discovered that a woman's voice can also become "temporarily lower" after giving birth to their first child.
A team of researchers from the University of Sussex discovered that women's voices drop more than two musical notes after welcoming their first baby. This, however, does not seem to be permanent. The team noted that the voice usually goes back to normal after a year.
The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Kasia Pisanski from University of Sussex's School of Psychology, stated that the results from the experiment showed that despite some women claiming their voices began to get deeper while they were pregnant, the big change actually occurs after they give birth. The researchers suggested that this could be a woman's natural way to sound more authoritative in response to becoming a new parent.
Pisanski and her team studied 20 mothers, including some journalists, celebrities, and singers, and compared to them to a control group of women who did not have children. The team collected its data from old footage that was recorded before, during, and after the women's pregnancy. The scientists studied 634 interview clips which amounted to 277 minutes of audio.
From the analysis collected, the team discovered that women who had children experienced a drop in voice pitch by 5 percent, which is equal to 1.3 semitones. The women's highest pitch also dropped by 2.2 semi-tones, which would equate to more than two musical notes.
Do Deep Voices Show Leadership?
Pisanski stated that previous research showed that women's voices are typically affected during certain phases in their lives. During ovulation, the pitch in a woman's voice tends to be higher, while it can decrease when they enter into menopause.
Pisanski continued that the change in a woman's voice after pregnancy could be "behavioral".
"Research has already shown that people with low-pitched voices are typically judged to be more competent, mature, and dominant, so it could be that women are modulating their own voices to sound more authoritative, faced with the new challenges of parenting," Pisanski stated.
A study also suggests that people tend to follow leaders who had a "deeper" voice because it shows dominance and authority. This study was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.