Your body changes in unusual ways when you are pregnant. Some of those changes are common, and you probably expect them as your baby grows within – such as how your organs move to make room for the new life. Other transformations in your body may come as total surprises, and some may cause you alarm. Here are 11 surprising, but true, pregnancy facts.
1. Pregnancy brain is real
Pregnancy brain is a term used to identify the memory impairment many pregnant women have. The cause of the change is still unknown, but it is a real phenomenon. To find out what other mental surprises your body has for you, look for a pregnancy education group to join.
2. Another surprising pregnancy fact: Gestation length is random
Although most women have gestational periods that range from 260 to 280 days, it is not true that all pregnancies last for nine months. Every woman is different, and each pregnancy varies in length. The longest recorded human pregnancy was 375 days – or 12.5 months.
3. In utero babies can cry
When researching different sounds played on pregnant women’s bellies, ultrasound technicians discovered that a fetus could be startled, and it would cry. Research is still being conducted on what type of sounds cause the event.
4. Estrogen can cause cravings
High amounts of estrogen can lead to pregnancy cravings. The need for a particular food can become so intense that a pregnant woman will cry if she cannot find it. Although it is still unclear why some women develop cravings and others do not, there are researchers that believe this pregnancy fact is due to nutrient inefficiencies.
5. Blood supply increases
Women gain weight during their pregnancy, and some of that extra weight is due to increased water and fat. But most women are unaware that their blood supply increases by up to 50 percent.
The surge is needed to support the oxygen moving to the fetus. This all happens while preparing for the baby’s birth.
6. More pregnancy facts: Hormones give bad breath
The plethora of hormones flooding the pregnant body can cause unexpected and distasteful consequences. One of those is pregnancy gingivitis, including bad breath.
7. Partner symptoms do happen
Men often report nausea, backaches, and weight gain when their partners are pregnant. Some also suffer from depression, wild dreams, and heartburn. This is called the Couvade syndrome. Of the pregnancy facts, does this one surprise you the most so far?
8. Body hair grows wild
Women report thicker hair while they are pregnant, but that hair also appears on their face and tummy. Researchers also discovered body hair seems shinier and grows faster during pregnancy.
9. The pregnancy facts continue: Feet can get bigger
As tendons and ligaments loosen during pregnancy, the bones in your feet will spread and lengthen. Add the pressure from the additional pregnancy weight, and it is easy to see why a pregnant woman’s feet may grow as much as a full shoe size.
10. Fetal stem cells heal your body
The fetus’ stem cells migrate throughout the pregnancy body as the placenta exchanges blood with the new life. Thought to be a survival skill, the cells are used to repair and maintain their mother’s damaged tissues and muscles.
11. Fetal tastes are yours
Some intense food flavors move through the amniotic boundaries and allow the fetus to experience the tastes. Chocolate, garlic, and acidic foods were the most common. Researchers also found that when pregnant women ate or drank a lot of one item, the newborn was found to prefer that food as well.
Takeaway on surprising pregnancy facts
Pregnancy can be full of new experiences, even for women that have had multiple births. Each pregnancy floods your body with a different variety of various hormones to help the new life grow and develop while inside you.
That your body knows what is needed and when to provide it can be seen as amazing. That your body changes as much as it does during pregnancy is miraculous.