Pregnancy is one of life’s miracles. You are growing a life, a child inside your body. It’s incredible. I’ve been pregnant 3 times and given birth to three little people and it still amazes me to no end.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I think the changes the body goes through during pregnancy are pretty dang amazing.
After experiencing two pregnancies myself, I’m still in awe of the process. I also happen to love random facts about random things. So today, I’m sharing 25 fascinating facts about pregnancy.
1. During pregnancy, your uterus grows 500 times its original size, which, if we’re throwing in a fruit analogy, equates to starting with a uterus the size of a small peach, and ending up with a watermelon.
2. Women who have more heartburn during pregnancy are more likely to have babies born with more hair. (Though I am dubious about this one, since my baby was pretty bald.)
3. By 9-12 weeks in utero, a baby has all of his/her fingerprints.
4. The longest known pregnancy lasted for a year and 10 days. Yup, 375 days, people. 375 DAYS.
5. Pregnant women can begin to lactate at the sound of a baby crying.
6. Near the end of pregnancy, the placenta produces more estrogen in one day than a non-pregnant woman will produce in three years.
7. The only scientifically proven method of naturally inducing labor is nipple stimulation. But you have to spend at least an hour at a time, three times a day for it to work. (Also, you should always consult with your doctor/midwife before trying this.)
8. The “pregnancy waddle” happens because a woman’s joints become more relaxed and her center of gravity changes whilst pregnant.
9. Women who are tall or overweight have a greater chance of carrying multiples.
10. One in three women give birth via Cesarean Section. This number has tripled in the past 10 years.
11. One in every 2,000 babies is born with a tooth. Often times said tooth is pulled soon after birth.
12. Studies show that babies can taste what a mother is eating. Stronger flavors (like garlic) are especially able to pass through amniotic fluid. Children have also displayed preferences to certain foods that they were exposed to during gestation.
13. Nine out of ten women experience a change in skin tone during pregnancy, called hyper-pigmentation. This is because the body increases its production of melanin during pregnancy.
14. In utero, females develop all of their reproductive eggs, while males don’t develop sperm until puberty.
15. The first time a woman gives birth, her pelvic bone actually separates in the middle. The bone doesn’t break, but it never really goes back together, either.
16. The heart actually grows during pregnancy, to accommodate the pumping of more blood to mama and baby. So you can say that your heart grew when you found out that you were pregnant, and be completely literal.
17. Pregnancy hormones tend to do fabulous things to your nails and hair, but postpartum hormones are a different story. (Believe me, I know.)
18. Dogs, rabbits, pigs, whales and humans all begin as eggs that are roughly the same size, which is about .02 mm.
19. The reason that pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell is to alert them of foods that they shouldn’t eat because of their babies.
20. Women who are expecting have less oxygen in their blood, which causes what is commonly referred to as “pregnancy brain,” or forgetfulness. (So yeah, it’s really a thing.)
21. Humans are the only mammals who don’t routinely consume their placentas after birth.
22. Over the past 20 years, more males have been born than females, though women still outnumber men in the general population.
23. Amniotic fluid is mostly comprised of sterile urine. I’ll explain why below.
24. This is mostly because, from the second trimester and beyond, babies urinate in the uterus. And then drink it. And then urinate again. The more you know.
25. During gestation, babies develop hair all over their bodies called lanugo. This hair is typically shed before birth. Or, if you’re me, it’s still there.