You probably know that your breasts will grow during pregnancy and that morning sickness is a total misnomer and that you might feel nauseous from day-to-night. You might even know about the hemorrhoids and the acid reflux that come along with pregnancy. But did you you know that babies cry in the womb or that your partner may experience pregnancy symptoms – like weight gain – right alongside you? Yup!
Keep reading for more on these and other weird pregnancy facts you probably didn’t know.
Babies cry in the womb
By the time your baby arrives he or she has had weeks of practice crying. Studies have shown that babies silently cry in the womb as early as 28 weeks. Unlike post-birth, this crying isn’t a reaction to desires or feelings, but rather thought to be a form of “practice communication” as they process something as a negative stimulus and react to it accordingly.
Your partner may gain as much – or more – weight than you
About half of all expectant dads gain weight—up to 30 pounds—during their partner’s pregnancy! The theory is that expectant dads have prolactin concentrations mirroring those of their pregnant partners. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, “the more emotionally in sync a couple was at the time of the baby’s birth, the more likely the male’s prolactin level was high. And the more elevated his levels, the more extreme his symptoms—the more weight he put on, the more crippling his nausea, the more finicky he was about food and odours.”
You can be pregnant for 10 months
Most women will be induced by the time they hit 42 weeks, but there are many stories of women having healthy babies after 42 weeks and even up to as much as 48 weeks. Though if you’ve ever been pregnant you’ll likely happily be induced by the time you inch your way to 42 weeks.
Your voice can change during pregnancy
Oestrogen and progesterone don’t just cause changes to your physical and emotional state, they can cause changes that affect the voice. The irritation caused by acid reflux can be one reason, swelling could be another. While you probably know that swollen hands and feet are common pregnancy symptoms, you probably don’t realise that vocal cords can swell up as well, making them less pliable and therefore affecting the range. Many women also experience lower lung capacity and excess mucus.
Your heart grows during pregnancy
During pregnancy the amount of blood pumped by the heart gradually increases with the largest increase occurring by 16 weeks of gestation. The increase in cardiac output is well established by 5 weeks of gestation and increases to 50% above pre-pregnancy levels by 16 to 20 weeks of gestation. During the first trimester it’s also worth noting that the amount of blood in the body increases by 40 to 50% and remains high throughout pregnancy.
The uterus grows from the size of an apple to the size of a watermelon
One of the reasons women still look pregnant in the weeks following delivery is that it takes a while for the uterus – which grew from the size of an apple to the size of a watermelon – to shrink back to its original size. That’s up to 500 times larger and about 15 times heavier than before conception!
Are there any other pregnancy facts that we failed to mention?