science of us

Apparently Women’s Voices Get Lower After Giving Birth

Photo: Kohei Hara/Getty Images

Among the many, many fascinating changes that a new mom’s body can undergo after giving birth, apparently, a temporary lowering of the voice may be one of the lesser-known. In a study done by researchers at the University of Sussex, new mother’s voices were found to become lower in register and more monotonous, and stayed that way for about a year.

One hypothesis as to why this might happen is that lower voices might serve to make new moms sound more “authoritative,” a theory that seems both pretty gender-normative and a little far-fetched (how much convincing of their moms’ authority do infants need?). Whatever its purpose, researchers suspect the change is likely hormonal, as women’s voices have also been shown to change pitch during ovulation and after menopause, said Pianski, one of the study’s authors.

The study’s sample was small (it included just 20 women), and relied on archived interview footage to monitor the subjects’ vocal differences, so more research is needed in order to draw reliable conclusions. But for any woman who’s wished to keep the sexy, deep register she gets with a cold, now you know you could also just … get pregnant and raise a child, every year, forever. Hm.

Women’s Voices Get Lower After Giving Birth