Surprising and Interesting Pregnancy Facts
A lot happens during the roughly 40 weeks of pregnancy. You may expect some of the changes that occur during this time, but others may seem fascinating or even surprising.
When a woman carries a child, her body has to go through many adjustments to make sure she and the baby get through the next nine months (or thereabouts) safely.
We’ve put together 15 reasons why pregnancy is a weirdly wonderful time.
1. Morning sickness doesn’t often happen in the morning
Most women get all day (or midday, afternoon or evening sickness) in the early part of the first trimester.
2. The uterus gets a lot bigger
Before pregnancy, a woman’s uterus is typically the size of an orange. By the third trimester, it can be about the size of a watermelon. In fact, it can expand up to 500 times the size during pregnancy.
3. A pregnant woman’s blood volume increases by 40-50%
When pregnant, blood volume increases as much as 50%a to help supply enough oxygenated blood to the foetus.
4. Your heart grows bigger while you’re pregnant
To help pump all that extra blood around the body, the heart has to increase in size.
5. Your voice can change during pregnancy
With all the hormones coursing around a pregnant body, it’s not surprising that there would be some changes. Another is that the voice can change. The rise in oestrogen and progesterone can cause swelling of the vocal folds, meaning some higher notes are lost and lower ones might appear.
6. Babies can hear their mother’s voice from inside the womb
At about 18 weeks, a foetus is able to hear sounds. By 25-26 weeks, it is more responsive to noises and responds in the womb.
7. Your joints loosen during pregnancy
During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called relaxin that softens ligaments — the tissues that connect your joints. This is to help make the pelvis more flexible during childbirth.
8. Your sense of smell can change
Pregnant women usually experience a heightened sense of smell in the first trimester — which can be a sign that you’re pregnant in the first place. It may be an evolutionary way to help pregnant women avoid unsafe foods.
9. Pregnancy brain might be a real thing
Around 80% of women have memory impairment, according to research. But it’s unclear what could be causing it. It might be the late nights, exhaustion, and the stress of welcoming a new life into the world.
10. Babies can taste certain foods in the womb
Strong flavours such as garlic can pass through amniotic fluid, so the baby can “taste” them. In fact, when pregnant mothers drank a lot of carrot juice for a study, their babies were more likely to develop a taste for it.
11. Pregnant women can start to lactate when they hear a baby crying
It doesn’t have to be their own baby. It’s all automatic.
12. Heartburn really could mean a baby with more hair
A small study found there could be some truth to the old wive’s tale. Higher levels of oestrogen and progesterone can stimulate hair growth and also relax oesophagus, resulting in acid reflux, or heartburn.
13. Pregnant women produce more oestrogen in a day than non-pregnant women do in a year
Women grow a placenta — an extra organ — during pregnancy, which produces hormones. At full term, a pregnant woman will produce more oestrogen in a day than a non-pregnant woman will in three years.
14. Babies can cry in the womb
Researchers discovered this by accident when studying pregnant women who smoked or used cocaine. When a sound was played on the pregnant bellies, babies could be seen on an ultrasound startling when hearing it and opening their mouths.
15. There could be a reason for strange cravings
Hormonal changes may disrupt pregnant women’s taste and smell receptors, leading to them crave strange foods. Cravings could also be a sign that mother and baby are lacking in certain nutrients. For instance, craving red meat could include a deficiency of iron.
Myth: The shape of your belly can predict the gender of your baby.
The truth: Carrying low? Legend says you’re having a boy. If your belly is higher up, it’s a girl. Actually, stomach muscles stretch with subsequent pregnancies. So, if a woman’s belly is higher up, it probably just means she has strong abdominal muscles or it’s her first pregnancy.
Myth: The heart rate of a fetus can predict the gender.
The truth: Listen carefully to that heart rate and you’ll be able to tell the gender of your future baby, right? It’s not true. Normal fetal heart rate for all babies in utero ranges from 120 to 160 beats per minute. You’ll have to wait for the ultrasound or birth to find out the gender.
Myth: Your face shape and fullness during pregnancy can predict the gender.
The truth: You may have heard that if a woman has a full face or acne, she’s having a girl. This is false and another old wives’ tale. Your face shape and skin condition during pregnancy are influenced by a number of other factors, like diet and genetics.
Myth: Spice during pregnancy causes blindness in babies.
The truth: Eating spicy foods during pregnancy is perfectly safe but may lead to heartburn. Ask your doctor about a pregnancy-safe antacid if you are prone to indigestion while expecting.
Myth: Experiencing heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will be born with hair.
The truth: Actually, this one may have some truth. A small study found that women with mild to severe heartburn gave birth to babies with hair. Researchers think there may be a connection between pregnancy hormones relaxing both part of the lower esophagus and being responsible for fetal hair growth. But more research is needed.
There’s so much to learn about pregnancy and still many unknowns. Get the help of your doctor to understand more about pregnancy. It will help you stay healthy and aware of the all the situations.
Also read – 25 surprising and adorable facts about babies