We’re dusting off the strange-but-true files and delving into the world of bizarre pregnancy facts. Some will make you squirm, while others will give you a giggle – but they will all leave you stunned.
Here are 13 bizarre pregnancy facts you never knew happened.
Pregnancy can last for more than a year
Think a nine-month gestation is bad? How about being pregnant for more than 12 months? The longest pregnancy ever recorded that resulted in a live birth lasted for an astonishing 375 days – that’s three months longer than average.
This mighty maternity record belongs to Beulah Hunter, who gave birth to her daughter in Los Angeles in 1945 at age 25.
Amniotic fluid is basically wee
Yep. After the first trimester your baby is floating around (and ingesting) his own urine.
Your sense of smell is pretty much bionic during pregnancy
Many women believe that one of the first signs of pregnancy is a heightened sense of smell. Turns out there may be some truth to this – science believes hormones may explain this superhuman sense of smell.
There’s also a belief that there’s some evolutionary throwback involved – certain smells leaving pregnant women feeling nauseous as a way to ward off possibly eating something poisonous. Fascinating!
Pregnancy can make your shoe size increase … permanently
Flitting around in flip flops during the latter part of pregnancy is pretty common – many women find their shoes simply don’t fit thanks to fluid retention.
However, scientists have found that the changes to our feet during pregnancy may actually permanently increase our shoe size.
University of Iowa researchers found that 60 to 70 percent of the women in their study reported their feet became longer and wider during, and for five months after pregnancy.
You can get ‘pregnancy face’
Ok, I may have coined the term ‘pregnancy face’, but that’s basically what it is – a skin discolouration also known as the mask of pregnancy.
It’s actually called melasma, and results in patchy brown, tan or blue-grey skin discolouration on the face, and is thought to be linked to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Delightful.
Nose bleeds and gum bleeds, oh my!
Your body is pumping a heap of extra blood during pregnancy, and sometimes it escapes. That’s why it’s really common to have nose bleeds when pregnant, and bleeding gums when brushing can also become commonplace. Of course, if you’re worried, make sure you see your doctor.
Taller women are more likely to have twins
If you’re constantly plagued with questions like, ‘what’s the weather like up there’, you’re probably not height-challenged. So here’s a fun pregnancy fact for taller women who are expecting: you’re more likely to have multiples.
According to one study it has something to do taller women having more of a particular growth factor.
The only scientifically-proven way to induce labour is…
…nipple stimulation. So use it at your own risk!
Heartburn during pregnancy IS linked to how much hair your newborn will have
It seems this old wives’ tale can actually be upgraded to fact. A 2006 study did find a link between heartburn during pregnancy and the amount of hair a baby is born with. Hair-raising.
Babies cry in the womb
Oh, it’s enough to break your heart! It seems babies do cry in utero – here’s visual proof:
Your breasts may leak while you’re pregnant
Hormones strike again! The sound of another baby crying could be enough to trigger some breast leakage.
Morning sickness may actually protect your unborn baby
Apparently, it may help protect us and our babies from foodborne illnesses and chemicals. And that’s a pregnancy fact!
You can get pregnant when you’re already pregnant
Scary, huh?! It’s called superfetation, and while rare, it can happen when the hormonal changes during pregnancy don’t stop the release of eggs. Just sayin’.
For everything you need to know when expecting, make sure you check out our pregnancy section, including this post about what to eat – and what not to – when you’re having a baby.