Pregnancy is one of the most fascinating things I have ever experienced. There is nothing like growing a human inside of your own body. Having given birth three different times, I feel like I learned more and more about the process and all of the weird (and usually normal) symptoms of pregnancy. Like, did you know that your baby pees in the womb? And do you know where that pee goes? They drink it. Kind of disgusting, right?! Here are 30 weird facts about pregnancy that you may or may not already know ...
1. Once you are about four months pregnant, your baby begins to urinate inside of you. In fact, they pee up to one liter a day! If that doesn't gross you out, knowing that your little one drinks it surely will.
2. Most women experience swelling in their feet during pregnancy. Because of water weight and other extra fluid, your feet can grow up to one full shoe size! In fact, some women's feet stay that size after their baby is born.
3. Your uterus begins around the size of a small peach, then stretches to the size of a watermelon. For reference, that's about 500 times its original size! How incredible! (And a scary reminder for when it's time for the baby to come out!)
4. If you are tall or overweight, you have a greater chance of carrying multiples.
5. A baby has all of his or her fingerprints by 9-12 weeks in the womb!
6. At the end of your pregnancy, your placenta alone will produce the same amount of estrogen that a non-pregnant woman produces in 3 years!
7. Babies have been documented doing a number of things while inside the womb. From sucking their thumbs and holding hands, to masturbating and waving hello, you never know what you might see during an ultrasound!
8. The longest pregnancy on record was 375 days. In case math isn't your strong suit, that's longer than one calendar year!
10. Pregnant women have an increased blood volume, so they experience bloody noses and bloody gums quite frequently.
11. Speaking of increased blood volume, did you know that your heart actually grows during pregnancy? It works harder and pumps more blood for that growing baby!
12. Babies cry in the womb. Because of all of the fluid, you can't hear them. But it's still kind of sad and scary.
13. Pregnancy hormones can do amazing things for your nails and hair. But after birth? You can expect your hair to fall out in alarming amounts.
14. Between 16 and 22 weeks, your doctor may be able to do an ultrasound to tell your baby's gender. Be mindful that these tests are only 70-95 percent accurate.
15. Some pregnant women lactate in late pregnancy at the sound of someone else's baby crying.
16. Pregnant women are more prone to broken bones because of a hormone called relaxin. The hormone allows your joints to soften so that your hips and pelvis can open up for birth.
17. Pregnant women do have a heightened sense of smell. The reason? It's meant to help them steer clear of foods they shouldn't eat because of their growing baby.
18. Three out of 4 women develop a linea nigra during pregnancy. The linea nigra (Latin for "black line") is a dark, vertical line that runs down the abdomen. Sometimes it goes away after birth. Sometimes it doesn't.
19. Dad gaining weight too? Sharing pregnancy symptoms with your baby daddy is a thing. Scientists have documented this happening all over the world!
20. The only natural induction method that is scientifically proven is nipple stimulation. (All that talk of pineapples and eggplant parmesan is crap!)
21. In utero, baby girls develop all of the reproductive eggs they will ever use. Baby boys don't develop sperm until puberty.
22. Pregnant women have less oxygen in their blood, which is what causes "pregnancy brain," or forgetfulness.
23. In utero, babies develop a waxy, cream cheese-like coating called vernix. Many babies are born with vernix residue.
24. Pregnant women have what's called a mucous plug — that is as disgusting as it sounds. It is at the opening of the cervix and serves to prevent bacteria from reaching the womb. It will pass as your body gets ready for labor.
25. Once pregnant, your body develops an organ called the placenta. Humans are the only mammals to not routinely ingest their placenta after birth. Fun fact: Placenta is Latin for "cake"!
26. One in 3 women give birth via Cesarean section. This number has tripled in the last 10 years!