10 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Pregnancy

Many things go into a pregnancy. Of course, the two main components are a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg. After the sperm fertilizes the egg, the pregnancy process begins. The entire process is fascinating, from the way a baby grows and develops to the factors affecting its growth. On this list, we look at 10 of the most fascinating facts about pregnancy. We tackle issues such as the longest pregnancy. What caused it? Did the woman survive? How old was she? We also tackle nipple stimulation as far as inducing labor is concerned. Does it really induce contractions and labor? Can nipple stimulation help with the involution of the uterus? How often should a woman stimulate her nipples to induce labor?

The list also focuses on issues concerning the amniotic sac. Does a baby really pee in the amniotic fluid and then swallow it again? What happens after? We also look at the time a baby starts to produce fecal matter. This segment tackles issues such as the time a baby starts making poop and whether he actually poops inside the womb. Can someone get pregnant after engaging in oral sex alone? Well, apparently yes (we'll get to that in more detail). We also look at what makes a new mother produce breast milk when she hears a baby, even if it is not hers, crying.

We also give an answer to the folklore that suggests that women who experience heartburn actually get babies with heads full of hair. Here are 10 fascinating facts you didn’t know about pregnancy:

10 The Longest Pregnancy

Normal pregnancies are supposed to last 9 months (approximately 280 days). During this time, a baby swiftly grows until it is able to survive outside the womb. Not all pregnancies are the same though. Some are unusually longer than expected. A 25-year-old woman by the name of Beulah Hunter gave birth to her child after carrying it for 375 days. That is almost 100 days more than the normal gestation period for a human being. The child, named Penny Diana, was healthy despite doctors confirming that the lengthy pregnancy was due to Penny’s slow growth and development. This happened in 1945.

9 Nipple Stimulation and Labor

Nipple stimulation is the only method proven by science of genuinely bringing on labor. Nipple stimulation is the act of rubbing, suckling or rolling the nipple. This method induces contractions and encourages a woman to enter into labor. This act makes the body release a labor-inducing hormone known as Oxytocin. Nipple stimulation is also imperative during childbirth as it can be used to bring on longer or stronger contractions. After the child is born, it can also be used for the involution of the uterus. Scientists propose that women should stimulate their breasts for 5 minutes every hour as they go about their normal chores.

8 Babies Can Taste While in the Womb

Babies can also taste the food eaten by their moms while they are still in the womb. A baby starts to form taste buds in the first two months of pregnancy. By the fourth month, a baby develops taste pores that allow it to taste sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami things. At the same time, the baby also ingests the amniotic fluid surrounding it. Therefore, a baby’s first taste is usually the salty amniotic fluid. Additionally, what a pregnant mother tastes, her baby also tastes. This is because molecules of the food she eats make their way into the amniotic fluid.

7 A Woman Has Gotten Pregnant From Oral Sex

A 15-year-old girl once performed oral sex on her lover. Soon after, a knife fight broke out between her former lover and current lover after he caught them. This led to her being stabbed on the side of her stomach. She then went to the hospital. 278 days later, she returned to the hospital with all the signs of a woman in labor. The doctors examined and confirmed her pregnancy. However, one thing baffled them. The girl didn’t have a vagina. After consultations, they found that she had performed oral sex before being stabbed and the sperm might have gained access to the reproductive system through the injured gastrointestinal tract.

6 Babies Consume Their Own Urine

A baby grows and develops inside the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac serves several functions, including keeping the baby warm and cushioning the fetus. The fluid inside the sac provides lubrication which helps the baby move about freely, thereby exercising their muscles. The baby also urinates in the womb, and the pee ends up in the amniotic fluid. The baby then swallows this amniotic fluid, which is usually made up of 98% water and 2% salts. However, do not be alarmed as the pee is completely harmless to the little one.

5 A Baby Starts Making Feces After 21 Weeks in the Womb

The amniotic fluid also serves to strengthen the digestive system of the baby. After ingesting the harmless fluid, it ends up in its small intestines. Here, the baby separates the water from the fluid from the solid waste. The solid waste is then moved to the large intestines where it then forms its early excremento known as meconium. It continues building up meconium from the 21st week of pregnancy until it is born. This is when the baby will release its first fecal matter. The baby may also experience bowel movement while in the womb, but this is completely normal. The meconium contains shed skin cells, mucus, and lanugo.

4 New Moms Can Lactate Automatically When They Hear a Baby Crying

Normally, new mothers release breast milk when a baby is suckling. The suckling stimulates the nipple, which in turn informs the pituitary gland in the brain to release Prolactin and Oxytocin. However, a new mother can also release breast milk when she hears her baby or another baby crying. This has a higher chance of happening when nursing time is near. She can also begin lactating if she is sexually stimulated. To avoid embarrassment in public, new mothers are advised to cross their arms over their chest and press the nipples until milk stops coming out. Bra pads and heavy tops are also helpful.

3 Baby Boys Aren’t Born With Sperm

Girls are born with all the eggs they’ll ever need in life. However, boys do not have sperm at the time of their birth. What they have is undeveloped sperm cells. These undeveloped sperm cells mature when the boy reaches puberty. They then continue being replenished for the entire lifetime of the boy/man. In fact, when the boy becomes a man, he will start producing 1,500 sperm a second. In contrast, a woman’s eggs will stop maturing when she hits menopause. However, new research posted on National Geographic states that women could produce eggs in later stages of their life.

2 Pregnant Women Who Experience Heartburn Are More Likely To Give Birth to Kids With Full Hair

A study was done to confirm the pregnancy folklore that states that women who experience heartburn during pregnancy are most likely to give birth to children with heads full of hair. The study involved 64 pregnant women. Independent surveyors then rated hair on their newborn babies. It was found that women who experienced moderate or severe heartburn gave birth to children with average or above average amounts of hair. Women who experienced no heartburn gave birth to children with less or no hair. Therefore, the folklore is correct in that women who experience heartburns during pregnancy are most likely to give birth to children with above average amounts of hair.

1 1 Kid in Every 2,000 to 3,000 Births is Born With a Tooth

For every 2,000 to 3,000 babies born, one of them has a natal tooth. Natal teeth are teeth that grow on a baby while still in the womb. They are very rare and often appear on the lower gum as the central incisor teeth. Their roots are shallow and are frequently shaky. Natal teeth can be uncomfortable for the child as well as the mother, especially during breastfeeding. Although most are not related to medical conditions, natal teeth can be formed as a result of the Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, the Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, or the Soto syndrome.

Sources: abcnews.go.com, pennmedicine.org, parents.com, cpmc.org, nationalgeographic.com, onlinelibrary.wiley.com, nlm.nih.gov

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