Whether you’re a woman who hasn’t yet been pregnant or a man who wants to better understand what an expectant mother really goes through, these 10 things that occur while a woman is pregnant are all strange and often disturbing. These are the weird things that happen during pregnancy that people probably won’t tell you about.
1. You Could Be Pregnant For Over A Year
Most pregnancies last for about 9 months and doctors are likely to induce labor if pregnancy goes on too long. That being said, it is possible to be pregnant for a whole year. The world’s longest pregnancy lasted 375 days, strangely, the baby was only a little under seven pounds.
It certainly puts a whole new perspective on being a few weeks late, doesn’t it?
2. A Male Fetus Can Get Erections In The Womb
Most mothers don’t like to think about their baby boys getting erections, even when they are teenagers, but the fact is that many baby boys get boners while they’re still in the womb. In fact, babies of both sexes are known to masturbate in utero, but boys are the only ones who can be caught while aroused on the sonogram.
If having sex while pregnant seemed a little creepy before now, just imagine what your baby is doing while you make love.
3. Your Entire Undercarriage Might Need Stitches
The last place any woman wants stitches is in her taint, but many mothers have to get that area closed up surgically. Nine out of ten women have some type of vaginal tearing after birth, but there are many degrees of tearing. Some tears only require a little care or a few stitches, but the really bad cases go from the vagina all the way to the anus. Some can even affect the muscles beyond your anus. On the upside, tearing that reaches the anus is somewhat rare and only affects one in one hundred mothers.
Massaging the area prior to child birth can reduce tearing, but even then, it won’t completely stop tearing in most people. Suddenly, getting a C-section started sounding a whole lot more appealing, huh?
4. You May Just Poop Yourself
During childbirth, it is extremely common for a woman to accidentally expel the contents of her bowels. There is a good reason for this –the muscles you use to push the baby out are the same ones you ordinarily use during a bowel movement. As if that weren’t enough to get your sphincter ready to go, the baby directly pushes on the rectum as it makes its exit, helping to squeeze out anything near the exit.
In olden times, it was common for nurses to give enemas prior to labor, but this practice didn’t end up stopping the mess from happening and often caused dehydration. These days, your doctors and nurses will be ready to help clean up the mess. In most cases, they won’t even say anything about it so you won’t know the difference.
It does make you think twice about filming the birth though, doesn’t it?
5. You Really Will Glow
Saying a pregnant woman is glowing is a common expression, but most people chalk it up to the woman’s excitement about becoming a mommy. As it turns out though, glowing skin is a very real thing for pregnant women. While you’re pregnant, the amount of blood in your body will increase by 50%. The extra blood ends up showing through the skin in many areas, particularly the cheeks.
On top of this, hormones cause the oil glands to become more active, resulting in a softer, shinier appearance. When the increased blood flow combines with shine, the result is a noticeable glow.
6. Your Sense of Smell Gets Better
During pregnancy, your sense of smell increases drastically, as does your sense of taste. Scientists hypothesize that this is to help pregnant mothers avoid eating small levels of toxins that might not be dangerous to an adult, but could be deadly to a fetus. As smoke, alcohol and coffee are all particularly noticeable to pregnant women, this theory certainly seems to be on the right path.
7. Contractions Don’t Stop After Birth
Most mothers will have contractions for the first few days after birth. The muscle cramps are the body’s way of stopping excess blood loss. On the upside, if you give birth at the hospital, you’ll still be pretty drugged up and will probably barely even notice.
8. You Don’t Really Need To Eat For Two
Despite the widespread rumors that say pregnant women need to gain all the weight they can in order to give birth a healthy baby, the truth is that most women will only need an extra 300 calories per day. That’s equivalent to about one serving of yogurt and half a bagel. Most women only need to gain about 25 pounds throughout their entire pregnancy.
Of course, if you happen to be at the buffet and are having a tough time resisting the desserts section, go ahead and sneak a little extra. No one will give a pregnant woman a hard time if she pigs out.
9. Your Feet Can Grow Up To One Full Shoe Size
If you’re wondering why your feet will get so big when you only gain 25 pounds, it has to do with the excess pressure on your feet paired with relaxed ligaments in your body. As your pregnancy wears on, your body starts to release the tightness of its ligaments to help with the birthing process. Unfortunately for your shoes, this also means your feet start to lose their arch and stretch out on the sides. The flatter, wider shape of your feet will probably be temporary, but if they grew too much, the change could end up being permanent. If your feet do stay a bit larger, it certainly will serve as a great excuse to buy more shoes.
10. The Father Might Show Symptoms of Pregnancy
It’s surprisingly common for a father-to-be to start gaining weight, getting morning sickness and even feel cramps in his lower abdomen. The condition is known as a sympathetic pregnancy or the Couvade Syndrome, which comes from the french word couvee meaning “to hatch”.