What is pregnancy really like? It's often described as a miracle, although medical advancements have taken a lot of the mystique away from the process. But whether you're a first-time mother or just a curious reader, you probably have a lot of questions about the process.
Plenty of weird things happen during pregnancy. You grow brand new organs, for example, and develop incredibly heightened senses. That's not to mention the cravings - who hasn't heard the stereotype about pregnant women hungering for pickles and ice cream?
This list, however, digs deeper into some of the strangest and most awe-inspiring aspects of incubating a baby. Read on to discover truths about pregnancy that you may not have considered, like the hormonal connection between hairy babies and acid reflux during pregnancy. You're likely to come away with a newfound respect for what the human body can do.
Although extremely rare, it is possible to conceive a second time as a result of sex during pregnancy. When this happens, an already-pregnant woman releases an egg a few weeks into a pregnancy (a phenomenon called “superfetation”), which gets fertilized. This gives the fertilized eggs different due dates; however, the two babies are usually delivered at the same time. This often results in the second child being delivered prematurely.
A similar process means you can have “twins” that have two different biological fathers.
Pregnancy is the only time your body spontaneously generates a whole new organ. The placenta connects a developing fetus to the uterine wall during pregnancy - it’s the thing that the umbilical cord attaches to. The placenta helps provide nutrients and oxygen to a fetus, and it eliminates waste from a fetus’s bloodstream during pregnancy. Because of its hyper-specific job, the placenta grows during pregnancy and is expelled after delivery.
Yes, you read that correctly. Although the typical gestation period is approximately 9 months (280 days), it’s possible for some to last for much longer. The longest pregnancy documented lasted for 375 days - over a full calendar year.
So, it turns out that that famed “pregnancy glow” has a physiological component during pregnancy. Part of the pregnancy glow comes from the increase in blood and blood flow brought on by changes to the cardiovascular system. This increased blood circulation can give a woman a brighter, flushed appearance. Hormonal changes also kick a pregnant woman’s oil glands into overdrive. Blood, combined with oil, equals that beautiful dewy glow.