Although pregnancy is literally an age-old concept that has been going on since the dawn of humans, there are still so many things about it that are just downright gross. As much as science evolves with the human race and we develop more and more understanding into what happens during pregnancy, there are some things that can be explained, but never appreciated. This is simply because some elements of growing a baby inside the womb are disgusting.
Now, this isn’t to say that the gross factors will ever be stronger than maternal instinct. Rather, no matter how much women know about what goes on inside them during pregnancy, the desire to have little babies grow stays as strong as ever.
Once that fetus starts developing from the moment of conception, there are some strange things that are going to go on inside the womb. They say that knowledge is the best weapon, but perhaps there are some things about the growing fetus that we just really don’t need to know.
Nonetheless, the grossness of pregnancy is a reality that women just have to deal with. So, with that in mind, keep reading to find out 15 gross things that happen to your fetus, but actually mean it’s just growing in a healthy and sound way.
No matter how disgusting some of these things seem to you, it’s good news that they’re happening. All these gross things mean that the pregnancy is well on track to welcome a little bundle of joy into the world, all covered in mucus and slime and screaming at the bright lights. Oh, motherhood!
15 The Fetus Pees Inside You
It’s a well-known fact of pregnancy that the mother-to-be has to go to the toilet on a regular basis. This is pretty much because that growing baby uses the bladder as its entertaining squeeze toy. In actuality, it’s no wonder that pregnant women have to use the ladies room so much given they drink the same amount of fluids as usual, perhaps even more with the additional strain of growing a baby, but have an extra few kilograms added to the area around their bladder. This creates a lot of pressure that, well, just needs to be relieved.
As for the growing baby however, they also have needs to relieve their bladder. However, they have a few less options to do this in. Since they are living, sleeping, breathing, and eating all in the one location, that being the mother’s womb, this is also where they choose to empty their bladders. That growing baby is pretty much swimming in it’s own pee!
14 The Uterus Grows From A Peach To A Watermelon
Obviously, women get bigger during pregnancy. This is what happens when a mini-human is being grown. However, understanding just how much the uterus expands is rather alarming, and a little bit disgusting.
The uterus of a women before conception can be likened to that of a small peach. Think about a really small, even under-ripened peach. They aren’t big. They can be gobbled up in a few bites. So that’s the size you’re starting out.
By the end of those 9 months when you’re ready to give the fully-grown fetus an eviction notice, the uterus is the size of a watermelon. That’s right. Those super large and ovular shaped fruits that are an epic struggle to carry out of the store when you buy a whole one. That’s how much your uterus has grown. Not just grown, stretched and expanded on in the inside in ways you didn’t even think were possible.
13 Babies Do Weird Things As A Fetus
So, 9 months is a long time. This is a long time for that growing fetus to roll around inside the womb. Sure, they’re doing a lot of hard work in growing and developing and taking the time for their organs and limbs to appear. However, even fetus’ get a little bored from time to time.
There have been a number of cases where the fetus has been documented doing strange things while inside the womb. Typically, you think about just the growing baby and the belly getting bigger. You don’t think about what the fetus is actually getting up to inside of you.
In fact, babies have been documented sucking their thumbs and holding their two hands together. On ultrasounds, you sometimes get to see your baby holding up their hand and waving hello. In some more disturbing cases, babies have been caught masturbating! You never know what you’re going to see on that ultrasound with a cheeky fetus.
12 The Fetus’ Skin Looks Like Cheese
Although the end outcome is going to be a beautiful baby (once all the slime and juices are cleaned up after birth), the production stages aren’t quite as lovely. There is certainly soft and smooth newborn baby skin to look forward to, but inside the womb that skin can be described more as cheesy and sticky.
While growing in the womb, the fetus has a covering around the skin for protective purposes. This is called the vernix and it is essentially a protective layer around the baby while they float around in the amniotic fluids in the womb.
When giving birth, the vernix comes out still attached to the baby, so they are born with a layer of something that resembles cottage cheese. It’s pretty gross, so you best start preparing yourself now for the birth. Get rid of that image of a cute little cherub popping out with the daddy’s nose and your eyes. Rather, it’s going to be a slimy mess.
11 A Hairy Beast Is Growing Inside You
They say that women experience more heartburn when their baby is born with a full head of hair, and this is incredibly true. And yes, heartburn is an indicator as to how much hair the newborn will have. However, women giving birth can just be thankful that their babies don’t come out with as much hair as they have in the womb!
The growing fetus develops a head of peachy fuzz from as early as the first week. However, it goes beyond just hair on the head. While in utero, babies develop hair all over their bodies. This is called lanugo and it is ultimately to keep the growing fetus warm while developing. What it really means, though, is that your growing baby essentially has a fur coat all around their body and are actually a little hair mini-beast. Thankfully, they shed the hair before coming out into the world.
10 A Fetus’ Veins Are Visible
We all want to describe newborn babies as beautiful and angelic and oh so adorable. But let’s be real, sometimes they do look somewhat like aliens. You know, with that big, oval-shaped head that is squishy and soft, plus the whole slimy exterior when they come screaming into this world, babies aren’t necessarily as pretty as a picture at first.
Now, that alien-like descriptor can carry on into the womb as well, when the fetus is still developing. Obviously your growing baby has veins running through its little body. This really starts to happen at 30 days when the brain is developed to a humanly proportionate size and blood is flowing steadily.
However, because the veins develop before the skin does on the fetus, the veins are actually visible. As in, the exterior of the fetus is transparent and you can literally see the veins on if you look closely enough on the ultrasound.
9 The Fetus Breathes Underwater
Even though there is no oxygen inside that warm and cosy womb aside from what’s been transported down the umbilical chord, developing babies will still be able to breath in preparation for coming into the real world. This happens at around 27 weeks when the fetus will start the motions of breathing, even though their lungs aren’t taking in oxygen yet.
Keep in mind, however, that the developing fetus is floating around in amniotic fluid. This means that when your growing baby starts practicing the breathing motion, it is essentially breathing underwater. Because the lungs aren’t ready to receive oxygen yet, they also aren’t opening up to the fluids, which is why the fetus doesn’t drown.
This sounds impressive, until you remember that this is the same amniotic fluid that your growing baby swallows, drinks, and then pees out. Sure, it’s a hospitable environment in the womb, but seriously – that fetus does some gross things with its home of 9 months!
8 The Fetus Smells And Tastes The Same Things As Mom
Around 28 weeks, the growing fetus has developed strong enough taste and smell senses to really know what’s up in the world around them. At this point, the smells that are entering mom’s nose will filter down right through to the baby.
This is perhaps one of the reasons that pregnant women become so sensitive to smell and taste during their time growing a baby inside of them. Different smells and certain tastes can trigger different reactions for the growing baby which impacts on mom’s body as well.
So if you used to love the smell of certain candles but now can’t stand them, you can blame the unborn baby for that. The same goes for eating different foods, too! Not that your baby should be complaining when they literally eat before you do. This is because the growing fetus takes whatever nutrients they want from the foods through the umbilical chord, and then leave whatever is left for mom.
7 The Placenta Produces Endless Estrogen
During pregnancy, the body develops another organ called the placenta. This comes out with the baby at birth, and thankfully, unlike other mammals, humans do not ingest the placenta after giving birth. Even though placenta is the Latin word for “cake”, there is nothing too appetising about it.
The placenta grows and develop alongside the fetus, giving it support it needs to develop and flourish. During the final trimester of pregnancy as a women reaches full term, the placenta produces copious amounts of estrogen. In fact, the amount of estrogen produced is more in a day than a non-pregnant women would produce in three years.
Now, that is a whole lot of estrogen. This is an important hormone, but also one that is responsible for those emotional rollercoasters and mood swings that women love every month when they’re experiencing pregnancy. So basically, don’t piss off the placenta.
6 The Fetus Has Bowel Movements On The Inside
Everything that the growing baby learns on the inside of the womb is important for their everyday functioning on the outside of the womb. One of these things is the bowel movement, which will certainly keep every new parent on their toes.
Babies are notorious for having disgusting bowel movements. And this is much because they’ve been brewing up a storm for 9 months on the inside of the womb. Ok, not literally the entire 9 months, but you get the idea.
Around 21 weeks of gestation, the baby starts to make its first poo. This is called meconium. However, because the baby isn’t fully developed and the bowels aren’t ready to process yet, the baby won’t pass the meconium until birth. This is still a long time to hold one in, and you just know it’s going to be gross once it comes out! Just one of the joys that new mothers have to look forward to during those first few sleep deprived days.
5 A Moustache Grows But Is Eaten
Remember how growing babies are actually hairy mini beasts? Well, this hair grows on the face as well. Whether it’s a boy or girl growing, they’re going to have a fine looking moustache. At four months of pregnancy, the fine hair called lanugo starts growing around the mouth and then gradually spreads across the body over the course of a month.
Now, that hair isn’t going to stay there, especially not in moustache form. Eventually the hair begins to shed away and float into the amniotic fluid. Yes, that’s the same amniotic fluid that your baby floats in, breaths in, and pees in. Remember the fetus also drinks, or eats, that fluid as well. So, you get the picture, your baby is eating its own hair.
The cycle of the hair doesn’t end there, however. After it is digested, it becomes part of the meconium that we talked about earlier. So all in all, your growing fetus is creating a hairy poop to come out on arrival.
4 Girl Fetus’ Experience That Time Of Month Too
As babies develop in the womb, they develop every part of the human body. This includes reproductive organs. Even though these won’t be used, they are still there. Baby girls develop all the eggs they will ever use while in the womb, including eggs for use in the womb.
These reproductive eggs aren’t going to be fertilised, of course, but they are still there. Therefore, they do just what typical unfertilised eggs would do every month – they shed from the inside. Basically, girl fetus’ have a mini period each month after the eggs have developed.
So, even though your periods have stopped now that a baby is growing inside you, you’re not entirely exempt from the whole period process. If you still feel hormonal and moody at that time of month, just blame it on your baby (if you’re having a girl). Baby boys have it easy as they won’t develop their sperm until puberty (always late bloomers!).
3 The Fetus Has Only Half A Head At Nine Weeks
There’s nothing really offensive about saying the baby has a big head while it’s growing in the womb. This is because it’s true. At 9 weeks of development, the head of the fetus is almost half the crown to the rump length. This means that the head is taking up most of the space in the womb.
It isn’t until week 12 that the baby growth evens out and the head becomes more proportionate. The rapid growth before this time really settles down by week 20 and it is now that your baby has a normal sized head and normal sized body, getting closer and closer to being ready for birth.
However, even once the head is a regular size, it is still incredibly soft and squishy. Even when babies come out into the world, their heads are so delicate and tender as the skull hasn’t hardened and solidified just yet.
2 It Takes Seven Months For A Fetus To Get Fat
Before this point, the growing fetus is literally just skin and bone. It’s got brains and blood vessels, and those little bones in the arms and elbows are starting to harden up after just 8 quick weeks. During the embryonic period after 8 weeks, organs and tissues are forming and taking their place. But there’s no fat happening just yet.
This is why when you see the ultrasound before the 7 month mark, the baby looks all skeletal and things. Well, it is. After the lanugo hair has been shed, fat starts to be deposited under the skin. This happens at around 28 weeks.
Basically, if you’re starting to worry that your baby is going to come out looking like a bag of bones after seeing the 6 month ultrasound, you don’t need to. Just wait another month and sure enough you’ll see that you’re going to have a plump little cherub with all those cute fatty rolls. Babies are just saving the best for last to keep you on your toes.
1 The Fetus Lives With A Mucus Plug
That’s right, the hospitable environment of the womb is enclosed with a mucus plug. There is literally no other way to describe this thing and make it sound less gross than what it really is. It’s a mucus plug, plain and simple.
The mucus plug is located at the entrance of the cervix. Although it is disgusting, it actually serves a very important purpose. The mucus plug stop bacteria from reaching the womb and helps to keep the growing baby safe in a clean environment. However, it is still a mucus plug.
Don’t worry, though, that mucus plug isn’t going to stay in there forever. As you get ready to give birth, it clears out of the way so that your baby can make it through the cervix. So yes, that’s right. You pass a mucus plug before you can bring your bundle of joy into the world. No one ever said giving birth was glamorous!
Sources: ClevelandClinic.org, MyDr.com, OnlineNursePractitionersSchool.com