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What are some mind blowing facts about pregnancy?

Every pregnant woman experiences odd symptoms they never heard of, no matter how well-read they are.

I thought I knew it all by the time I was halfway through my first pregnancy. I grilled my ob/gyn on all the necessaries and read every pregnancy book I could get my hands on. I googled a LOT of stuff.

Despite my obsession…I mean, dedication to being well-informed, more than one surprise awaited me. I knew my feet might grow, but I had no idea my skin might never be the same. Even with all my research and all the well-meaning relatives who peppered me with stories and advice, I wasn’t fully prepared (like you can ever be prepared for becoming a parent.)

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Ancient people thought the gods spontaneously bestowed babies upon women who were worthy of parenthood; they didn’t connect pregnancy with the act of sex at all. We’ve come a long way since then, and, unlike the cave ladies, today’s pregnant woman is well-informed.

There are, however, a handful of factoids most pregnant women haven’t gleaned. Every woman who has ever been pregnant can tell you about some odd symptom she had never heard of until she experienced it, no matter how well-read she was. In deed, pregnancy does some weird things to the body.

13 Some Babies Are Born With Fur

People talk all the time about whether a baby will be born with hair and what color that hair will be. No one asks whether or not the baby will have fur, but, in fact, some kids do.

Don’t worry; you haven’t given birth to a tiny sasquatch. Babies normally grow this fine “fur,” known as lanugo, over their bodies, possibly to keep them warm in the womb. Most of them shed it by the time they’re born, but some, especially those born early, still have it. You don’t need to go in search of organic, baby-safe depilatory, though. The fur will be gone in a few weeks.

If you happen to have a hairless baby, you can be comforted with the fact she shed her lanugo before being born and then…ate it.

12 It’s Possible To Be Pregnant For An Entire Year

“Woman Pregnant for Over a Year” sounds like a tabloid headline, but, much to every expecting mom’s chagrin, it’s a documented fact. In 1945, Dr. Daniel Beltz confirmed that Beulah Hunter, 25, was pregnant for 375 days, and when she gave birth, the baby was completely heathy, weighing in at a little over seven pounds.

Research into the incident revealed that the baby girl was not developing at a normal pace early in the pregnancy, so she required a longer gestation. The only other recorded pregnancy to approach this time length was  317 days.

You likely won’t be pregnant anywhere near a whole year, but it really puts going a few days past your due date in perspective. It’s considered normal for babies to be born up to two weeks “late.”

11 Pregnancy Can Affect A Woman’s Eyesight

About halfway through my pregnancy with my first born, I noticed I was squinting to see far away, even with my contacts in. I called my eye doctor to make an appointment but discovered he wouldn’t write a new prescription for me, because I was pregnant.

Pregnancy hormones can alter a woman’s metabolism, fluid retention and blood circulation. These can cause the thickness or curvature of the cornea to change. This is usually minor and temporary, which is why my optometrist discouraged me from getting new contacts. It was annoying not being able to read street signs from far away, but my vision did return to normal shortly after giving birth.

The same metabolic changes can cause swelling in extremities, light headedness when you first stand up and shortness of breath. Ain’t pregnancy a picnic?

10 Dad Might Seem Pregnant Too

A pregnant mom may roll her eyes when her mate complains of nausea, fatigue and weight gain. He’s not the one having all his organs squished to the side by a bowling ball, after all. But, sympathetic pregnancy symptoms have been shown, by research, to be a real thing.

It’s called “couvade syndrome,” which, in French, means “to hatch.” Studies show that if a man is adopted or has struggled with infertility, he has an increased chance of experiencing sympathetic pregnancy symptoms.

Just like Mom’s symptoms, though, Dad’s usually get better as the pregnancy progresses, so, ladies, be patient with your guy. Maybe while you’re out shopping for your maternity wardrobe, you can pick him up some bigger pants as well.

9 Eating For Two Is A Myth

I always knew I wasn’t really eating for two when I was pregnant, but it was a myth I was happy to perpetuate, as my appetite for sweets grew along with my belly.

The average pregnant woman needs only an additional 300 calories – a snack – to maintain heath for herself and the baby. It’s considered normal for a woman to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during gestation, due partially to the baby’s weight and largely to the weight of the placenta and amniotic fluid.

But, don’t let anyone give you a hard time about your weight during pregnancy. Listen to your body, and eat when you’re hungry. If your doctor slips you a disapproving look over the scale, ignore him and go have a cupcake.

8 Babies Pee Inside The Womb

This is more of a weird trivia fact than something you medically need to know, but it’s a good way to gross out your pregnant friends. In the second half of pregnancy, babies regularly urinate into their amniotic fluid – yep, that’s the same fluid they drink.

You might think that urine wouldn’t be so objectionable, if all a baby is consuming is amniotic fluid, but anything Mom ingests – food, drink, drugs – passes through the placenta. The baby drinks them with the amniotic fluid and, like us, must dispose of the waste.

Since they can’t get themselves up and go to the loo, and no one’s invented in utero diapers yet, babies make do with what they have in their cramped little spaces.

7 Pregnancy Changes A Woman’s Skin (Sometimes Permanently)

What’s that brown spot on my forehead/cheek/neck/belly (insert body part here.) Some women get that healthy, pregnant glow to their skin that everyone talks about, and some of us get the opposite.

The technical term for skin darkening during pregnancy is chloasma or melanoma gravid arum, though most of us just call it “the mask of pregnancy.”

Women with darker complexions are more likely to experience discolored patches, and they tend to get more pronounced with each pregnancy. As you’d expect, sun exposure exacerbates the darkening.

Often times this darkening is temporary and departs after giving birth, but sometimes it hangs around for…well, it’s been seven years since I last gave birth, so at least that long.

6 Babies Can Cry In The Womb

Depressing at it might sound, infants have been noted displaying crying behaviors as early as 28 weeks gestation.

Researchers have seen fetuses, in response to a noise stimulus, open their mouths, depress their tongues and take irregular breaths. One fetus even displayed a quivering chin. These observations were first made in 2005, incidentally, during a study on the effects of cocaine and tobacco use in pregnant women.

The medical community is excited about this behavior, as it reveals a complex set of coordinated mechanisms as well as the ability of a fetus to perceive stimulation. But, it’s a little unsettling for a new parent to imagine her baby crying in utero, where she can’t yet comfort him.

On second thought, you really didn’t need to know that; forget you read this. My apologies.

5 Nipple Stimulation Is The Only Natural Way To Induce Labor

Zany recommendations for inducing labor abound, and if a woman goes much past her due date, she’s likely to get desperate enough to try anything – spicy food, pineapple or endless walks around the block. Certain yoga poses have even been purported to evict those babies who’ve gotten a little too comfy in the womb.

While some of these magic contraction starters may help or at least keep you entertained while you wait for baby to make her appearance, the only natural, scientifically-proven way to induce labor is through nipple stimulation.

Nipple stimulation causes your body to release oxytocin, which is similar to Pitocin – the drug used to induce labor in the hospital. You’ve got to be pretty committed, though. For it to work, you have to do it for an hour, three times daily!

4 Placenta Is Latin For “Cake” (Really)

Ever seen a photo of a placenta? Doesn’t it just scream “cake?” No?

The placenta is an organ a woman’s body develops while pregnant. It provides nutrients to the baby and removes waste. It’s what’s at the other end of the baby’s umbilical cord.

Humans are the only mammals that don’t routinely ingest the placenta after birth. No one knows why animals do this, but it could be to clean up the nest site in an effort to discourage predators and bacteria. It’s known as placentaphagy.

While some people believe eating the placenta can help with post-partum depression, there’s no evidence it’s true, and there is also no anthropological precedent for it. Because of the risk of unknown bacteria, most medical professionals recommend you NOT treat your placenta like cake, or anything else edible.

3 Mom Might Need A LOT Of Stitches…Down There

One of the often-pondered questions of child birth is, “How does a whole baby get through that tiny hole?” The answer is that he makes the hole a whole lot bigger.

You may be familiar with the term “episiotomy,” the cut a doctor makes in your girl parts to widen the doorway for your baby’s huge head. Or, you may prefer to tear naturally. Either way, you probably anticipate no more than a few stitches.

Nine out of ten women have some sort of tearing during delivery, and some require stitches all the way from vagina to anus. A tear that severe happens only once in every 100 deliveries, but to further reduce the risk of needing your taint sewn up, break out the olive oil and do some vaginal massage/stretching beforehand.

2 Bleeding While Pregnant Can Be Normal

One of the few upsides to pregnancy is not having to deal with the annoyance of a period for at least nine months, but some women don’t get even that little perk. It’s technically not a menstrual period but referred to as “vaginal bleeding.”

Sex, a pap smear or a vaginal exam are all more likely to cause bleeding, due to the increased blood flow to your cervix during pregnancy.

And, some women experience “implantation bleeding” at the beginning of pregnancy. This is thought to be caused by the embryo burrowing into the uterine lining as it attaches.

There are women who have reported intermittent, period-like bleeding throughout pregnancy, ending in normal birth, so, while it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor if you’re worried, blood isn’t necessarily a bad sign.

1 A Woman Can Get Pregnant While Already Pregnant

Most of us relish the fact that, for nine months, we can mate with our mates free from birth control, but some women have found that’s not necessarily true.

Michelle Hutchins gave birth to “twins” on the same day, and they look like they’re a year apart. In fact, they were conceived only one month apart.

This phenomenon, known as superfetation, happens around once a year worldwide. For it to occur, a woman’s body must not only ovulate during pregnancy (which it’s not supposed to do), but the sperm and egg must defeat a host of other biological checks designed to keep it from fertilizing and implanting.

So, will you get pregnant while already pregnant? Probably not. Is that good enough for you to skip the condoms? You be the judge.

Being pregnant is a magical experience, but that doesn’t mean it comes without any problems. For that , we share with you this video who show you some smart hacks to put those annoying situations aside.

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