Pregnancy! Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? The ability to give birth, the ability to create life – that’s something amazing!
Well, while the whole experience of becoming pregnant and then a mother is actually magical, there are some seriously weird and sometimes frightening and icky facts.
In this article on pregnancy facts, we are going to share a few of them with you. Brace yourselves for some serious surprises.
Pregnancy Facts: 1-5
1. You can cause contractions in a pregnant woman (third trimester) by simply rolling or rubbing her nipples. By rubbing or rolling nipples, a hormone called Oxytocin is released and that starts contractions. This method of producing contractions is the only scientifically proven way for legally starting a labor. This method is called as “the comfort technique”
2. On an average, the gestation period lasts for about 9 months but the longest known gestation period recorded is for 1 year and 10 days.
3. The taller and overweight the woman is, higher are the chances for her to carry multiples.
4. Male fetuses get erections when they are in the womb. In fact, both the sexes get aroused, but the male ones are only caught on sonogram.
5. Becoming a mother seems really wonderful, but just the thought of getting stitches near your vagina can make you wary of pregnancy. Sometimes the vaginal stitches go till anus and beyond.
Pregnancy Facts: 6-10
6. Another creepy thing about pregnancy is that during labor you just poop because of 2 reasons. The first reason is the muscles which are used in contractions during labor are also used when you attend nature’s calls. The second reason is when the fetus pushes, the weight falls on the rectum and you have to expel poop.
7. In olden days, the midwives used to give enemas to women before labor, but that too did very little to save women from embarrassment.
8. Women really glow when they are pregnant. The blood in your body increases nearly by 50% and adding to this, the hormones make the oil glands more active giving that amazing shine and softness to your skin.
9. With your blood volume increasing your heart also increases in size and it beats harder and faster. Isn’t it amazing?
10. During pregnancy, a woman’s ability to smell and taste increases to a great extent because of estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Many scientists believe that this increased ability to smell and taste is to keep mothers away from toxins which are not harmful to the adults, but may become fatal to the fetus.
Pregnancy Facts: 11-15
11. If you think that contractions stop once you deliver the baby, then you need to think again. Contractions take place even after the delivery and can go on for days together. It is the body’s way of stopping the excess blood from oozing out.
12. Most of the people suggest pregnant women eat more or double of what they used to eat for a healthy baby. But a pregnant woman needs only 300 calories extra in her meal to keep the baby healthy. What one must make sure is that women eat nutritious food with lots of vegetables and fruits.
13. It seems surprising that a man whose wife is pregnant may show pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, muscle cramps in the lower abdomen, increase in weight etc. This is called Sympathetic Pregnancy or Couvade Syndrome.
14. One of the scariest things about pregnancy is that when a woman delivers her first baby her pelvic bone gets separated. Not broken but separated. ‘Not broken’ doesn’t mean that it will get attached again later. It remains so all her life.
15. People often think that when a woman is already pregnant once, they can have sex without contraceptives, but on very rare occasions it is seen that women who are pregnant, can get pregnant again with different due dates! How worse can this get?
Pregnancy Facts: 16-20
16. The vertical dark line which suddenly appears down your belly is actually always present, but it is clearly visible only during pregnancy because the hormones increase the pigmentation, and hence, it appears. It is called “linea nigra”. The English translation of linea nigra is black line.
17. There are four different positions which a woman’s pelvis can take during pregnancy. But only one position called “gynecoid” is the best. Luckily it is the most common too.
18. Women, during pregnancy, walk like ducks. It is not because of extra weight that they put on, but it is because the joints become more relaxed and due to this center of gravity changes.
19. Women’s uterus is roughly the size of a peach when it is normal. When a woman is pregnant, her uterus enlarges and attains the size of a watermelon! 500 times the actual size.
20. To ease delivery, the body releases a hormone called relaxin, which softens the joints’ ligaments.
Pregnancy Facts: 21-25
21. This ‘relaxin’ hormone affects the whole body and your feet too. So once a woman is pregnant, because of the ‘relaxin’ and extra weight that she has put on, her feet’s width and length increases and sometimes it increases to a shoe size! But not to worry ladies because it will become normal once you deliver the baby.
22. Every woman notices that there is hair fall post-delivery but no one pays notice that during pregnancy your hair appears fuller, because higher levels of estrogen prevents hair fall at a normal rate. After delivery, almost all hormones return to their normal level and hair fall’s rate too become normal.
23. If the study done by Dr. Gary Steinman (an obstetrician in Long Island Jewish Medical Center) in 2006 is to be believed, tall women are more likely to conceive twins than their shorter counterparts.
24. Women crave for certain foods during pregnancy. Most of us keep wondering but it is a sign given by the body that the woman is having some nutrient in lower amounts than required. For example, women who crave for ice basically have low iron.
25. Not just when they are newborns and infants, even when they are in your tummy, babies get food before mummies, thanks to your umbilical cord. Even when you skip a meal or fast, your body takes nutrients from you to feed your baby.
Pregnancy Facts: 26-30
26. Some pregnant women develop varicose veins.
27. As your uterus expands during pregnancy, it puts pressure on your urinary bladder. Because of this pressure, women who are pregnant have this need to pee more than others. It starts in the first trimester itself.
28. As your uterus expands your diaphragm gets compressed. Contrary to what women think, women breathe deeper when they are pregnant.
29. It’s just not the fetus which is newly grown in your body. You develop a new organ called placenta. It helps in passing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus, protects the baby from infections and removes the wastes created by the baby (carbon dioxide). The placenta is linked to the fetus by umbilical cord and can grow to 1.5lb by delivery.
30. Your placenta produces the same amount of estrogen (at the time of your delivery) that a normal woman produces in 3 years!
Pregnancy Facts: 31-35
31. In Latin Placenta means “cake”. It is seen in the animal world that the placenta is eaten by the mothers, but the only animals not to eat their own placentas were humans. This has changed now. Humans do eat their own placentas and that act is known as Placentophagy.
32. Because of the hormonal changes your face darkens. A butterfly shaped pigmentation on the nose and cheeks is common for some pregnant women. Women often suffer from acne and pimples too. However, the good news is it fades after the baby is born.
33. Many people think that breastfeeding changes the size and shape of breasts, but it is actually pregnancy which is the real culprit.
34. Pregnant women’s teeth and mouth cavities become vulnerable to many diseases. Bleeding gums or gingivitis is commonly seen among them.
35. When a woman gets pregnant, her digestion slows down because of the hormone progesterone. It happens so because this allows the body to take in more nutrients which can be supplied to the baby. However, it causes constipation.
Pregnancy Facts: 36-40
36. Your body develops a defensive mechanism which allows your blood to clot more easily than before. This prevents you from bleeding to death when you deliver the baby. But there are chances that clots may form in calf muscles and these clots may cause clots in some other parts of the body too. For women who are overweight this risk is higher.
37. You hate when a kid wets your bed. It looks gross. But the fetus pees almost a liter of urine in your uterus and drinks it again. The amniotic fluid or as for laymen like us the so called “water” is basically sterile urine.
38. The fetus inside your womb produces poop too! It is called “meconium”. Fetus starts producing meconium when the mother is pregnant for 21 weeks. Luckily, it doesn’t get expelled until the baby is born
39. It is seen that the babies cry inside the womb. Due to the presence of fluids around the baby the woman cannot hear it, but they cry.
40. During the third trimester, some women lactate when they hear some other child crying.
Pregnancy Facts: 41-45
41. Pregnant women have less oxygen in their blood and this is the reason why they forget things easily and seem to develop a “pregnancy brain”.
42. They have a mucus plug at the cervix which seals the womb and thereby protects the baby from bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. It begins to fade when the body gets ready for labor.
43. In the uterus, the fetus develops a waxy coating on itself called vernix caseosa. The new born is sometimes born with vernix and it helps in protecting the skin of the newborn as it adapts to its new surroundings.
44. It is seen that women who have heartburn issues when they are pregnant produce babies with a lot of hair.
45. Orgasms can produce contractions and help in delivery. It doesn’t mean that you get naughty during due date time.
Pregnancy Fact: 46-50
46. Fetus develops a hairy coat on its body during the gestation period. It is called “lanugo”. It holds the vernix caseosa. Along with vernix caseosa, it helps in protecting the delicate skin of the fetus from amniotic fluid. The hair begins to shed in the last month of the pregnancy.
47. The baby’s fingerprints are developed in the first trimester itself. The girl fetus produces all the ova that would be used all her life whereas the male fetus is a bit laid back and doesn’t produce sperms till puberty hits.
48. Studies say that the unborn baby can taste the food that the mother is eating. Flavors which are strong can pass through amniotic fluid.
49. Giving birth to a boy increases the risk of autoimmune diseases for the mother and she tends to forget a lot too!
50. Central Africa tops the list when it comes to twin births.