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Saab Magalona Thinks Her Singing Voice Has Changed: Is It a Pregnancy Symptom?
PHOTO BY @saabmagalona/Instagram
  • Two days ago, on August 14, 2019, Saab Magalona Bacarro reunited with her and husband Jim Bacarro’s band, Cheats, to record a live performance. A day later, the preggo mama revealed she thought her voice changed during her second pregnancy.

    “I thought it was getting harder for me to sing because I’m having a boy, and the testosterone was making my voice lower?! Haha!” Saab wrote.

    A change in your voice is possible as the result of several common pregnancy symptoms. Due to increased levels of progesterone and estrogen, increased bodily fluids, and restricted blood circulation in your pelvic area, swelling can extend to the vocal cords apart from the legs, hands, and feet. When the baby grows bigger, pregnant women often experience difficulty in breathing. This is due to the baby taking up more space in your abdomen, giving your lungs limited space to take in a full breath of air during the third trimester.

    Saab offered an explanation by American singer-songwriter and voice coach Ruth Gerson: “When the baby begins rapid and awe-inspiring growth in the third trimester, lung capacity is compromised, and breathing for singing becomes much more challenging. Swollen vocal cords and intermittent labored breathing are part of pregnancy and particularly challenging for the professional singer or public speaker,” according to Gerson.

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    Limited studies have been done about pregnancy voice pitch changes. In a 2018 study, researchers from the University of Sussex’s Voice Lab were able to pinpoint how a preggo’s voice changed using an acoustic analysis software program called Pratt.

    Women’s voices typically get a bit lower during pregnancy. Based on the study’s analysis of pregnant women’s recordings during and after their first pregnancies, on average, a preggo’s voice can drop at 14 Hz or 1.3 semitones. The lowest it could go is up to 2.2 semitones max. Semitones are a voice pitch’s smallest intervals, the difference between a white and black key on a piano.

    Saab isn’t the first celebrity mom and singer to notice a change in the pitch of her voice. Bossanova Queen Sitti Navarro Ramirez had been concerned about her singing voice during her pregnancy, but she didn’t say if it got lower.

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    In 2017 during a concert, Adele said she wrote and recorded the 2012 James Bond theme song, “Skyfall,” when she was pregnant, and her voice had a lower pitch.

    The lower, sometimes huskier voice often persist for some time after childbirth, but it typically gets back to women’s normal pre-pregnancy pitch within a year after giving birth.

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